Opinion Flash

October 4, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 175

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
09 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. DAMON L. BAUGH

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

F. Shayne Brasfield, Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Damon L.
Baugh.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper,
Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney
General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Williamson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant for one count
of possession of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine for resale, a Class B
felony, and for one count of simple possession of marijuana, a Class A
misdemeanor.  The Defendant filed a motion to suppress the cocaine and
marijuana obtained during his arrest, alleging that the search of his
car was unconstitutional.  Following a hearing, the trial court denied
the motion to suppress.  A Williamson County jury convicted the
Defendant of the charged offenses.  The Defendant now appeals, arguing
that the trial court erred in failing to suppress the cocaine and
marijuana obtained pursuant to his arrest.  Concluding that the search
of the Defendant's car was constitutional, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WANDA HINSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Jerry Scott and John L. Kea, Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the
appellant, Wanda Hinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General;  Ron Davis, District Attorney General; and
Jeffrey L. Long, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

A Lewis County jury convicted the defendant, Wanda Hinson, of
criminally negligent homicide, for which she received a one and a half
year sentence, and especially aggravated burglary, for which she
received a twenty-two year sentence.  The trial court ordered the
defendant to serve these sentences concurrently.   The defendant now
appeals her convictions, alleging (1) that the trial court erred by
admitting a hearsay statement, (2) that the trial court erred by
failing to grant a mistrial when the state improperly impeached the
defendant's only alibi witness, (3) that the evidence is insufficient
to support her convictions, and (4) that the trial court erred by
failing to grant the defendant a new trial based on the state's
failure to provide certain exculpatory evidence.  For the reasons
outlined below, we find that none of these allegations merit relief
and accordingly affirm the decision of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WANDA HINSON

Court:TCCA

WELLES DISSENTING

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALAN PARRIGAN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Michael Robbins, Memphis, Tennessee, on appeal and Beverly White,
Assistant Public Defender,  Pulaski, Tennessee, at trial and on
appeal, for appellant, Alan Parrigan.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B.  Marney,
Assistant Attorney General;  Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General;
and J. Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for
appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Alan Parrigan, was convicted of the offense of
aggravated sexual battery.  He received a sentence of ten years
incarceration to be served consecutively to a sentence he was serving
at the time of the commission of the instant offense.  On appeal he
raises three errors for our consideration.  First, the appellant
maintains that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury
on the lesser included offenses of child abuse and neglect.  Second,
he alleges that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict. 
Finally, the appellant contends consecutive sentencing is unwarranted
in his case.  After a thorough review of the record, we find that
although the failure to instruct the jury on the lesser-included
offenses of child abuse and neglect was error, the error is harmless
beyond a reasonable doubt.  In addition, we find that the evidence is
sufficient to support the verdict and that consecutive sentencing is
fully supported by the record.  Accordingly, the judgment of the trial
court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERWIN SCOTT PATTERSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:  

Ardena J. Garth, Public Defender (on appeal), Donna Robinson,
Assistant Public Defender (on appeal), and Myrlene Marsa and Christian
J. Coder, Assistant Public Defenders (at trial), for the appellant,
Erwin Scott Patterson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; and Thomas E. Kimball, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Erwin Scott Patterson, entered pleas of guilt to three
counts of vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, and violation of
the driver's license law.  A charge of driving under the influence of
an intoxicant was dismissed.  The trial court imposed a sentence of
four years for one count of vehicular assault, two years for the
remaining vehicular assault convictions, two years for reckless
endangerment, and 30 days for violation of the driver's license law. 
An application for alternative sentencing was denied.  In this appeal,
the defendant contends that the four-year sentence for vehicular
assault was excessive and that the trial court erred by denying an
alternative sentence.  The judgments are affirmed as modified.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARTHIAS S. PHILLIPS and LANARD KEITH ARMSTRONG

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:   

Sam E. Wallace, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee for appellant, Marthias S.
Phillips, and Dianne Turner, Nashville, Tennessee for appellant,
Lanard Keith Armstrong.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; Bret Gunn and Katrin Miller, Assistant District Attorneys
General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.                       

