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Prior Bad Acts Admissible to Show Motive and Intent

Generally, prior bad acts of an accused on trial are not admissible to prove conforming conduct in a criminal trial in Tennessee. However, there are often-used exceptions to the rule excluding prior bad acts. Among the exceptions, prior bad act evidence might be admissible if probative of the credibility of a testifying defendant, or if it shows a common scheme or plan linking the defendant to the crime at issue, or if it is probative of motive or intent. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Bolton, W2013-00539-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling admitting evidence of the defendant's threats and abuse of the victim's mother when the defendant was on trial for rape of a child.

Prior Bad Acts Admissible to Show Motive and Intent

Generally, prior bad acts of an accused on trial are not admissible to prove conforming conduct in a criminal trial in Tennessee. However, there are often-used exceptions to the rule excluding prior bad acts. Among the exceptions, prior bad act evidence might be admissible if probative of the credibility of a testifying defendant, or if it shows a common scheme or plan linking the defendant to the crime at issue, or if it is probative of motive or intent. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Bolton, W2013-00539-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 10-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling admitting evidence of the defendant's threats and abuse of the victim's mother when the defendant was on trial for rape of a child.

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