Opinion FlashOctober 25, 2004
Volume 10 Number 205
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
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Court:TSC - Rules http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_1025.wpd
JAMES A. BLEDSOE AND NANNIE BLEDSOE v. RANDALL BUTTRY AND GRANGE INSURANCE COMPANY Court:TCA Attorneys: Phillip L. Boyd, Boyd & Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the Appellant James A. Bledsoe and Nannie Bledsoe. Thomas J. Kilday, Milligan & Coleman, Greenville, Tennessee, for Appellee Randall Buttry. Judge: PEOPLES First Paragraph: James A. Bledsoe and wife, Nannie, sued Randall Buttry and Grange Insurance Company (uninsured motorist carrier) for damages sustained in a motor vehicle crash. The Bledsoe's claim the jury verdict was insufficient and that the trial court erred in certain evidentiary rulings. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/bledsoejamesa.wpd
DOLORES SORRELLS CRAWLEY v. THE ESTATE OF JAMES F. CRAWLEY, M.D., ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Fred T. Hanzelik, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dolores Sorrells Crawley. Marvin Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellees, the Estate of James F. Crawley, M.D., and the Trust of James F. Crawley, M.D. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Dolores Sorrells Crawley ("Wife") and James F. Crawley, M.D. ("Husband") entered into a Property Settlement Agreement ("the Agreement") in their divorce in 1972. Pursuant to the Agreement, Husband was to pay Wife alimony monthly subject to certain conditions as set forth in the Agreement. Husband paid Wife alimony monthly until two months prior to his death. Wife sued the Estate of James F. Crawley, M.D. and the Trust of James F. Crawley, M.D. (collectively "Husband's Estate") claiming, among other things, that Husband's obligation to pay alimony survived Husband's death. Husband's Estate filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether Husband's obligation to pay alimony survived Husband's death. The Trial Court granted the motion for partial summary judgment. After a final order later was entered disposing of all other issues, Wife appealed to this Court claiming the Trial Court erred in granting partial summary judgment. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/crawleydoloress.wpd
CHARLES MCRAE, ET AL. v. C. L. HAGAMAN, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Jon G. Roach and Hanson R. Tipton, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, W. Howard Henegar. W. F. Shumate, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees, Charles McRae and Joanna McRae. Judge: INMAN First Paragraph: After a real estate sale was completed, the purchasers discovered that a portion of the property was not included in the description although a proposed deed was furnished to them five (5) days before the closing. They had previously been forwarded a copy of a plat of the property, but they failed to compare the deed description with the plat. Suit was filed against the seller and his broker for rescission or damages for negligent misrepresentation. The seller was dismissed on motion for summary judgment from which no appeal was taken. A judgment for damages was entered against the broker who, inter alia, pleaded that the negligence of the purchasers-plaintiffs should be compared to any negligence on his part. The issue of comparative negligence was not brought to the Chancellor's attention, and thus not compared to the broker's negligence. We find substantial evidence of negligence on the part of the plaintiffs which, as a legal cause of their damages, should be compared to the negligence of the broker. The judgment is accordingly vacated and the case is remanded for this purpose. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mcraecharles.wpd
CHARLES SMITH, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF ETHEL ROGERS SMITH, v. JERRY SMITH Court:TCA Attorneys: Douglas R. Beier, Morristown, Tennessee, for Appellant. Christopher P. Capps, Morristown, Tennessee, for Appellee. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: The Trial Court held that the confidential relationship between defendant and deceased voids the transaction because deceased did not have independent advice. On appeal, we reverse. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/smithchar.wpd
KELLY DARLENE STINSON v. WARREN KENT STINSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Douglas R. Beier, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Warren Kent Stinson. Edward R. Sempkowski, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Kelly Darlene Stinson. Judge: LEE First Paragraph: In this divorce case Husband contends that the trial court erred in awarding Wife spousal support in the amount of $8,500.00 per month for a period of 15 years, in its division of marital assets consisting of dental equipment and contributions to a retirement plan, in assessing the value of certain personal property distributed between the parties, and in awarding attorney's fees to Wife. We affirm as modified the trial court's award of spousal support and assessment of the value of the parties' marital property. We otherwise affirm the judgment of the trial court as rendered and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/stinsonkellyd.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHERIDAN ARMSTRONG Court:TCCA Attorneys: Garland Erguden (on appeal), Phyllis Aluko (at trial), and Karen Massey (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Sheridan Armstrong. Paul G. Summers. Attorney General & Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; and Linda Kirklen and James Wax, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Sheridan Armstrong, was convicted of felony murder and aggravated child abuse. The trial court ordered concurrent sentences of life with the possibility of parole and twenty years, respectively. In this appeal of right, the defendant contends that the trial court erred by failing to suppress his statement to police and argues that the evidence supporting each conviction was insufficient. