State Supreme Court Says Juror Misconduct Did Not Influence Guilty Verdict In Murder Case

Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a man serving a life sentence for the 2006 first degree premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

On April 16, 2006, Prince Adams was at his mother’s residence in Shelby County and then left with Ohrdra Flowers in her automobile. Two days later, Adams informed his cousin that he had fought with Ms. Flowers and had killed her with his pocketknife after she admitted to an affair with another man. Adams later confessed to the police.

After the jury returned a guilty verdict on the charge of first degree murder, the jury foreman notified the trial judge that he had discovered a note in his hotel room the previous night, indicating that the two alternate jurors thought Adams was guilty as charged. The alternate jurors had been released from service before deliberations began. Claiming misconduct on the part of the alternate jurors, Adams sought a new trial. The trial court denied the request after the foreman testified that the note did not affect his or any other juror’s view of the evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction.

The Supreme Court granted the appeal to clarify that the note qualified as an “improper outside communication,” which as a matter of law results in a presumption that the jury was prejudiced and the guilty verdict should be set aside. In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that even though the note was improper, the prosecution had successfully overcome the presumption of prejudice by introducing other evidence to demonstrate that the communication had no effect on the jury’s deliberations.

The Court further observed that under the rules the foreman should not have been allowed to testify about the effect the note had on his view of the evidence, but in this instance there was no reasonable possibility that the verdict was influenced by the note. In reaching this conclusion, the Court considered the nature and content of the communication, the number of jurors who were aware of the note, the manner and timing in which the foreman received the note, and the weight of the remaining evidence at trial.

The Court also rejected Adams’ claims of other errors in the trial. He is serving a life sentence for the murder.

To read the State of Tennessee v. Prince Adams Opinion, authored by Chief Justice Gary R. Wade, visit the Opinions section of .

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, GREGORY SCOTT  401 EASTERLY CIRCLE ROCKY TOP, 37769  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BILLS, JOSHUA TIMOTHY-MICHAEL  1309 DUNCAN AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Corker Gives Statement Ahead Of Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment

Senator Bob Corker on Thursday released the following statement ahead of Affordable Care Act open enrollment, which begins Nov. 1.   “The Affordable Care Act was sold to the American people as a way to bring down health care costs and provide certainty to individuals and companies across our country. Unfortunately, the reality Tennesseans will face as open enrollment ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)

CPA Blanks CCS, 1-0, in A-AA State Soccer Semis

MURFREESBORO - The scoring opportunities were few for both teams, but Christ Presbyterian used a shot and a deflection off a defender for a 1-0 win against Chattanooga Christian in an A-AA state semifinal match here Thursday at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. District 12 player of the year Sarah Sievertsen scored the winning goal in the 54th minute as the Lions advance ... (click for more)

DeBord Happy To Have Kelly, Hurd In Vols' Backfield

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Larry Scott spoke reporters at Wednesday's press conference in the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) takes on South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice ... (click for more)