Opinion Flash

May 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.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
 
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
02 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
02 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 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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