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TODAY'S OPINIONS: Monday, September 26, 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
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - 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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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

In Re: MEI, DOB: 12/23/97, JASON ALLEN INGLE and KERRIE MICHELLE INGLE v. ELIZABETH FAYE INGLE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Catherine M. White, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellants.

Larry G. Roddy, Sale Creek, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court refused to terminate the motherās parental rights to MEI. On appeal, we vacate the Judgment and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/2005/inglej92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRANDON RAYMOND BARTEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David Allen Doyle, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Brandon Raymond Bartee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Sallie Wade Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

On appeal, the defendant challenges the length and consecutive nature of his sentences on three counts of sexual battery. Upon review, we conclude that: (1) the enhanced sentences were justified based upon the defendantās prior criminal behavior; (2) the mitigating factors, even if applied, would not have lessened the enhanced sentence; and (3) the defendantās consecutive sentence was proper based upon the predatory nature of his conduct and the residual psychological effects incurred by the minor victim. Therefore, we affirm the sentences imposed by the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/barteeb92605.pdf


JOHN R. BENSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John Robert Benson, Pro Se, Clifton, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Beldsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the Stateās motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the trial courtās order summarily dismissing the petition for the writ of habeas corpus. In that petition, the petitioner alleges that the trial court erred by failing to appoint counsel and that the trial court erred by charging the jury with reckless endangerment as a lesser-included offense of aggravated assault. 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 Stateās motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/bensonj92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN THOMAS BINGHAM

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Thomas Bingham.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles and Ann Filer, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, John Thomas Bingham, was convicted by jury of possession of contraband (marijuana) in a penal institution, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant to five years six months for this conviction. The trial court ordered this sentence to be served consecutively to a previously imposed sentence. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/binghamj92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RODNEY BUFORD

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennet (on appeal), Assistant Public Defender; and Allegra Montgomery (at trial), Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Rodney Buford.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and James Todd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Rodney Buford, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of especially aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to consecutive sentences of twenty-five years for especially aggravated burglary and six years for aggravated burglary for an effective thirty-one year sentence. On appeal, Buford argues: (1) that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a bill of particulars; and (2) that his sentences are excessive, and the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences. After review of the record, we affirm the judgments of conviction and resulting sentences.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/bufordr92605.pdf


JAY HOMER CHAMBERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jay Homer Chambers, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General;William P. Phillips, District Attorney General; and Sarah Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The pro se petitioner, Jay Homer Chambers, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition forpost-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred by dismissing his petition without appointing counsel or holding an evidentiary hearing. Following our review, we reversethe summary dismissal of the petition and remand for reconsideration of the petitionerās claim that appellate counsel was ineffective.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/chambersj92605.pdf


RICHARD A. CHILDRESS v. RICKY BELL, WARDEN
MEMORANDUM OPINION

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:





Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Richard A. Childress, appeals from the trial courtās dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtās dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Stateās motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

MEMORANDUM OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/childressr92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. DENNY FINNEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Francis W. Pryor, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee (on appeal) and David O. McGovern, Jasper, Tennessee (at trial) for the Appellant, Denny Finney.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Denny Finney, pled guilty to misdemeanor simple possession of a schedule VI substance, and the State agreed to dismiss the other counts against him. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days suspended, except for six months to serve in jail. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After thoroughly reviewing the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the Defendantās sentence.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/finneyd92605.pdf


MICHAEL SHANE HOLT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lonnie Maze, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Shane Holt.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Michael Shane Holt, pled guilty to three counts of money laundering and was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to three concurrent terms of eight years. He subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his guilty pleas were constitutionally infirm and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in conjunction with his pleas. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied relief. This appeal followed. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/holtm92605.pdf


JAMES EDWARD MITCHELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
ORDER DENYING PETITION TO REHEAR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:





Judge: Per Curiam

The appellant has filed a petition to rehear. The petition essentially repeats the same arguments made in the appellantās brief. After due consideration, the petition is hereby denied.

ORDER DENYING PETITION TO REHEAR
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/mitchellj92605.pdf


WAYNE E. MITCHELL v. RICKY BELL, WARDEN
MEMORANDUM OPINION

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:





Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Wayne E. Mitchell, appeals from the trial courtās dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial courtās dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Stateās motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

MEMORANDUM OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/mitchellw92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDWARD M. PATTERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal); and Kyle F. Mothershead, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Edward M. Patterson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Jennifer S. Tackett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Edward M. Patterson, pled nolo contendere to possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal trespass and received respective sentences of sixty and thirty days, both suspended. As a condition of his plea, the defendant reserved a certified question of law as to whether there was adequate reasonable suspicion to support a seizure of his person. Because we find the certified question is not dispositive of the charges, we dismiss the appeal.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/pattersone92605.pdf


SCOTTY DEWAYNE ROBINSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Scotty Dewayne Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Zane Scarlett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Scotty Dewayne Robinson, pleaded guilty to theft of an amount less than $10,000. Pursuant to his plea agreement, the petitioner received a three-year incarcerative sentence as a Range I offender to be served consecutively to the federal sentence he was currently serving. The petitioner filed an untimely appeal, and this court accordingly dismissed the appeal. State v. Scotty Dewayne Robinson, No. E2001-02342-CCA-R3-CD, slip op. at 2 (Tenn. Crim. App., Knoxville, May 20, 2002). The petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that as a result, his guilty plea was not knowingly, intelligently, or voluntarily made. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the petitioner brings the instant appeal challenging that denial. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/robinsons92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL N. SMITH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Cynthia M. Fort (on appeal), and Glen R. Funk (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael N. Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; C. Michael Layne, District Attorney General; and Kenneth J. Shelton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The trial court found the defendant, Michael N. Smith, guilty of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized as a result of an investigatory stop. Following our review, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/smithm92605.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTOWAN ANTONIO WILLIAMS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffry S. Grimes, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Antowan Antonio Williams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Blind Akrawi, 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: WITT

The defendant, Antowan Antonio Williams, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated robbery. After conducting a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the defendant to serve a 2.7 year probationary sentence as a mitigated offender but denied the defendantās request for judicial diversion. The defendant now brings the instant appeal challenging the trial courtās denial of judicial diversion. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/williamsa92605.pdf


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