Opinion Flash

April 5, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 062

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
 

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM BINKLEY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Joe M. Brandon, Jr., Smyrna, Tennessee, for the Appellant, William
Binkley.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, District Attorney
General; and J. Paul Newman, Assistant District Attorney General for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

A Rutherford County jury convicted the defendant, William Binkley, of
criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder and reckless
endangerment in connection with the shooting of the defendant's former
girlfriend.  The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I
standard offender to 23 years in the Department of Correction for the
attempted first-degree murder conviction and to two years for the
reckless endangerment conviction.  The sentences were ordered to be
served consecutively for an effective sentence of 25 years.  Primarily
aggrieved that he was not allowed to offer expert testimony about his
mental responsibility, the defendant appeals the trial court's
evidentiary ruling.  Secondarily, he questions the sufficiency of the
evidence, and he complains that all relevant lesser- included offenses
were not included in the jury instructions.  Based upon our review, we
affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/binkleywilliam.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRANK  E. HUEY, RONNIE FINCH & JEFFREY L. GILLS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul J. Bruno, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank E. Huey;
Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronnie
Finch; and G. Kline Preston, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Jeffrey L. Gills. 

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; and Bret T. Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

On October 13, 1998, the three Defendants, Frank E. Huey, Ronnie
Finch, and Jeffrey L. Gills, were indicted by a Davidson County grand
jury for one count of first degree murder, two counts of attempted
first degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count
of felony reckless endangerment.  After a jury trial, Defendants Huey
and Gills were each convicted of one count of facilitation of first
degree murder, two counts of facilitation of attempted first degree
murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of felony
reckless endangerment.  Defendant Finch was convicted of one count of
facilitation of first degree murder, two counts of facilitation of
attempted first degree murder, and two counts of facilitation of
aggravated assault.  The trial court conducted a sentencing hearing
and sentenced Defendants Huey and Gills to effective sentences of 51
years and Defendant Finch to an effective sentence of 49 years.  On
appeal, all three Defendants contend that (1) the evidence was
insufficient to support the jury's verdict as evidenced by all three
Defendants being convicted of facilitation and none of them convicted
of murder, and (2) the sentences imposed by the trial court were
excessive.  In addition, Defendants Huey and Finch allege that the
trial court erred by admitting evidence of previous altercations
between the Defendants and the victims.  Defendant Finch further
contends that the trial court committed plain error by taking his
motion for judgment of acquittal under advisement at the conclusion of
the State's proof.  After a thorough review of the record and
applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hueyfe.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARIO PENDERGRASS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:    

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Ross Alderman
and David Siegel, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Mario
A. Pendergrass.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General; and Kymberly Haas and Charles Carpenter,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, the State of
Tennessee.                      

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Mario Pendergrass, was convicted in a bench trial of
premeditated murder, felony murder, especially aggravated kidnapping,
and especially aggravated robbery.  See Tenn. Code Ann. SS 39-13-202,
-305; -403.  The trial court merged the two first degree murder
convictions and ordered consecutive sentences of life with the
possibility of parole for the murder and 22 years each for the
kidnapping and robbery.  The effective sentence is, therefore, life
plus 44 years.  In this appeal of right, the defendant argues (1) that
the evidence was insufficient; (2) that his kidnapping conviction
violates double jeopardy because detention of the victim was
incidental to the robbery; (3) that the trial court erred by failing
to suppress his statements to police; (4) that the trial court erred
by announcing its verdict immediately after the evidence without time
for deliberation; (5) that the trial court erred by failing to dismiss
due to the state's failure to provide a speedy trial; (6) that the
waiver of jury trial was not voluntarily and intelligently made; (7)
that the kidnapping and robbery sentences are excessive; and (8) that
the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentences.  The
judgments are affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/pendergrassmario.wpd

MARK  SPRINGER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mark
Springer.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Katrin Novak Miller, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Petitioner, Mark Springer, appeals the denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief.  He asserts that his guilty plea was not
knowingly and voluntarily entered due to ineffective assistance of
counsel during the plea process.  After a thorough review of the
record, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/springermark.wpd

MARTIN E. WALKER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Martin E. Walker, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Martin E. Walker, appeals the trial court's dismissal
of his motion to correct or modify his sentence.  The judgment of the
trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/walkermartine.wpd

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