Opinion Flash

October 26, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 206

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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
13 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


ANTONIO M.  BATTS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Antonio M. Batts, pro se, Clifton, Tennessee.

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

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the
judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20,
Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The appellant has appealed
the trial court's order summarily dismissing the appellant's petition
for the writ of habeas corpus.  In that petition the appellant alleges
that the indictment which forms the basis of his conviction for
aggravated robbery is void because it fails to allege sufficient facts
to vest jurisdiction in the convicting court.  Upon a review of the
record in this case we are persuaded that the trial court was correct
in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case
meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the
Court of Criminal Appeals.  Accordingly, the State's motion is granted
and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TALLIS S. BONDS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles E. Walker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tallis S.
Bonds.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Richard H. Dunavant,
Assistant Attorney General; Derek Keith Smith, District Attorney
General Pro Tem; and Mary Katharine White, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Tallis S. Bonds, pled guilty in the Williamson County
Circuit Court to driving on a suspended license, second offense. 
Following a hearing, the trial court imposed a five hundred dollar
($500) fine and sentenced the appellant to ten months confinement in
the county jail to be served at seventy-five percent (75%).  On
appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court erred by denying
probation and by failing to consider as mitigating that the
appellant's conduct neither caused nor threatened serious bodily
injury.  Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm
the judgment of the trial court.

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

PETE WAYNE DUNCAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE PAROLE BOARD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Pete Duncan, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the
judgment of the trial court by opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of
the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The Petitioner is appealing the trial
court's denial of habeas corpus relief.  A review of the record
reveals that the Petitioner is not entitled to habeas corpus relief. 
Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the
trial court is affirmed.

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

JEREMY WAYNE HUMPHREY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Jeremy Wayne Humphrey, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Jeremy Wayne Humphrey, appeals the trial court's
dismissal of his petition for post conviction relief or in the
alternative for habeas corpus relief.  The State has filed a motion
requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief
pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The
Petitioner filed his petition outside the statute of limitations for
post-conviction purposes.  Further, the petitioner does not state any
cognizable habeas corpus claims.  Accordingly, the State's motion is
granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC TODD JACKSON 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Ken Goble,
Clarksville, Tennessee (at trial) for the appellant, Eric Todd
Jackson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Lance A. Baker, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Petitioner has appealed from the trial court's dismissal of his
petition requesting coram nobis and habeas corpus relief.  The State
has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal
Appeals of Tennessee, for this Court to affirm the judgment of the
trial court by memorandum opinion.  We grant the motion and affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LOUIS CLYDE JACKSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Mary Ellen Coleman,
Assistant Public Defender (on appeal); and Stanley R. Barnett,
Knoxville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Louis Clyde
Jackson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Patricia A. Cristil, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Louis Clyde Jackson, appeals the trial court's denial
of his Motion to Correct and/or Amend Judgment in which he asked the
trial court to apply pretrial jail credit to his sentences.  We hold
that this case is not properly before us because no appeal as of right
exists from the trial court's dismissal of the motion, and we dismiss
the appeal.

