Commonwealth v. English, 98-SC-333-DG

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the Court Justice Cooper
Citation993 S.W.2d 941
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, APPELLANT v. JESSE JAMES ENGLISH, APPELLEE
Decision Date17 June 1999
Docket Number98-SC-333-DG

[1]
993 S.W.2d 941

[2]
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, APPELLANT
v.
JESSE JAMES ENGLISH, APPELLEE
[3]
98-SC-333-DG
[4]
SUPREME COURT OF KENTUCKY
[5]
97-CA-551 ON REVIEW FROM COURT OF MCCRACKEN CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE R. JEFFREY HINES, JUDGE 96-CR-189
[6]
June 17, 1999
[7] Attorneys For Appellant A. B. Chandler, III Attorney General State Capitol Frankfort, KY 40601 Michael Harned Assistant Attorney General Office of Attorney General Criminal Appellate Division 1024 Capital Center Drive Frankfort, KY 40601-8204 Attorney For Appellee Franklin P. Jewel1 Jewel1 & Lemke First Floor 235 South Fifth Street Louisville, KY 40202-3232
[8] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cooper
[9] TO BE PUBLISHED
[10] REVERSING
[11] Appellee, Jesse James English, was convicted in the McCracken Circuit Court of two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, KRS 510.110(l) (b)2, and was sentenced to five years imprisonment on each count. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively for a total of ten years. The Court of Appeals reversed the convictions and remanded for a new trial on the ground that evidence of prior acts of sexual misconduct on the part of Appellee was improperly admitted at trial. We granted discretionary review.
[12] Appellee was convicted of sexually abusing his wife's two grand-nieces, M.G., age six, and A.G., age four. The children lived with their mother in the same neighborhood as Appellee and spent a substantial amount of time visiting in Appellee's home. M.G. testified that on one such occasion, both she and A.G. were sitting on Appellee's lap when he reached under A.G.'s clothing and placed his right hand between her legs and on her "private parts," then placed his left hand inside M.G.'s underwear and between her legs. M.G. testified that Appellee engaged in similar activity with her on "several" occasions and that sometimes it would occur while she and Appellee were covered by a blanket. On each occasion, Appellee's wife was in the home, but in another room and apparently unaware of Appellee's sexual contact with the two children.
[13] Appellee did not testify. However, a police detective summarized the contents of a recorded interview with Appellee which took place shortly after his arrest. During that interview, Appellee was asked whether he had ever put his hand down M.G.'s or A.G.'s pants. In response, he made the following statements: "I might have [M-G.], but I've not the other little baby girl. . . . While we were watching TV, I might have and not realized it. . . . Well, maybe I did and didn't know it, not realizing it. . . . If I did, I don't remember it. . . . If I did it, I didn't do it on purpose. . . . If I did it, I didn't mean anything by it."
[14] Two adult nieces of Appellee's wife, D.B and T.N., testified that Appellee similarly abused them when they were children.
[15] D.B. testified that when she was six or seven years old, Appellee touched her vaginal area on four different occasions while she was visiting in his home. The abuse occurred on a couch while Appellee's wife was in the kitchen. T.N. testified that when she was eight or nine years old, Appellee touched her vaginal area on two different occasions while she was visiting in his home. On each occasion, the abuse occurred on a couch while T.N. was either asleep or pretending to be asleep. Appellee's wife was present in the home on both occasions. Neither D.B. nor T.N. testified to their present ages or to the dates on which they were abused by Appellee. However, D.B. testified that she is presently married and has a six month old son; and T.N. testified that she, too, is married and has children aged sixteen, thirteen, twelve and eleven. The Court of Appeals concluded that these
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1787 practice notes
  • Hoskins v. Maricle, No. 2002-SC-0579-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • August 26, 2004
    ...his decision was "arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by sound legal principles." Commonwealth v. English, Ky., 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (1999). Thus, he did not abuse his discretion in rejecting this plea agreement. See Commonwealth v. Watson, 393 Mass. 297, 471 N.E.2d 88,......
  • Parson v. Com., No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2004
    ...by its prejudicial effect. KRE 403. This is an issue committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. Commonwealth v. English, Ky., 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (1999). We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the III. CHAIN OF CUSTODY. Christine Kerr testified......
  • Caudill v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, 2000-SC-0296-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 12, 2003
    ...determining that its probative value was not substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect. KRE 403; Commonwealth v. English, Ky., 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 Page 31 10. Caudill's demeanor. Caudill asserts it was error to permit Julia Davis to testify that when Caudill told her that Lonetta W......
  • Brown v. Com., No. 2006-SC-000654-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2010
    ...is, whether the ruling can be characterized as arbitrary, unreasonable, or contrary to sound legal principles. Commonwealth v. English, 993 S.W.2d 941 (Ky.1999). Because none of the challenged rulings amounted to an abuse of the trial court's discretion, Brown is not entitled to relief on t......
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1843 cases
  • State v. Merriam, (SC 16715).
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • July 15, 2003
    ...that the two terminations were connected, mutually dependent, or part of any larger goal of [the defendant's]"); Commonwealth v. English, 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (Ky. 1999) (recognizing that common scheme or plan requires evidence that "the charged offenses were part and parcel of a greater end......
  • Phon v. Com. of Ky., 2016-SC-000468-DG
    • United States
    • Kentucky Supreme Court
    • April 26, 2018
    ...unfair, or unsupported by sound legal principles." Foley v. Commonwealth, 425 S.W.3d 880, 886 (Ky. 2014) (citing Commonwealth v. English, 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (Ky. 1999) (internal citations omitted) ). However, also presented to this Court are several issues of law including questions of con......
  • Parson v. Com., No. 2002-SC-0103-MR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2004
    ...by its prejudicial effect. KRE 403. This is an issue committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. Commonwealth v. English, Ky., 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (1999). We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the III. CHAIN OF CUSTODY. Christine Kerr testified......
  • Dunlap v. Commonwealth, 2010-SC-000226-MR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 20, 2013
    ...the trial [court's] decision was arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, or unsupported by sound legal principles." Commonwealth v. English, 993 S.W.2d 941, 945 (Ky. 1999). On appellate review of a trial court's denial of a motion to suppress, we apply the two-step process set out in Ornelas v. Un......
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