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/armstronsheridan.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKY JOE AWATT Court:TCCA Attorneys: Michael D. Rasnake, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricky Joe Awatt. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena W. Yarbrough, Assistant District Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Daniel J. Runde and Lawrence R. Nickell, Jr., Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: OGLE First Paragraph: The appellant was convicted in the Madison County Circuit Court of the first degree premeditated murder of Junecus Bolden. The appellant received a sentence of life imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant raises issues regarding the admission of certain testimony and the propriety of the State's rebuttal closing argument. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/awattrickyj.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY ALLEN BLAYLOCK Court:TCCA Attorneys: Matthew M. Maddox, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Allen Blaylock. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney General; and Eleanor Cahill, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant appeals his conviction for Class A misdemeanor assault and the refusal of the trial court to impose an alternative sentence of judicial diversion or full probation. After review, we reverse the conviction for the trial court's failure to instruct on self-defense. In the event of further appellate review, we have considered all issues raised on appeal. The cause is remanded for a new trial. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/blaylocklarrya.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY WADE DAVIS WITH CONCURRING OPINION Court:TCCA Attorneys: Bruce Poston, Knoxville, Tennessee; Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Timothy Wade Davis. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leland Price, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant, Timothy Wade Davis, was convicted by a jury of four counts of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Sentences of twenty-two years were imposed for each child rape conviction and ten years for aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Three of the child rape convictions and the especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor were ordered to run consecutively for an effective sentence of seventy-six years at 100%. The defendant appeals his convictions and sentencing and alleges that the trial court erred in the following respects: (1) in failing to suppress the search warrant and the defendant's statements; (2) by denying the defendant the right to represent himself; (3) by refusing to instruct the jury on insanity; (4) in finding the defendant competent to stand trial; and (5) in regard to sentencing. After review of the issues presented and the record as a whole, we conclude that no reversible error was present and affirm the convictions and sentencing. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/davistimothywade_opn.wpd CONCURRING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/davistimothywade_con.wpd
TONY HOPKINS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Joe H. Walker, District Public Defender, and Walter B. Johnson, II, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Tony Hopkins. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and D. Roger Delp, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The petitioner, Tony Hopkins, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, contending that, following his guilty plea, he was wrongfully sentenced to a fifteen-year sentence as a Range I offender on a Class B felony. After careful review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hopkinstony.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES JOHNSON DISSENTING OPINION Court:TCCA Attorneys: Michael E. Scholl (at trial and on appeal) and Gerald Skahan (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Johnson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Jerry Harris and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, James Johnson, originally charged with first degree murder, was convicted of second degree murder. The trial court imposed a sentence of twenty-three years. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred by denying his motion for a preliminary hearing; (3) the trial court erred by permitting evidence of a California police chase involving the defendant; (4) the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury; (5) the cumulative effect of the errors at trial require reversal; and (6) the sentence is excessive. Because the trial court misapplied certain of the enhancement factors, the sentence is modified to twenty-one years. Otherwise, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/johnsonjames_opn.wpd DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/johnsonjames_dis.wpd
ANTHONY RANDAUL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Jim W. Horner, District Public Defender, and H. Tod Taylor, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Anthony Randaul. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The petitioner, Anthony Randaul, appeals from the Dyer County Circuit Court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions for kidnapping, robbery, and sale of cocaine weighing less than one-half gram and resulting sentence of nine years. He contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/randaulanthony.wpd
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