State v. Rimmer
Tennessee Supreme Court
250 S.W.3d 12 (2008)
Michael Rimmer (defendant) and Ricci Ellsworth had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship over many years. Rimmer was subsequently incarcerated for the aggravated assault and rape of Ellsworth. During his imprisonment, Rimmer told two inmates that he planned to kill Ellworth upon his release. At the time of Rimmer’s release from prison, Ellsworth worked as a night manager at a hotel. Late one evening when nobody answered the hotel telephone, an individual went into the hotel office and discovered blood splatters on the sink, wall, toilet, and towels. The responding police officers observed signs of a struggle, puddles of blood, and signs that a victim may have been dragged from inside the office to the outside curb. Ellsworth was never found. Several days later, an Indiana police officer pulled over Rimmer’s vehicle. Bloodstains on the carpet and rear seat belt matched Ellsworth’s blood type. The State of Tennessee (plaintiff) charged Rimmer with first-degree murder. At the close of the evidence, the trial court instructed the jury that reasonable doubt is doubt resulting after viewing all of the evidence in the case. The trial court also instructed the jury that reasonable doubt “does not mean a doubt that may arise from possibility” and that reasonable doubt does not require absolute certainty. The jury convicted Rimmer, and he appealed, arguing the trial court erred in its instruction on reasonable doubt.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wade, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.