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

MARSHALL D. JOHNSON v. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Marshall D. Johnson, Appellant, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough,
Assistant Attorney General; T, Michel Bottoms, District Attorney
General; and Christine M. Lapps, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Marshall D. Johnson appeals from the Wayne County Circuit Court's
denial of his petition for the writ of habeas corpus, in which he
alleges that he is being illegally restrained because the indictment
which forms the basis of his three convictions of aggravated robbery
is void, and thereby, the convicting court was without subject matter
jurisdiction to impose convictions for the offenses.  Because we, like
the lower court, disagree, we affirm the lower court's dismissal of
the petition.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC MATTHEWS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Brett B. Stein, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Matthews.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Paul Hagerman and Michael McCusker, Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Eric Matthews, was charged by the Shelby County Grand
Jury in two separate indictments with especially aggravated
kidnapping, a Class A felony, aggravated kidnapping, a Class B felony,
and two counts of aggravated rape, a Class B felony, based on events
involving the victim, V.T.,  that occurred on August 14, 1999, in the
Whitehaven area of Memphis.  Following his 2003 trial,  he was
acquitted of the rape counts and convicted in both the especially
aggravated and aggravated kidnapping counts of the lesser-included
charge of kidnapping, a Class C felony.  Applying four enhancement and
no mitigating factors, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a
Range I, standard offender to concurrent terms of five years in the
county workhouse.  In a timely appeal to this court, the defendant
challenges both the sufficiency of the evidence and the sentencing
imposed.  Based on our review of the record and applicable law, we
conclude that the evidence is sufficient to sustain the convictions
but that the trial court erred by failing to merge the kidnapping
convictions into a single judgment of conviction.  We further conclude
that three of the four enhancement factors were applied in error under
the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Blakely v.
Washington, 542 U.S. ___, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004), which was released
after the sentencing was imposed in this case.  Accordingly, we affirm
the convictions, but order that they be merged into a single
conviction and modify the sentence imposed from five to four years, to
be served in the county workhouse.

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

CHARLES MULLINS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles Mullins, Pro Se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Mike
Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Charles Mullins, proceeding pro se, appeals the Maury
County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his motion to correct an
illegal sentence.  On appeal, Mullins argues that his effective
thirty-two-year sentence for two counts of aggravated sexual battery
is illegal because (1)  the judgment forms provide for an improper
release eligibility date and (2) the trial court failed to award
pretrial jail credits on the judgment forms.  Finding merit to the
Appellant's contentions, we remand for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion.

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

WILLIAM H. STITTS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

William Herbert Stitts, pro se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth Bingham
Marney, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the
judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20,
Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  The appellant has appealed
the trial court's order summarily dismissing the appellant's petition
for the writ of habeas corpus.  In that petition the appellant alleges
that the indictment which forms the basis of his conviction for
especially aggravated robbery is void because it fails to allege
sufficient facts to vest jurisdiction in the convicting court.  Upon a
review of the record in this case we are persuaded that the trial
court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition
and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule
20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  Accordingly, the State's
motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

KENNETH B. WHITE, PRO SE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Kenneth B. White, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Kenneth B. White, appeals the trial court's denial of
his petition for habeas corpus relief.  The State has filed a motion
requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief
pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  After a
review of the record, this court determines that petitioner's claims
must fail.  Petitioner has failed to present any evidence that his
sentence has expired or that his conviction for vehicular homicide by
intoxication is void.  Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and
the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEVE A. WHITE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

James S. Haywood, Jr., Brownsville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Steve A. White.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Markham,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and James Lammey, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Steve A. White, appeals the trial court's order amending
Defendant's judgment to grant restitution to the victim in his case. 
Because the trial court did not have jurisdiction to amend Defendant's
judgment, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand for
reinstatement of the judgment of conviction as originally entered.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES WILLIAMS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Gene G. Scott, Jr., Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Charles Williams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Helena W. Yarborough,
Assistant Attorney General; Greeley Wells, District Attorney General;
and James F. Goodwin, Assistant District Attorney General,  for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Charles Williams, was convicted by a jury for
possession of over .5 grams of cocaine with intent to sell and
conspiracy to possess over .5 grams of cocaine with intent to sell. 
After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the appellant as
a Range II Offender to eighteen years on the possession with intent to
sell conviction and eight years on the conspiracy conviction, to be
served concurrently for an effective sentence of eighteen years.  The
appellant was also fined a total of $20,000 for the two convictions. 
After the denial of a motion for new trial, the appellant presents the
following issues on appeal: (1)  whether the evidence was sufficient
to support the jury verdict; and (2) whether the convictions for both
possession of cocaine and conspiracy to possess cocaine violate the
appellant's due process rights per State v. Anthony, 817 S.W.2d 299
(Tenn. 1991).  Because the evidence is sufficient to support the jury
verdict and we have determined that the appellant's due process rights
were not violated, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

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