KNOXVILLE (WATE) — A Knoxville man’s conviction was overturned this month after he was sentenced in 2015 for the murder of a pregnant teen and her unborn son.
Brandon Donaldson was found guilty in 2015 of second-degree murder in the deaths of Marcia Crider and her unborn child. A jury also found him guilty of attempted second-degree murder for Crider’s mother Renee Jones and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony.
An appeals court found that a prejudicial error was committed during a trial court hearing by excluding certain witness testimony as hearsay and violating the defendant’s constitutional right to present a defense.
“We are pleased with the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals, which concluded that that at his trial Mr. Donaldson was denied his constitutional right to present a defense,” Jonathan Harwell, Donaldson’s attorney, said in a statement. “We look forward to a new trial at which all of the relevant and admissible evidence can be put before a jury.”
Witness testimony during the trial revealed that Crider and the defendant shared a romantic relationship and were arguing the day of the shooting.
Knoxville police say Donaldson shot Crider as she was getting in a car with her mother on Porter Avenue. Crider and her unborn baby died as a result of their injuries in Feb. 2013. She was 13 weeks pregnant and struck by two rounds.
The appeals court has requested a new trial but first the Tennessee Supreme Court will have 60 days to review the case.