STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDWIN GOMEZ and JONATHAN S. LONDONO
Glenn R. Funk and Cynthia M.Fort, Nashville, Tennessee, attorneys for
Appellant, Edwin Gomez.
David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, and James Stafford, Houston,
Texas, Attorneys for Appellant, Jonathan S. Londono.
We granted this appeal to determine whether the defendants are
entitled to relief on their claim that admission of testimony about a
co-defendant's oral statement violated their Sixth Amendment right to
confrontation and whether the defendants' sentences were imposed in
violation of their Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury. We conclude
that admission of testimony about a co-defendant's oral statement
violated the defendants' Sixth Amendment right to confrontation
because the defendants had no prior opportunity to cross-examine the
co-defendant. See Crawford v. Washington, __ U.S. __, 124 S. Ct. 1354
(2004). Nevertheless, we conclude that Gomez is not entitled to relief
on this claim because he has failed to preserve it for review and has
failed to establish the prerequisites for obtaining relief via plain
error review. Although Londono preserved the issue for plenary
appellate review, we conclude that he is not entitled to relief
because the constitutional error is harmless beyond a reasonable
doubt. Finally, we conclude that the defendants' sentences were not
imposed in violation of their Sixth Amendment right to jury trial. See
United States v. Booker, __ U.S. __, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005); Blakely v.
Washington, __ U.S. __, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004). Thus, the defendants
are not entitled to relief on this claim. Accordingly, the judgment of
the Court of Criminal Appeals is affirmed.
WITH DISSENTING OPINION
ROBERT BREWSTER, JR. v. FAYETTE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, ET AL.
Gregory C. Morton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert
Richard G. Rosser, Somerville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Fayette
County Board of County Commissioners, John W.Arnett, Floyd Bonner,
Charles D.Brewer, Sr., Joe Burnette, Jr., Odis Cox, Carl Doyle,
WillieL. German, Jr., Ronnie Graves, Ronald R.Harris, David Kelley,
Sylvester Logan, Alonzo Morman, Sr., Calvin Moore, David Morris, J. M.
Sullivan, Jr., Rhea "Skip" Taylor, Albert W. Thomas, Gordon Tomlin,
Miles Wilson, and Jim Voss, Mayor.
The Fayette County Board of Commissioners denied Plaintiff/Appellant's
application for a change in zoning. The Chancery Court for Fayette
County affirmed. We affirm.
CORY D. HOLLAND v. PACKARD'S SERVICE CENTER, LLC.
T. Holland McKinnie, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Cory D.
Todd A. Bricker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Packard's
Service Center, LLC.
Plaintiff claims that his 1990 Nissan with over 200,000 miles was
rendered inoperable due to Defendant's installation of a faulty
alternator. He seeks damages for the diminution in the value of the
vehicle, wages he allegedly lost while the vehicle was inoperable, and
damages under Tennessee's Consumer Protection Act. Plaintiff's claims
under Tennessee's Consumer Protection Act were dismissed upon summary
judgment. During the trial, the court granted competing motions
excluding both parties' expert witnesses. The jury returned a verdict
for the defendant on the remaining claims. Plaintiff appeals. We
In The Matter of: M.J.J.
Joe McLerran, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, H.F.H.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter and Juan G. Villasenor,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee,
Department of Children's Services.
In this termination of parental rights case, the juvenile court
terminated the parental rights of the mother and father, and the
mother appeals. We affirm.
IN RE M.J.M., JR., L.P.M., & C.A.O.M.
Elizabeth Earl McDonald, Sparta, Tennessee, for the appellant, D.M.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Juan G.
Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee, Department of Children's Services.
This appeal involves a mother's efforts to prevent the termination of
her parental rights to her three children while she completes her
treatment for methamphetamine addiction. After the Tennessee
Department of Children's Services took custody of the children, it
devised a permanency plan obligating the mother to address her drug
addiction and to complete other remedial tasks within twelve months.
However, after six months of the mother's failed attempts to restore
order to her life, the Department filed a petition in the White County
Juvenile Court to terminate the mother's parental rights. Between the
filing of the Department's petition and the hearing, the mother made
significant steps toward completing the tasks in the permanency plan.
