Opinion Flash

October 1, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 172

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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
04 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


NATASHA W. CORNETT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Susanna L. Thomas, Newport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Natasha W.
Cornett.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant
Attorney General; and Garrett Christiansen, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                    

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Natasha W. Cornett, appeals the trial court's denial
of post-conviction relief.  The issues presented for our review are
(1) whether the petitioner properly waived her right to a jury trial
at sentencing; (2) whether her guilty pleas to three counts of first
degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder, two counts
of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated
kidnapping, and one count of theft over $1,000 were knowingly and
voluntarily entered; and (3) whether the petitioner was denied the
effective assistance of counsel.  The judgment is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JONATHAN THORNTON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Susanna L. Thomas, Newport, Tennessee (on appeal), and Richard Talley,
Dandridge, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Jonathan Thornton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; and Cecil Mills, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Jonathan Thornton, was convicted of one count of theft
of property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $10,000 and one
count of theft of property valued at less than $500.  The trial court
imposed concurrent sentences of two years and 11 months and 29 days,
respectively.  In this appeal of right, the defendant asserts (1) that
the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) that the
trial court erred in its instructions to the jury, and (3) that the
trial court erred by denying an alternative sentence.  Because the
trial court erred by denying an alternative sentence, the defendant's
sentence is modified to a sentence of split confinement with nine
months to be served in confinement and the balance to be served on
probation.

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

CLAYTON EUGENE TURNER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark Harris, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clayton Eugene
Turner.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General;
and Barry Staubus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Clayton Eugene Turner, brings this appeal from the
trial court's denial of post- conviction relief.  The Defendant was
convicted by a jury of rape of a child, incest, and assault.  He
argues two issues in this appeal: (1) that he was denied the effective
assistance of counsel at trial, and (2) that the trial court erred by
denying the Defendant's post-conviction request for the appointment of
experts in the fields of DNA analysis and the transmission of
infectious diseases.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES WOODMANCY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

William A. Kennedy, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant,
James Woodmancy.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant
Attorney General; and Teresa Murray-Smith and Jim Goodwin, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, James Woodmancy, was convicted of third offense
indecent exposure.  The trial court imposed a sentence of two years. 
See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-511.  In this appeal as of right, the
defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and asserts that
the trial court erred by ruling that evidence of his prior conviction
for attempted aggravated sexual battery could be introduced by the
state to impeach his testimony.  Because the trial court should have
ruled the prior offense inadmissible, the conviction is reversed and
the cause is remanded for a new trial.

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

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