The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville overturned the convictions of a man that was found guilty in the murder of a pregnant teen and her unborn child.
Judge Curwood Witt, Jr. gave his opinion in an appeal made by Brandon Scott Donaldson -- the man found guilty of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and employing a firearm in the deaths of 19-year-old Marcia Crider and her unborn son in a 2013 shooting.
The appeal claimed Donaldson had not received a fair trial because certain witness testimony was excluded. The court made a opinion in favor of Donaldson, saying the trial court committed prejudicial error by excluding the testimony and violating his constitutional right to present a defense.
Based on the opinion, the court overturned Donaldson's convictions and handed the case over to the Knox County Criminal Court for a new trial.
In 2013, Knoxville police found Crider with a gunshot wound in the parking lot of the AMVETS thrift store off Holston Drive in East Knoxville. At the time, Crider had been 13-weeks-pregnant. Initial reports said the woman had been shot while she was sitting in the car with her mother outside a house on Porter Avenue.
Police believed the shooting to be domestic, eventually leading them to Donaldson.
Testimony during the trial claimed the two were in a relationship, and that on the day of the shooting the two had gotten into an argument. As Crider got into a car with her mother, her mother claimed Donaldson started shooting at them as they drove away, hitting Crider and her unborn child.
A jury convicted Donaldson in 2015. He was later sentenced to a total of 68 years for his convictions.