Despite the mother's progress, the juvenile court terminated her
parental rights on the grounds of abandonment, failure to comply with
the permanency plan, and failure to remedy the conditions that had
required the children's removal. The mother has appealed. We have
determined that the Department has failed to present clear and
convincing evidence of one or more grounds for terminating the
mother's parental rights.
WITH TWO CONCURRING OPINIONS
GEORGE HASKEL STEWART v. DEMPLE L. SEWELL, ET AL.
Hudson Owen Maddux, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and John Mark Stewart,
Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, George Haskel Stewart.
Plaintiff, stepson of Clara Stewart, contends that attorneys-in-fact
of Mrs. Stewart acted in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. 34-6-108(c)(6)
and their confidential relationship with Mrs. Stewart, which deprived
him of inheriting real property formerly owned by his father under the
will of Mrs. Stewart. The attorneys-in-fact (Fiduciaries) are the
daughter and son of Mrs. Stewart. They sold the property while their
mother was mentally and physically incapacitated, living in a nursing
home. The property was sold for substantially less than the appraised
value to a daughter and son-in-law of one of the Fiduciaries and two
of their friends. Mrs. Stewart, who inherited the property from
Plaintiff's father, was the sole owner of the property at the time of
the sale. The Fiduciaries, however, invested the proceeds in
certificates of deposit with themselves identified as co-owners with
Mrs. Stewart with right of survivorship. The Fiduciaries became sole
owners of the entire sales proceeds upon the death of Mrs. Stewart.
During the administration of Mrs. Stewart's estate, the Fiduciaries,
now executors, advised Plaintiff that his devise adeemed by
extinction. Plaintiff brought this action to recover the real
property or the fair market value thereof from the Fiduciaries and/or
the buyers. The trial court dismissed the complaint without making
findings, stating only that it was not sustained by the proof.
Plaintiff appealed. We reverse finding that the Fiduciaries acted in
contravention of the power of attorney and Tenn. Code Ann.
34-6-108(c)(6) and breached their fiduciary duties to Mrs. Stewart,
and award Plaintiff a judgment against the Fiduciaries for the net
proceeds resulting from the sale of the devised property plus
pre-judgment interest from the date of sale.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ELIJAH HAMMOND
Charles M.Corn, District Public Defender; and Richard Hughes,
Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Elijah Hammond.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; William G. Lamberth, II,
Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General;
and Stephen D. Crump, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Following a bench trial before the Bradley County Criminal Court, the
defendant, Elijah Hammond, was found guilty of aggravated child abuse
by use of a deadly weapon and of aggravated assault involving his
minor daughter, ST. The court merged the convictions and sentenced the
defendant to serve 12 years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the
defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his
aggravated child abuse conviction and that he was improperly
classified and sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender. After an
extensive review of the record, the briefs of the parties, and
applicable law, we conclude that the evidence supports his aggravated
child abuse conviction and that, pursuant to an amended judgment of
conviction, the defendant was properly sentenced as a Range I,
standard offender to serve an incarcerative, 12-year sentence.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL LYNN STANTON
Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; and John Halstead and
Robert C. Edwards, Assistant District Public Defenders, for the
appellant, Michael Lynn Stanton.
Paul G.Summers, Attorney General &Reporter; Kathy D.Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; and Phillip Morton and Paula Hamm,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
The defendant, Michael Lynn Stanton, was convicted of first degree
murder, attempted first degree murder, and two counts of aggravated
burglary. The jury returned a verdict of life without parole for the
murder conviction. See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-204. The trial court
imposed sentences of sixty years for the attempted murder conviction
and fifteen years for each of the aggravated burglary convictions. The
trial court ordered consecutive service, but with the aggravated
burglary sentences to be served concurrently to one another, for an
effective sentence of life without parole plus seventy-five years. In
this appeal of right, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred
by (1) permitting evidence of prior bad acts; (2) denying his motion
for judgment of acquittal on the first degree murder charges; (3)
admitting an audiotape recording of a hospital interview with the
victim; (4) limiting impeachment of a state witness; (5) failing to
declare a mistrial after the state attempted to call a bailiff as a
witness; and (6) failing to grant a judgment of acquittal on the
aggravated burglary charge contained in count 5 of the indictment or,
in the alternative, failing to merge the two aggravated burglary
convictions. Because the defendant was entitled to a judgment of
acquittal on the aggravated burglary charge of count 5, that
conviction is reversed and the charge is dismissed. Otherwise, the
judgments of the trial court are affirmed.