Opinion Flash

October 16, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 189

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
02 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

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


IN THE MATTER OF M.T.
A Child Under Eighteen Years of Age

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Mark Johnson, Trenton, for Appellant

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Pamela A. Hayden-Wood,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This is a suit for the termination of parental rights.  The child came
into state custody in June 1999 and a trial took place on July 25,
2002.  The trial court entered an order terminating parental rights of
the mother and the mother appealed to this court.  For the reasons
stated below, we affirm the order of the trial court.

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

JERRY RAY, Executor of the Estate of James Earl Ray v. STATE OF
TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Andrew N. Hall, Wartburg, TN; Barry A. Bachrach, Worcester, MA, for
Appellant

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Dianne Stamey Dycus,
Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case arises from a dispute involving the exercise of custody over
certain property by the Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk, William E.
Key.  The lower court granted Appellees' motion to dismiss based upon
Appellant's failure to prosecute.  We affirm the lower court's
dismissal of the action, though on different grounds.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEBORAH KAY THOMAS ATKINS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Victoria L. Dibonaventura, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Deborah Kay Thomas Atkins.

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

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant entered pleas of guilt to possession of a Schedule II
controlled substance with the intent to deliver or sell, possession of
a Schedule III controlled substance with the intent to deliver or
sell, and possession of marijuana.  The trial court imposed concurrent
Range I sentences of eight years, two years, and 11 months and 29
days, respectively.  The defendant was required to serve one year in
jail followed by seven years in community corrections.  Later, the
community corrections sentence was revoked and an eight-year sentence
imposed.  An appeal resulted in a remand by this court with directions
to credit both jail time and the length of service within the program.
 In this appeal, the defendant argues that the trial judge erred in
the imposition of the resentence.  The judgment is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEFFERY P. BECKHAM

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender; and Richard W. DeBerry,
Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Jeffery P.
Beckham.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney
General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

A Hardin County jury convicted the defendant, Jeffery P. Beckham, of
aggravated assault.  The trial court sentenced him to five years
incarceration as a Range I standard offender.  On appeal, the
defendant contends (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the
conviction; (2) his sentence is excessive; and (3) the trial court
erred in denying probation.  We affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD FRANKS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          
 
Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender; and Richard W. DeBerry,
Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Donald Franks.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney
General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

A Hardin County jury convicted the defendant, Donald Franks, of rape
of a child.  The trial court  sentenced the defendant to thirty-seven
years as a Range II multiple offender.  On appeal, the defendant
argues: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction;
(2) the trial court erred in instructing the jury on flight; and (3)
the trial court imposed an excessive sentence.  Based upon our review
of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

JIMMY RAY ROBINSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Dean P. Dedmon, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmy Ray
Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General;  and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The petitioner appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of
relief.  He contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel. 
After careful review, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of
relief.

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

ROGER L. SMITH v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Roger L. Smith, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney
General; and Eric D. Christiansen, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Roger L. Smith, pled guilty to three counts of child
rape in 1998.  He subsequently filed for post-conviction relief and
for DNA testing.  The trial court summarily dismissed the post-
conviction petition on the grounds that it is time-barred.  The trial
court further summarily denied the Defendant's request for DNA
testing.  The Defendant now appeals.  We affirm the judgment of the
trial court dismissing the Defendant's claim for post-conviction
relief, but reverse and remand for further proceedings the trial
court's dismissal of the Defendant's request for DNA testing.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARWIN TREECE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender, and Rickey W. Griggs,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Darwin Treece.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General; and Jerry W. Norwood, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant pled guilty to one count of delivering a Schedule II
controlled substance (Hydromorphone).  He was sentenced to 50 months
to be served with Corrections Management Corporation, a
community-based alternative, after service of 180 days in the county
jail.  The defendant appealed the sentence, contending that it was
excessive.  We hold that the trial court properly rejected mitigating
factor one because drug dealing inherently involves the risk of bodily
injury and that the defendant's prior criminal behavior justified the
sentence imposed.  Finding no error, the judgment is affirmed.

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

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