A Blackman man convicted for the first degree murder of his wife has asked for a new trial, according to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Nashville. The courts denied the case and the documents for the denial were filed on Tuesday afternoon.
In 2008, 35-year old Michael Jason Vance shot his 31-year old wife Suzanne at their home on Cozumel Court in the Blackman community. Vance was sentenced to life behind bars in the Circuit Courtroom of Judge David Bragg in 2010 for the shooting.
Prior to the conviction, the courts heard detailed information on the couples past, including an alleged threat made in 2004 where Vance suggested his wife would end up on the bottom of Percy Priest Lake if she left him.
In ’08, Vance shot and killed his wife and was later arrested after a short pursuit involving the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department. In court, the defendant did not deny shooting his wife, but did deny the ability to pre-meditate the murder. A doctor testified before the courts in regards to the suspect’s state of mind. Dr. Lynn Zager testified that in her opinion, “Defendant lacked the ability to form intent on the date of the shooting due to “major depression and the intoxication on the substances . . . and the amnesia.” Regardless of the doctors’ testimony, Vance was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder.
Earlier this year the subject appealed the sentencing suggesting the courts made a mistake, citing multiple situations. One of the many problems the defendant raised was, “The trial court erred by limiting the testimony of the defense mental health expert, Dr. Lynn Zager.”
The appeals court did not see it the same way as the defendant. Judge Thomas Woodall wrote, “We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support a finding of premeditation, and therefore, the evidence was sufficient to sustain Defendant’s conviction for first degree premeditated murder. Defendant is not entitled to relief on this issue”