Opinion FlashJune 17, 2004
Volume 10 Number 116
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
ARTHUR M. BOHANAN v. CITY OF KNOXVILLE Court:TSC Attorneys: John T. Batson, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, City of Knoxville. J. Anthony Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Arthur M. Bohanan. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: The employee, a retired police officer, filed suit seeking workers' compensation benefits. He alleged that his job duties caused him to develop hypertension resulting in permanent partial disability. The employee relies on the statutory presumption of causation for law enforcement officers found in Tennessee Code Annotated section 7-51-201(a)(1), and concedes that if the employer has rebutted the presumption, there is insufficient evidence establishing a causal relationship between his hypertension and his employment. Following a thorough review of the record and applicable legal principles, we conclude that the City of Knoxville has rebutted the statutory presumption of causation, and we therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/bohananam.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRACY LORENZO GOODWIN, alias LAWANDA CARTER Court:TSC Attorneys: A. Christian Lanier, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tracy Lorenzo Goodwin. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: This is an appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County which convicted the defendant, Tracy Goodwin, of two counts of reckless aggravated assault, one count of felony reckless endangerment, and one count of criminally negligent homicide. The issues before us are whether the evidence is sufficient to uphold the convictions, whether the trial court erred in failing to sever the aggravated assault charges from the reckless endangerment and criminally negligent homicide charges, whether the separate convictions for felony reckless endangerment and criminally negligent homicide violate the constitutional protection against double jeopardy, and whether the sentences were excessive. We find that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions for reckless aggravated assault because as defined by the statute, reckless aggravated assault requires proof of bodily injury, and no such proof was offered at trial. We find sufficient evidence to support the remaining convictions of felony reckless endangerment and criminally negligent homicide. We further find, with respect to the remaining convictions, that the trial court did not err in failing to sever the trials, the separate convictions do not violate double jeopardy protections, and the sentencing was not excessive. Therefore, the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed in part and affirmed in part. We remand the case for a new trial on charges of assault as lesser- included offenses of aggravated assault. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/goodwintl.wpd
IN RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME CHARLES GRANNIS, PETITIONER Court:TCA Attorneys: Charles Grannis, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se. Judge: COTTRELL First Paragraph: The trial court denied a Petition for Name Change. Among the allegations the Petitioner raises on appeal are that the master or special judge who denied his Petition was biased against him and that she was not authorized to act as a judge. We do not find sufficient evidence of bias in the record to justify reversal on that ground. We do find that the record is devoid of proper documentation of the basis of the master's authority to sit as a substitute judge. However, we need not determine whether reversal is required because of that deficiency, because we find that the trial court failed to articulate and the record fails to demonstrate any legally sufficient reason for denying the Petition. Therefore, the denial and dismissal of the Petition must be vacated. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/grannisc.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICHARD DEWAYNE JORDAN Court:TCCA Attorneys: Larry G. Roddy, Sale Creek, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Dewayne Jordan. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: A Rhea County jury convicted the defendant, Richard Dewayne Jordan, of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of incest, for which he received an effective twelve-year sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues: (1) the trial court improperly allowed the state to amend the indictment to charge a different date of commission of the offenses; and (2) the indictment failed to inform him of the charges with sufficient particularity. We remand for correction of a clerical error in the judgment but otherwise affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/jordanrichard.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOY KENNEDY Court:TCCA Attorneys: H. Thomas Parsons and Eric J. Burch, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joy Kennedy. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven M. Blount, for the appellant, State of Tennessee. Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, Joy Kennedy, was found guilty by a jury of vehicular homicide, two counts of reckless aggravated assault, and reckless driving. However, the trial court granted the Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal, concluding that she had established the defense of insanity by clear and convincing evidence. The State appealed on the ground that the trial court erred by granting the Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal. The sole issue on appeal is whether a reasonable juror could have concluded that the defense of insanity had not been established by clear and convincing evidence. We hold that no reasonable juror could have failed to find that the Defendant was legally insane at the time of the crimes. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/kennedyj.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROGER M. STAPLES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Thomas C. Faris, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roger M. Staples. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Richard H. Dunavant, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The appellant, Roger Murel Staples, was convicted by a jury of possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the appellant to nine years as a Range I, Standard Offender. The trial court denied a motion for new trial. In this direct appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, his sentence, statements made by the prosecutor during closing argument, and the trial court's decision to admit evidence of activity at the appellant's residence. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/staplesroger.wpd
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