Opinion Flash

October 2, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 173

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
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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi . If you are a TBA member, but do not have a username and password, you can receive one online at http://www.tba.org/signup.mgi. Here's how you can obtain full-text version.
Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES L. CARRETHERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:   

Monte D. Watkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James L.
Carrethers.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Tucker,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

James L. Carrethers appeals his second-degree murder conviction.  He
was found guilty of that offense by a Davidson County Jury.  He is
presently serving an eighteen-year sentence in the Department of
Correction for the crime.  In this direct appeal, he claims that the
evidence does not sufficiently support the conviction and that the
lower court erred in denying a motion to suppress his inculpatory,
pretrial statements.  Because we are unconvinced of error in either
respect, we affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LONNIE KEITH DISHNER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Bob McD. Green, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lonnie
Keith Dishner.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney
General; and Jack Marecic, Assistant District Attorney General; for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant was convicted at a jury trial of the offense of
felonious reckless endangerment.  He was sentenced to a term of one
year imprisonment in the Greene County workhouse.  In this appeal the
appellant claims that the indictment is defective, that the evidence
is insufficient to support the verdict, and that the prosecution
improperly commented in closing argument that the appellant should
have produced a certain tape recording.  After a review of the record
we are of the opinion that the indictment and evidence are
constitutionally sufficient to support the verdict.  We are also of
the opinion that the appellant has waived any error concerning closing
argument by failing to include the transcript of the arguments in the
record.  Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RALPH TAYLOR HOPSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal only); Ralph Taylor
Hopson, pro se, (at trial); and Martha J. Yoakum, District Public
Defender; and Charles A. Herman, Assistant Public Defender, Jacksboro,
Tennessee (at trial as advisory counsel) for the appellant, Ralph
Taylor Hopson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlan,
Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney
General; Jared Effler, Assistant District Attorney General; John
Arnold Steakley, Assistant District Attorney General; and Todd
Longmire, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Ralph Taylor Hopson, was indicted by the Grand Jury of
Claiborne County for one count of second degree murder and one count
of attempted second degree murder.  Prior to trial, Defendant stated
his desire to waive his right to representation by counsel and
requested to proceed pro se.  Four days later, the trial court
conducted an inquiry into Defendant's ability to represent himself and
granted his request.  Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted
of the offenses charged.  The trial court subsequently sentenced
Defendant to twenty-five years for the second degree murder conviction
and ten years for the attempt conviction, to be served concurrently. 
In this appeal, Defendant challenges both convictions on the ground
that the waiver of his right to counsel was not knowingly and
intelligently made.  In addition, Defendant contends that his sentence
for the second degree murder conviction is excessive.  After a review
of the record and applicable law, we conclude that Defendant did not
knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel and that the
trial court erred in determining Defendant's sentences.  Accordingly,
we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand this matter for
a new trial.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL GEORGE MEDINA

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:    

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael
George Medina.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P.
Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and David E. Durham,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.                      

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Michael George Medina, appeals his conviction by a
Smith County jury finding him guilty of first-degree murder.  On
appeal, Medina challenges (1) the sufficiency of the convicting
evidence, as it relates to the element of premeditation, and (2) the
trial court's ruling which he asserts interfered with the defense's
order of proof, thus, "forcing a premature election on defendant's
right to testify."  After review, we find no error.  Accordingly, the
judgment is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER DUWAN ROBERTSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:   

Larry B. Hoover, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher
Duwan Robertson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; and Roger D. Moore and Grady Alan Moore, Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Christopher Duwan Robertson, appeals as of right from
his conviction by a jury in the Davidson County Criminal Court of
first degree, premeditated murder.  The defendant received  a sentence
of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.  He contends that
(1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) the
trial court erroneously failed to instruct the jury to determine
whether witnesses Karen Mullins and Michael Simpson were accomplices
as a matter of fact, and (3) the trial court should have granted a
mistrial after the victim's mother testified that the defendant had
committed another murder.  We affirm the trial court's judgment of
conviction.

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

ANDRADE BRUCE WILLIAMS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrade
Bruce Williams, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District
Attorney General; and Kymberly Haas, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

Petitioner appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief.  He was originally convicted of felony murder and attempted
especially aggravated robbery and received an effective life sentence.
 He now contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his
jury trial.  We conclude otherwise and affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN THE TENNESSEE BAR ASSOCIATION!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a member of the Tennessee Bar Association in order to access the full text of the opinions or enjoy the many other features of TBALink.

To join the TBA go to: http://www.tba.org/join_bar.mgi

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free! Sign up for text or HTML version.

Visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!

But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba.org/op-flash.mgi


HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
© Copyright 2002 Tennessee Bar Association