Opinion FlashMay 14, 2002
Volume 8 Number 84
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM R. STEVENS Court:TSC Attorneys: Brock Mehler and F. Michie Gibson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William R. Stevens. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Smith, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: The defendant was found guilty by a Davidson County jury of hiring eighteen year-old Corey Milliken to murder his wife, Sandra Jean Stevens, and his mother-in-law, Myrtle Wilson. He was also convicted of especially aggravated robbery. The jury found two aggravating circumstances: (1) The defendant was previously convicted of one or more felonies, other than the present charge, whose statutory elements involve the use of violence to the person, Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13- 204(i)(2); and (2) the defendant employed another to commit the murders for the promise of remuneration, Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-204(i)(4). Finding that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury sentenced the defendant to death for the murder of each victim. On the especially aggravated robbery conviction, the court sentenced the defendant to life without parole as a repeat violent offender with the sentence to run consecutively to both death sentences. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the defendant's convictions and sentences of death. On automatic appeal to this Court, we affirm and hold as follows: (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting the testimony of defendant's crime scene expert to his analysis of the evidence at the crime scene; (2) the trial court's exclusion of the testimony of Corey Milliken's foster father regarding Milliken's prior bad acts constituted harmless error; (3) the trial court applied hearsay and other evidentiary rulings in an unbiased and even-handed manner; and (4) the sentence of death is not disproportionate to the sentence imposed in similar cases. For all other issues not specifically discussed in this opinion, we agree with and affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/stevensw_opn.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM R. STEVENS Court:TSC BIRCH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/stevensw_dis.wpd
DONALD R. MOORE v. L and D TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC., and JIM FARMER/SECOND INJURY FUND Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Norbert J. Slovis, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald R. Moore. Debra L. Fulton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, L and D Transportation Services, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. E. Blaine Sprouse, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, the Second Injury Fund Judge: BYERS First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court found the plaintiff had suffered a compensable back injury and awarded 35 percent permanent partial disability. The plaintiff has three prior awards of workers' compensation benefits beginning in 1975 with an award of 7 percent for an injury to his left hand, which translates into 2.625 percent to the body as a whole, and, for back injuries, an award in 1980 of 25 percent to the body as a whole and in 1998, an award of 59.718 percent to the body as a whole from the State of Kentucky. The trial court apportioned 12.657 percent to the defendant and the balance to the Second Injury Fund. The employer questions whether the evidence supports a finding that the plaintiff suffered a work- related injury resulting in 35 percent disability. The plaintiff appeals and argues he is permanently and totally disabled. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/moored.wpd
HELEN L. SIZEMORE v. QUEBECOR PRINTING, INC. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Steven H. Trent and Timothy B. McConnell, of Johnson City, Tennessee, for Appellant, Quebecor Printing, Inc. Phillip L. Boyd, of Rogersville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Helen L. Sizemore. Judge: THAYER First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann.S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The trial court awarded the employee 39 percent permanent partial disability to the body as a whole. The employer appealed insisting the employee's condition was not work-related. Judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/sizemorehl.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROGER EDWARD EDWARDS Court:TCCA Attorneys: David H. Stanifer, Tazewell, Tennessee (at trial); Douglas A. Trant, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Johnny Von Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, Roger Edward Edwards. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Gill Robert Geldreich, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; Jared R. Effler, William T. Longmire, and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: Defendant appeals the trial court's denial of defendant's request to withdraw his guilty plea and motion for a new trial. On appeal, defendant has two assertions: (1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel and (2) the State committed a Brady violation. Concluding that defendant received effective assistance of counsel and did not demonstrate a Brady violation, we affirm the trial court's judgment. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/edwardsre.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD RICHARD HARMON, JR., and CHARLES LEONARD GOLDEN Court:TCCA Attorneys: William Louis Ricker, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald Richard Harmon, Jr. David L. Leonard, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Leonard Golden. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; and Cecil Mills, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendants, Donald Richard Harmon, Jr., and Charles Leonard Golden were convicted of theft over $1,000.00 but less than $10,000.00. See Tenn. Code Ann. SS 39-14-103, 105(3).The trial court imposed Range I, two-year sentences for each defendant. Each has appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and alleging as error the limitation of cross-examination of a state witness. The defendant Harmon argues that he should have been granted an alternative sentence. The cause is remanded as to the sentencing of the defendant Harmon; otherwise, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/harmongolden.wpd
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