Opinion Flash

August 30, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 152

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):
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
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


ELIZABETH ELLEN (SORRELL) RAMSEY v. LARRY AUBREY HENSON

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Larry Aubrey Henson, appellant, pro se.

Susan A. Shubert, for the appellee Elizabeth Ellen (Sorrell) Ramsey.

Judge: LILLARD

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from a juvenile court proceeding regarding child
support and visitation.  The minor child was born in 1996; the mother
and father never married each other.  Mother filed a petition to
establish paternity, and a blood test established the father's
paternity of the child.  On June 20, 1996, a consent order was entered
providing that the mother would have full custody of the minor child, 
and that the parties would work out a child support agreement between
themselves, as well as a visitation schedule.  The consent order
stated that if either party moved more than 90 miles from the
permanent residence of the other party, both parties would share
equally in transportation costs.  After much litigation, including two
prior appeals, the trial court entered an order which included inter
alia the denial of several motions by the defendant father, an
increase in the father's child support obligation, an awarding of
attorney's fees to the plaintiff mother, and the setting aside of any
future visitation by the father with the minor child until the father
obtains substantial psychological counseling and demonstrates that the
resumption of visitation is in the child's best interest.  The father
again appeals.  We affirm, finding ample support for the order of the
trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JESS R. AMONETTE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Erik R. Herbert, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jess R.
Amonette.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney
General; and Mark K. Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Jess R. Amonette appeals from the Williamson County Circuit Court's
revocation of his probationary sentence.  He claims that the lower
court exceeded its discretion in revoking probation and ordering him
to serve his sentence in confinement.  In case number II-100-10, we
notice as a matter of plain error that the sentence expired prior to
initiation of revocation proceedings.  We therefore reverse the
revocation order and dismiss revocation proceedings in that case.  In
case number II-11-100, the record does not reflect the lower court's
findings from which we can determine the basis for its ruling, and we
therefore remand for further consideration.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CALVIN LAMONT HANNAH

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

David Allen Doyle, District Public Defender, and Thomas J. Smith,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Calvin Lamont Hannah.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District
Attorney General; and Dee D. Gay, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant appeals the revocation of his probation.  He argues that
the trial court erred in ordering him to serve his original sentence. 
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. HERMAN MAJORS, JR.

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Love, Cartwright & Love, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the
Appellant, Herman Majors, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; John
Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and C. Daniel Brollier,
Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.                      

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Herman Majors, Jr.,was indicted for attempted
aggravated robbery based upon a theory of criminal responsibility for
the conduct of another.  Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-11-402(2).  A Montgomery
County jury found Majors guilty of the indicted offense, resulting in
a twelve-year sentence as a persistent offender. In this appeal as of
right, Majors argues that the trial court erred by failing to instruct
the jury as to the lesser offense of facilitation of attempted
aggravated robbery, Tennessee Code Annotated S 39-11-403 (1997). 
After a review of the record, we conclude that the trial court erred
in not instructing the jury as to facilitation. Majors' conviction is
reversed, and the case is remanded for a new trial.

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

STEVEN MURPHY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

F. Michie Gibson, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven
Murphy.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant
Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and
Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
of Tennessee.                         

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

In 1996, the petitioner, Steven Murphy, was convicted of first degree
murder, especially aggravated robbery, and theft over $1,000.  He
received a sentence of life imprisonment for first degree murder, 25
years for especially aggravated robbery and four years for the theft. 
The trial court ordered the petitioner to serve his sentences
consecutively, resulting in an effective sentence of life plus 29
years.  Following a direct appeal to this Court the petitioner's
convictions were affirmed, but his sentence for aggravated robbery was
modified to 21 years.  State v. Adrian Wilkerson and Steven Murphy,
No. 01C01-9610-CR-00419 1998 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 891, at *45 (Tenn.
Crim. App., at Nashville Aug. 26, 1998).  The Tennessee Supreme Court
denied permission to appeal on September 18, 2000.  The petitioner
filed a post-conviction petition on October 30, 2000, which alleged
that his trial attorneys were ineffective thereby depriving him of his
rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 
Following appointment of counsel and a hearing, the trial judge
entered an order denying post-conviction relief  on March 12, 2001,
and the instant appeal followed.  After a thorough review of the
record we find no error in the trial court's decision.  The judgment
of the lower court is therefore affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN W. THOMPKINS, II

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:   

Rayburn McGowan, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, John W.
Thompkins, II.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney
General; and Mary Katharine Harvey, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, evading arrest,
vandalism, reckless endangerment, driving on a revoked license (second
offense), and unlawful possession of a weapon.  The trial court found
him to be a dangerous offender deserving of consecutive sentencing and
imposed an effective sentence of seven years.  On appeal, the
defendant contends that consecutive sentencing was inappropriate and
excessive in his case.  We affirm the trial court's judgments.

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

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