Lee Harold Cromwell, who was convicted of homicide and aggravated assault after a fatal crash after fireworks three years ago, is eligible for a new trial on the aggravated assault charges, a state appeals court said Tuesday.
After reviewing several issues raised on appeal, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville upheld Cromwell’s one conviction of reckless vehicular homicide and his five-year sentence on that charge.
But citing misleading and confusing jury instructions, the court ordered a new trial in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on the eight convictions of reckless aggravated assault. Those convictions, which were reversed by the appeals court on Tuesday, had helped to add seven years to Cromwell’s sentence.
“After our review, we affirm the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant’s convictions and the trial court properly sentenced the defendant, but (we) conclude the trial court committed reversible error in instructing the jury as to reckless aggravated assault,” the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals said. “Therefore, we vacate the defendant’s eight convictions for reckless aggravated assault and remand this case to the trial court for a new trial.”
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