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

A Davidson County jury found the defendants, Marthias S. Phillips and
Lanard Keith Armstrong,  guilty of facilitation of first-degree
murder, criminal attempt to facilitate especially aggravated
kidnapping, and criminal attempt to facilitate especially aggravated
robbery.  The trial court sentenced both defendants to serve 4-year
sentences for their criminal attempt to facilitate especially
aggravated kidnapping convictions, 4-year sentences for their criminal
attempt to facilitate especially aggravated robbery convictions, and
20-year sentences for their facilitation of first-degree murder
convictions. The trial court sentenced both defendants as Range I
offenders and ordered them to serve their 4-year sentences for
criminal attempt to facilitate especially aggravated kidnapping
concurrently to their 20-year sentences for facilitation of
first-degree murder.  The court then ordered them to serve their
4-year sentences for criminal attempt to facilitate especially
aggravated robbery consecutively to their concurrent 20-year
sentences, resulting in an effective sentence of 24 years. The
defendants now bring the instant appeal.  Defendant Armstrong and
Defendant Phillips both challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to
support their convictions, the propriety of the trial court's jury
instructions, and the effectiveness of their trial counsel.  Defendant
Armstrong additionally challenges the propriety of his sentence. 
After thoroughly reviewing the record and applicable law, we find that
none of these allegations merit relief.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER ROBERT SMITH

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Jay Norman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher
Robert Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District
Attorney General; and John Zimmerman and Tammy Meade, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                      

Judge: MCGEE OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Christopher Robert Smith, was convicted in the Criminal
Court of Davidson County of conspiracy to possess with the intent to
manufacture, deliver or sell 300 grams or more of any substance
containing cocaine, a Class A felony.  The trial court sentenced the
appellant to twenty- four years incarceration in the Tennessee
Department of Correction and imposed a fifty thousand dollar ($50,000)
fine.  On appeal, the appellant complains that the evidence was
insufficient to support his conviction and that his sentence was
excessive.  Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we
affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

TERRY W. SMITH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Wade Bobo, Ashland City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry W. Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Dan Mitchum Alsobrooks, District Attorney
General; and Robert S. Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief concerning
petitioner's conviction for aggravated kidnapping.  The sole issue in
this appeal is whether the petitioner was deprived of effective
assistance of counsel when trial counsel, during the trial of the
case, "opened the door" to the state's introduction of evidence of
defendant's prior arrests.  We agree with the post-conviction court's
finding that petitioner failed to establish prejudice; thus, we affirm
the judgment of the post- conviction court.

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

ROBERT SPOONER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

William L. Eledge, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Robert
Spooner.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General;  T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney
General; and J. Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.                        

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Robert Spooner appeals from the Wayne County Circuit Court's denial of
his petition for the writ of habeas corpus.  The petition was filed in
an effort to avoid Spooner's extradition to the state of Alabama,
where he is charged with having violated his probation on a conviction
of receiving stolen property.  Because the lower court properly denied
the petition, we affirm.

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

CHARLES WILLIAM YOUNG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

William J. Eledge, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles
William Young.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Mike McCown, District Attorney General;
and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.                      

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Charles WilliamYoung, was convicted in a jury trial of
the offense of theft over $500.  He was sentenced to one year and six
months and ordered to serve 60 days of incarceration, to pay a $500
fine and restitution of $800.  The appellant's probation was revoked
for the first time in 1997, but he was again placed on probation for
18 months.  Two years later his probation was again revoked and the
appellant was ordered to serve his original sentence with 94 days of
jail credit.  He subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction
relief, or in the alternative, a writ of habeas corpus and alleged
inter alia that a number of alleged constitutional errors occurred at
both probation revocation hearings.  The trial court summarily
dismissed the petition.

We hold that the Post-Conviction Procedures Act, Tennessee Code
Annotated Section 40-30- 201, et seq., does not provide a cause of
action for a collateral attack on a probation revocation proceeding. 
Moreover, the appellant's allegations, taken as true, would at most
render the results of the probation revocation proceedings voidable,
not void, and therefore the writ of habeas corpus is not available to
the appellant.  The judgment of the trial court is therefore affirmed.

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

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