Opinion FlashJuly 15, 2004
Volume 10 Number 135
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
RONNIE GALE MARTIN v. DEBORAH ELAINE KENT MARTIN Court:TCA Attorneys: J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronnie Gale Martin. Julie D. Byrd, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellee, Deborah Elaine Kent Martin. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: Husband filed present divorce action against Wife alleging irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct. Wife answered denying the inappropriate marital conduct and subsequently counter-complained for divorce alleging adultery. Wife amended her counter- complaint to request a legal separation or in the alternative an absolute divorce. The trial court granted Wife an absolute divorce based upon its finding of HusbandÕs inappropriate marital conduct. The trial court awarded Wife alimony by requiring Husband to pay for WifeÕs health insurance for three years and, thereafter, pay Wife $50.00 a month. The trial court ordered a property division and required Husband to pay WifeÕs attorneyÕs fees. We affirm the award of divorce, distribution of marital property and debt, and award of attorneyÕs fees. We affirm the award of alimony in the amount of $50.00 a month but vacate the award of health insurance and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/martinronnieg.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL RAY McGILL Court:TCCA Attorneys: Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Randall J. Kilby, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Michael Ray McGill. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Michael Ray McGill, pled guilty in the Knox County Criminal Court to violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order, a Class E felony. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant received a four-year sentence with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied the defendantÕs request for an alternative sentence and ordered that he serve his sentence in the Department of Correction. The defendant appeals, claiming that the trial court erred by sentencing him to confinement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/mcgillmichaelray.wpd
STEPHEN OTIS NICELY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Kristi M. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (at post-conviction hearing), for the appellant, Stephen Otis Nicely. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leland L. Price, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The petitioner, Stephen Otis Nicely , appeals the Knox County Criminal CourtÕs denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his rape of a child conviction, his aggravated sexual battery conviction, and his resulting effective sentence of twenty-two years. The petitioner claims that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney (1) refused to let him testify at trial; (2) failed to challenge the admissibility of evidence of the victimÕs post-traumatic stress disorder; (3) failed to prepare and investigate adequately for trial; and (4) failed to instruct the petitioner on the range of punishment if convicted. We affirm the trial courtÕs denial of the petition. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/nicelystephenotis.wpd
CHRISTA GAIL PIKE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Donald E. Dawson and Catherine Y. Brockenborough, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christa Gail Pike. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Alice B. Lustre, Assistant Attorney General; and Leland Price and S. Jo Helm, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The petitioner, Christa Gail Pike, appeals as of right from an order denying her motion to reinstate a petition for post-conviction relief. Her counsel had previously appealed an order approving the withdrawal of the post-conviction claim. In this appeal, the petitioner asserts (1) that an inmate under a sentence of death should not be permitted to waive post-conviction review of a capital case; (2) that the hearing conducted by the post-conviction court to determine whether her decision to waive further challenges to her conviction and sentence did not comply with due process requirements; and (3) that the post-conviction relief petition was not properly withdrawn. This court concludes that the petitioner, under a capital sentence, may waive post-conviction review; that the hearing was in compliance with due process standards; and that the evidence supported the findings that the petitioner was competent to withdraw her post-conviction petition and that her decision to do so was voluntarily and knowingly made. The judgment of the post-conviction court allowing the withdrawal of the post-conviction petition is affirmed. The order denying the motion to reinstate the petition is also affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/pikecg.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY J. RAMEY Court:TCCA Attorneys: Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and Terry Jordan and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defenders, Blountville, Tennessee (at trial), and Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, Anthony J. Ramey. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and James F. Goodwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: The defendant, Anthony J. Ramey, appeals his jury conviction of aggravated sexual battery, a lesser- included offense of rape of a child with which he was originally charged. He claims (1) that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to find him guilty of aggravated sexual battery; (2) that the trial court should have granted his motion for judgment of acquittal; (3) that the length of his sentence is excessive; (4) that the jury should have been instructed on the lesser-included offense of child abuse; and (5) that Code section 40-18-110(c), which requires a written request for an instruction on a lesser-included offense, is unconstitutional. Upon review, we are unpersuaded by the defendantÕs arguments and, accordingly, affirm his conviction and sentence. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/rameyanthonyj.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL ROGERS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Julie K. Pillow, Somerville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Michael Rogers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Senior Counsel, Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Tracey A. Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: OGLE First Paragraph: The appellant, Michael Rogers, was found guilty by a jury in the Lauderdale County Circuit Court of possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana with the intent to deliver. He was sentenced to six years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction. Upon review of the record and the partiesÕ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/rogersmic.wpd
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