Opinion Flash

January 05, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 002

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):
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
01 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. DARYL KEITH HOLTON
WITH DISSENTING OPINION AND APPENDIX

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

John E. Appman, Jamestown, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal); Donna
Hargrove, A. Jackson Dearing, III, and Larry F. Wallace, Jr.,
Assistant Public Defenders, Fayetteville, Tennessee (at trial), for
the appellant, Daryl Keith Holton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Mark E. Davidson, Assistant Attorney General; W.
Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard,
Robert G. Crigler, and Ann L. Filer, Assistant District Attorneys
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Daryl Keith Holton, was convicted of four counts of
first degree premeditated murder.  The jury imposed a sentence of
death on each conviction, finding that the prosecution had proven
beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of one or more aggravating
circumstances  and that the aggravating circumstances so proven
outweighed any and all mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable
doubt.  The defendant appealed, challenging both his convictions and
sentences.  After fully considering the defendant's claims, the Court
of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and the sentences.  The
case was then docketed in this Court, briefs were filed, and after
considering the briefs and the record, this Court entered an Order
requesting that the parties address certain issues at oral argument,
including the  sufficiency of the convicting evidence, the
constitutionality of the statutory insanity defense, the
constitutionality of Tennessee's capital sentencing scheme in light of
Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) and Ring v. Arizona, 536
U.S. 584 (2002), and the propriety of the death sentences in light of
the mandatory review required by Tennessee Code Annotated section
39-13-206(c)(A)-(D) (1997).  After carefully and fully considering the
issues in light of the record and the relevant authority, we affirm
the defendant's convictions and sentences.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/holtondarylk_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/holtondarylk_dis.wpd

APPENDIX
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/holtondarylk_apx.wpd

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_0105.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE  v.  VERNICA SHABREE WARD
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; Richard Tennent, Assistant
Public Defender; C. Dawn Deaner, Assistant Public Defender; and
Jeffrey Devasher, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant,
Vernica S. Ward.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District
Attorney General; Katrin Miller, Assistant District Attorney General;
and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Vernica Shabree Ward, appeals her conviction for second
degree murder following a jury trial in the Davidson County Criminal
Court.  The victim was her daughter Stephanie Ward.  Defendant was
sentenced to twenty-five years in confinement.  In this appeal as of
right, Defendant presents eight issues for our review: (1) whether the
trial court erred by allowing expert testimony by two witnesses based
in part upon the deaths of two other children in addition to the
victim in this case; (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion
by allowing an expert to testify as to Defendant's prior attempts to
seek medical treatment for Stephanie and that Defendant had other
living children; (3) whether the trial court erred by ruling that
testimony regarding the statistical improbability of three unexplained
infant deaths in the custody of the same caregiver would be admissible
by the State as rebuttal proof if Defendant raised the issue of
accident or mistake; (4) whether the trial court erred by allowing Dr.
Case to testify despite the fact that defense counsel was unable to
meet with Dr. Case prior to trial; (5) whether the testimony of the
two medical experts at trial was cumulative; (6) whether the trial
court properly denied Defendant's request for a mistrial based on the
State's closing argument; (7) whether the evidence was sufficient to
convict Defendant of second degree murder; and (8) whether the trial
court properly sentenced Defendant to twenty- five years imprisonment.
 After a careful review of the record, we reverse the judgment of the
trial court and remand for a new trial.

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

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wardvernicas_con.wpd

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