Opinion FlashSeptember 18, 2003
Volume 9 Number 170
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PRESTON CARTER WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TSC Attorneys: James A. Simmons and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Preston Carter. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: The appeal in this capital case arises from the resentencing of Preston Carter, who originally pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death in 1995 for the felony murders of Thomas and Tensia Jackson. On appeal, this Court reversed the death sentences because the jury had used an outdated verdict form containing the incorrect burden of proof. See State v. Carter, 988 S.W.2d 145 (Tenn. 1999). Following a resentencing hearing, the jury again imposed a sentence of death on both counts, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. On automatic appeal under Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(a)(1), we designated the following issues for oral argument: (1) whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting photographs of the victims' bodies; (2) whether the trial court committed reversible error in excluding certain mitigating evidence; (3) whether the admission of victim impact evidence violated the constitutional provisions against ex post facto laws; and (4) all other issues mandated by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(c)(1). Having carefully reviewed these issues, we hold that none warrants reversal of the sentences of death. Accordingly, we affirm the Court of Criminal Appeals. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carterpreston_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/carterpreston_dis.wpd
CROWDER CONSTRUCTION GROUP, LLC v. DWIGHT HOLLAND, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Alan Mark Turk, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dwight Holland and Betty Klein Holland. Gary S. Rubenstein, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Crowder Construction Group, LLC. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: The trial court determined that a construction contract between the parties had been modified orally and awarded judgment to plaintiff contractor. We affirm in part and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/crowderconstructiongp.wpd
SHERYLE A. HYDAS v. HERMAN LEE HYDAS Court:TCA Attorneys: Grace E. Daniell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellant. Don W. Poole, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: In this divorce action the Trial Court valued marital and non-marital property and divided marital property. Husband appealed the Trial Court's decision on these issues. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hydass.wpd
STEVE W. ROGERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCA Attorneys: Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve W. Rogers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: Plaintiff appeals dismissal by the Tennessee Claims Commission of his claim against the State of Tennessee resulting from an alleged assault and battery by a Tennessee State Trooper in the State Capital Building. The Claims Commission dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and we affirm the action of the Claims Commission. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/rogerssteve.wpd
FRED D. SLAUGHTER, and wife, JUDY SLAUGHTER v. LAURA LEIGH SLAUGHTER and DANIEL BRUCE CROWE Court:TCA Attorneys: Keith D. Stewart, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Daniel Bruce Crowe. Don Arnold, Johnson City, Tennessee, for Appellees, Fred Slaughter and wife, Judy Slaughter. Todd Covert, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Laura Leigh Slaughter. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: The Trial Court gave Judgments for plaintiffs against defendants and cross-defendant Slaughter was given Judgments for compensatory and punitive damages against co-defendant Crowe and her deed to Crowe was voided. On appeal, we affirm all Judgments except for the Judgment for punitive damages which is remanded for trial on damages. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/slaughterf.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ELMORE LEWIS BAKER, JR. ALIAS LEW BAKER Court:TCCA Attorneys: Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal), and Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Elmore Lewis Baker, Jr., alias Lew Baker. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Mike Gallegos, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Elmore Lewis Baker, Jr., pled guilty in the Blount County Circuit Court to eight offenses: counts one through four, delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class E felony; count five, possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor; count six, possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver, a Class E felony; and counts seven and eight, delivery of drug paraphernalia, a Class E felony. The defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to one year on counts one through three, two years on count four, eleven months and twenty-nine days on count five, two years on count six, one year on count seven, and two years on count eight. The plea agreement stipulated the sentences were to run concurrently, and the trial court determined that the sentences should be served as ninety days in jail and the remainder on probation. The defendant appeals, claiming that his sentences are excessive and that he should have received full probation. We affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/bakerelmorelewis.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM A. PAYNE, JR. WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TCCA Attorneys: Nancy C. Meyer, Assistant Public Defender, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Payne, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney General; and Janice G. Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: The Defendant entered a plea of guilty to the charges of second degree murder and aggravated arson, reserving a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(i). The trial court sentenced him to fifteen years of incarceration on both counts and ordered that the sentences run concurrently. In this appeal, the Defendant presents the following reserved question of law: "Was [the] Defendant in custody when he gave an incriminating statement such that said statement should be suppressed for violation of [the] Defendant's constitutional rights under [the] Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments?" We hold that the Defendant was in custody at the time he made the statements and, thus, that he was entitled to Miranda warnings. As such, the incriminating statements that he made prior to receiving Miranda warnings must be suppressed. Accordingly, we reverse the Defendant's conviction. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/paynewajr_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/paynewajr_dis.wpd
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