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TODAY'S OPINIONS: Wednesday, September 07, 2005
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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
01 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - TN Court of Appeals
14 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS
CORRECTED LINK

Court: TSC-Rules

CORRECTED LINK
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/2005/certlist90605.pdf

RHYNUIA L. BARNES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles I. Malone, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rhynuia L. Barnes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bernard F. McEvoy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, alleging various instances of ineffective assistance of counsel as well as a violation of his rights under the Confrontation Clause. Upon review of the claim under the Confrontation Clause, we conclude that counsel was not ineffective and that the statement did not prejudice the petitioner. We further conclude that the evidence does not preponderate against the post-conviction courtās finding that counsel rendered effective assistance of counsel. Therefore, we affirm the post-conviction courtās denial of relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/barnesr9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JARED C. BROWN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jared C. Brown.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Michael Rohling, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Jared C. Brown, pled guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to possession of over ten pounds of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, and he received a sentence of two years. As a condition of his plea, the appellant reserved a certified question of law regarding the validity of a search warrant. Upon review of the record and the partiesā briefs, we conclude that the question is not dispositive of the appellantās case and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/brownj9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SERGIO F. CANO

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William A. Lane, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sergio F. Cano.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The defendant, Sergio F. Cano, was convicted of four counts of aggravated sexual battery. See Tenn. Code Ann. ¤ 39-13-504(a)(4). The trial court ordered concurrent, Range I sentences of eleven years. In this appeal as of right, the defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/canos9705.pdf


RONALD L. DAVIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronald L. Davis, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Ronald L. Davis, appeals the trial courtās denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtās denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. We find the Stateās motion has merit. Accordingly, the motion is granted and the appeal is affirmed pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/davisr9705.pdf


JEFFREY WAYNE HAITHCOTE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Andy Myrick Jr., Attorney, Fayetteville, Tennessee for the appellant, Jeffrey Wayne Haithcote.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The petitioner, Jeffrey Wayne Haithcote, appeals the trial court's denial of post-conviction relief. The single issue presented for review is whether the petitioner was denied the effective assistance of counsel. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/haithcotej9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. BILL VAUGHN HALTON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William B. (Jake) Lockert, Ashland City, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bill Vaughn Halton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Robert Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Bill Vaughn Halton, pled guilty to three counts of sexual battery and to one count of sexual assault. The Defendant filed a petition to suspend fees and court costs. After a hearing, the trial court waived the Defendantās counseling and probation fees, but concluded that it had no authority to waive the Defendantās court costs. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it refused to waive court costs. After thoroughly reviewing the record and the applicable authorities, we remand this case to the trial court to consider whether or not the Defendantās court costs should be waived.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/haltonb9705.pdf


SHANNON WADE JACOBS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William J. Eledge, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Shannon Wade Jacobs.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Patrick Butler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Shannon Wade Jacobs, filed a petition for post-conviction relief from his 2000 jury conviction of second degree murder in the Giles County Circuit Court, for which he received a sentence of 23 years in the Department of Correction. After the post-conviction court appointed counsel for the petitioner and conducted an evidentiary hearing, the court dismissed the petition. The petitioner appeals. Upon our review, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/jacobss9705.pdf


JAMES EARL KENNER v. RICKY J. BELL, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James Earl Kenner, Only, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; and Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, James Earl Kenner, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court of Davidson County. Defendant was convicted in 1994 of five counts of aggravated burglary, five counts of Class D felony theft, and one count of unlawful possession of weapon. His petition sought relief on the basis that all of his sentences were imposed in violation of his right to a jury trial as set forth in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). The trial court summarily dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing on the grounds that the judgments were not void on their face, and Blakely v. Washington was not to be retroactively applied. Petitioner timely appealed to this court and the State has filed a motion for this Court to affirm the dismissal pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Finding merit in the motion, we grant same and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/kennerj9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROOSEVELT MORRIS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Garland Erguden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roosevelt Morris.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General;William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Lee Coffee, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Roosevelt Morris, was convicted by a jury of two counts of attempted firstdegree premeditated murder. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to two consecutive terms of twenty-five years in the Department of Correction for aneffective sentence of fifty years. In this direct appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and contends that his sentence is excessive. We affirm the Defendantāsconvictions. We modify the Defendantās effective sentence to forty-seven years

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/morrisr9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT LEE SMARTT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Lee Smartt, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Robert Lee Smartt, appeals the trial courtās denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis which asserted that newly discovered evidence existed that may have resulted in a different judgment at trial. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtās denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. We find the Stateās motion has merit. Accordingly, the motion is granted and the appeal is affirmed pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/smarttr9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMY P. SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy P. Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Kim Menke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Jeremy P. Smith, pled guilty in the Dickson County Circuit Court to arson and received a sentence of five years. The trial court granted the appellant community corrections. Subsequently, the trial court revoked the appellantās community corrections and ordered the appellant to serve one year in confinement before again being released into community corrections. On appeal, the appellant contests the revocation. Upon review of the record and the partiesā briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/smithj9705.pdf


GERALD D. STOVER v. KEVIN MYERS, Warden

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gerald D. Stover, South Central Correctional Facility, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; and David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

Following his plea of guilty to aggravated burglary, the petitioner was sentenced to twelve years. 1 After serving a period of time, the length of which is unclear from the record, he was paroled and, on February 19, 1999, was convicted in Alabama for trafficking cocaine. Apparently, a parole violation warrant was issued on January 25, 1999, for his Tennessee sentence, as to which he was declared on the same day to be delinquent. Presumably because the petitioner was incarcerated in Alabama, the warrant was not served on him until March 1, 2004. His parole was revoked on April 1, 2004, following a hearing that same day. He filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus on September 29, 2004, seeking relief because, by his analysis, his sentence had expired and the revocation hearing had not been timely. The trial court dismissed the petition and, following our review, we affirm the dismissal.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/stoverg9705.pdf


JOE L. UTLEY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joe L. Utley, pro se.

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

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Petitioner, Joe L. Utley, appeals the trial courtās denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis which asserted that newly discovered evidence existed that may have resulted in a different judgment at trial. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtās denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. We find the Stateās motion has merit. Accordingly, the motion is granted and the appeal is affirmed pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/utleyj9705.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRYL EUGENE WATTS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mike J. Urquhart, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Darryl Eugene Watts.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bernard F. McEvoy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant, Darryl Eugene Watts, pled guilty to rape, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and exposing a minor to pornography. He was sentenced to an effective eightyear sentence in confinement. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/wattsd9705.pdf


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