The foreperson was found to be ineligible due to his prior felony conviction and Lopez appealed
First of all an objections should have been raised before trial
Rule 12(b)(2)(B) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a motion alleging a defect in the indictment, presentment, or information must be raised before trial but that “at any time while the case is pending, the court may hear a claim that the indictment, presentment, or information fails to show jurisdiction in the court or to charge an offense[.]” Id. “`Lack of jurisdiction’ refers to subject matter jurisdiction,” State v. Nixon, 977 S.W.2d 119, 120 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1997), which refers to a court’s authority to adjudicate a dispute brought before it. Freeman v. CSX Transp., Inc., 359 S.W.3d 171, 176 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010). “[A]ll objections or defects in the indictment[,] other than those [related to the subject matter jurisdiction of the court and failure to charge an offense,]” must be raised prior to trial or will result in waiver. Nixon, 977 S.W.2d at 121.
Court had jurisdiction
The defendant’s case was tried before the Davidson County Criminal Court, which has subject matter jurisdiction over crimes occurring within Davidson County. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-10-102. The status of the grand jury foreman as a convicted felon does not relate to the power of the court to hear and decide a case. Moreover, the defendant does not contend that the indictment failed to charge an offense. Neither of the narrow exceptions permitting objections to an indictment after trial applies; therefore, the defendant waived any objection to the grand jury foreman’s status as a felon because it was not raised prior to trial.
Any defect is cured if the Jury reaches a verdict
Moreover, the historic doctrine of aider by verdict stands for the proposition that any defects in the indictment are cured if the jury reaches a verdict. See, e.g., Kimbro v. Bomar, 333 F.2d 755, 757 (6th Cir. 1964); Allen v. State, 288 S.W.2d 439, 440 (Tenn. 1956); Jones v. State, 277 S.W.2d 371, 372 (Tenn. 1955); Driscoll v. State, 232 S.W.2d 28, 29 (Tenn. 1950); Pope v. State, 258 S.W.775, 776 (Tenn. 1924); State v. Smith, 7 Tenn. 165 (Tenn. 1823). In this case, the jury deliberated and returned a verdict of guilty of second degree murder and, by doing so, cured any defect in the indictment. The defendant is not entitled to relief.