Opinion Flash

April 10, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 065

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
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
06 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


ESTELLA AKINS v. DWAINE PETERS, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Jimmy W. Bilbo, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Estella
Akins.

Clifford E. Wilson, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Dwaine
Peters and Carolyn Peters.                          

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Estella Akins ("Plaintiff") sued Dwaine Peters and Carolyn Peters
("Defendants") for the wrongful death of her husband, Leon Akins
("Decedent").  At the time of his death, Decedent was feeding hay to
Defendants' cattle using Defendants' tractor.  One of the tractor's
rear tires rolled onto the Decedent, killing him.  The Trial Court
granted Defendants' motion for directed verdict at the close of
Plaintiff's proof.  Plaintiff appeals.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/akinse.wpd


ANTIONE HARBISON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

George Travis Hawkins, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antione
Harbison.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Gill Robert Geldreich,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Antione Harbison, appeals the denial of
post-conviction relief from the Davidson County Criminal Court.  The
petitioner pled guilty on August 13, 1999, to aggravated rape and
attempted first degree murder.  For the aggravated rape charge, the
petitioner waived his sentence range, and the court sentenced him as a
violent offender to thirty years with 100% of the sentence to be
served.  For the attempted first degree murder charge, the court
sentenced the petitioner as a Range 1, standard offender and imposed a
concurrent fifteen-year sentence.  The petitioner appeals his denial
of post-conviction relief, claiming that (1) his "defense counsel at
the time of the plea was ineffective in failing to investigate
[petitioner's] mental health and his ability to understand the nature
of the charges against him, the guilty plea he entered, and the
sentence he was to serve" and (2) the post-conviction court "erred in
the post-conviction proceeding by denying [petitioner] an ex parte
mental evaluation of the [petitioner's] competency by a private
expert."

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN CHARLES JOHNSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Wendy Tucker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Charles
Johnson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, John Charles Johnson, was convicted by a Davidson County
jury of second degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and
facilitation of aggravated kidnapping.  The trial court sentenced him
to consecutive sentences of twenty-five years for second degree murder
and five years for facilitation of aggravated kidnapping, to be served
concurrently with a twenty year sentence for especially aggravated
robbery.  On appeal, our Court affirmed the conviction and the lengths
of each sentence, but reversed the order of consecutive sentencing and
remanded to the trial court for a new hearing solely on the issue of
consecutive or concurrent sentencing.  See State v. John Charles
Johnson, No. M2000-00529-CCA-R3-CD, 2000 WL 208512, Davidson County
(Tenn. Crim. App., Nashville, March 1, 2001) perm to appeal denied
(Tenn. 2001).  On remand, the trial court resentenced Defendant to
consecutive sentences of twenty five years for second degree murder
and five years for facilitation of aggravated kidnapping.  In this
appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred by again ordering
the sentences to be served consecutively.  After a thorough review of
the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVEN KELLY MEZO

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Gary M. Williams, Hendersonville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Randy P.
Lucas, Gallatin, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Steven Kelly
Mezo.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; and Sallie Wade Brown, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                          

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Steven Kelly Mezo, who was charged with two counts of
the aggravated sexual battery of his daughter, A.M., was convicted of
one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count of assault.  The
trial court ordered concurrent sentences of eight years and 11 months
and 29 days, respectively.  In this appeal of right, the defendant
asserts that (1) he was denied his constitutional right of assistance
of counsel of his choosing; (2) he was denied the effective assistance
of counsel with regard to a pre-trial settlement offer; (3) the
evidence was insufficient; and (4) the trial court erred by admitting
hearsay statements.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES LEE PARTON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:    

Edward C. Miller, District Public Defender; and Susanne Bales,
Assistant Public Defender, Dandridge, Tennessee, for the appellant,
James Lee Parton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District
Attorney General; and Charles E. Atchley, Jr., Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                      

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant pled guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a
Class A felony, and two counts of vehicular assault, a Class D felony.
 Defendant was ordered to serve consecutive sentences of twenty-four
years for aggravated vehicular homicide, and three years for each
count of vehicular assault, for an effective sentence of thirty years.
 Defendant challenges his sentence, raising the following three issues
on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred by refusing to allow
mitigation for Defendant's severe, debilitating alcoholism; (2)
whether the trial court erred by imposing the near- maximum sentence
on each conviction; and (3) whether the trial court erred by ordering
all three sentences to be served consecutively.  After a thorough
review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FARON DOUGLAS PIERCE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Faron
Douglas Pierce.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Randall Eugene Nichols, District
Attorney General; and Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

Defendant appeals his conviction for robbery.  Defendant contends that
(1) the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction and (2)
that the trial court erred in admitting testimony regarding prior
inconsistent statements.  We affirm the trial court judgment.

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


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALFRED FREDDIE WILCOX

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Steven R. Finney, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

A. Scott Pratt, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alfred
Freddie Wilcox.                          

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The state appeals from the Washington County Criminal Court's granting
of the defendant's motion to suppress evidence that was obtained
pursuant to a traffic stop.  The state contends that contrary to the
trial court's finding, the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion
to justify stopping the defendant.  We agree and reverse the trial
court's ruling.

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

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