Convicted murderess Monica Briggs has seen her multi-prong appeal denied by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
Briggs, who was convicted nearly two years ago in the shooting death of Kenneth Koster, was told by the high court that her conviction and subsequent life sentence would stand, according to the opinion that was released on Thursday.
In a bid for her freedom, Briggs argued that many errors had occurred in the course of her trial. Among those errors was the inclusion of a taped confession she made and a lack of evidence to support her convictions.
Briggs and Brad Phillips were accused of shooting Koster when the trio’s drug enterprise took a bad turn in 2014. Phillips was shot by Sevier County Police when he and Briggs were found at a Wendy’s in Sevierville. The duo had been on the run since killing Koster days earlier. Phillips died from injuries he received in the shooting.
Briggs, who wasn’t injured, was arrested and charged with public intoxication by Sevier County authorities.
The next day, she gave a 10-hour statement to Campbell County Sheriff’s Det. John Long and Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Agent Brandon Elkins. The statement was taped and later played at her trial. During the trial, jurors watched Briggs discuss the relationship between she and the two men as well as reenact the murder of Koster. On the video, Briggs was animated and appeared to be freely giving her statement.
Within the appeal, Briggs argued that because she was held without bail on the intoxication charge, her constitutional rights were violated thus the video should not have been viewed by the jurors. Because the defense attorneys were unable to prove Briggs’ arrest was unlawful and her statement was coerced, the trial judge allowed the video to be shown. The higher court agreed he had done the correct thing in allowing the taped confession to be included at the trial.
As the extensive trial progressed two years ago, prosecutors exhibited numerous pieces of evidence to support their argument that Briggs was a killer.
The appeals court ruled the evidence was sufficient.
When the trial record was submitted to the higher court, it contained evidence Briggs and Phillips had “discussed killing the victim after he threatened to report his SUV, .25 caliber pistol and bank card stolen.”
Furthermore, there was surveillance footage of Briggs and Phillips buying ammunition at an area Wal-Mart, the opinion said.
It was Briggs’ own conduct that convicted her, the state court said.
Currently, Briggs is being housed at West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Lauderdale County. The 40- year- old inmate will be eligible for parole in 2073. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/06/2018-6AM)