Tennessee Sees Biggest Drop in Juvenile Detention

The rate of juvenile detention has fallen to its lowest national level in 35 years, with Tennessee experiencing the biggest drop, a new analysis of federal statistics shows. “Reducing Youth Incarceration in the U.S.,” released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows a significant decline in confinement of people younger than 21. The findings also reflect a trend toward treating youthful infractions less harshly than in the past. Local reaction included comments by Knox County juvenile officials, who attributed the drop to a unified approach by law enforcement, the courts and community groups. And in an editorial, the Elizabethton Star praised the news but warned that sustainable programs to help young people and families need to be in place over the course of their lives.

Today's Opinions

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
08 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders









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TN Supreme Court

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TN Supreme Court


TN Court of Appeals

REGIONS BANK v. THOMAS D. THOMAS, ET AL.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Richard E. Charlton, Memphis, Tennessee, and Kirk L. Clements, Goodlettsville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Thomas D. Thomas, Helen L. Thomas and The Thomas Family Living Trust.

David R. Evans, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Stephen Leffler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Regions Bank.

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff Bank accelerated a loan secured by an aircraft after Borrower failed to maintain insurance on the aircraft as required by the loan documents. Bank filed an action to collect amounts due; took possession of and disposed of the aircraft; and sought a judgment for the deficiency. The trial court entered judgment in favor of Bank. Defendant Loan Guarantors appeal. We affirm in part; reverse in part, finding that Bank did not provide sufficient notice as required by Tennessee Code Annotated § 47-9-611; and remand for further proceedings.


TN Court of Criminal Appeals

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEREMY BAILEY

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Rob McKinney, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy Bailey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Michael Jay Fahey, II, Assistant

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Jeremy Bailey, pled nolo contendere in the Hickman County Circuit Court to two counts of statutory rape, a Class E felony. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the appellant agreed to be sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender and received consecutive four-year sentences with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the appellant serve the sentences as eleven months, twenty-nine days in jail “day for day” prior to his being released on supervised probation. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred by refusing to grant his requests for judicial diversion and full probation and by ordering that he serve his sentence of confinement day for day. The State concedes that the trial court erred by imposing day-for-day confinement. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the trial court’s denial of judicial diversion and full probation but remand for correction of the judgments to reflect that the appellant is entitled to earn good conduct credits while serving eleven months and twenty-nine days of his felony sentences in jail.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRYS ANDREW HENSLEY

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

John E. Eldridge, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brys Andrew Hensley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Jeff Blevins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BIVINS

Brys Andrew Hensley (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to one count of reckless aggravated assault and was placed on judicial diversion with a probationary period of two years. The State subsequently alleged that the Defendant had violated the terms of his probation, and, after a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant’s judicial diversion, entered a judgment of conviction, and sentenced the Defendant. After a second hearing, the trial court denied the Defendant’s motion to reconsider its previous ruling, and this appeal followed. We hold that, in revoking the Defendant’s diversion and probation, the trial court failed to exercise its statutory discretion and thereby committed reversible error. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand this matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN ROBERT Q. JACKSON

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

James R. Potter, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Robert Q. Jackson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Lee Willoughby, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

Appellant, John Robert Q. Jackson, challenges the sentences imposed by the trial court after he was revoked from community corrections. He argues that the trial court erred by considering his pending criminal allegations when ordering that he serve some of his sentences consecutively with each other. Appellant also contends that the trial court erred in concluding that his record of criminal activity was extensive. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KIARA TASHAWN KING

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Forest A. Durard, Jr., Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kiara Tashawn King.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Kiara Tashawn King, pled guilty to aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property with a value of $500 or more, a Class E felony. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to an effective five-year sentence, to be served on probation. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court failed to follow the correct sentencing procedure, imposed an excessive sentence, and erred by denying judicial diversion. Upon review, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by imposing an effective sentence of five years of probation and that its decision to deny judicial diversion did not wholly depart from the principles and purposes of the Sentencing Act. We affirm the sentences imposed by the trial court accordingly.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KHALEEFA LAMBERT

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell and Edward E. DeWerff, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Khaleefa Lambert.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Steven Garrett and Samuel Knolton, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Montgomery County Circuit Court Jury convicted the appellant, Khaleefa Lambert, of first degree premeditated murder; first degree felony murder; especially aggravated kidnapping by the use of a weapon; and especially aggravated kidnapping by the infliction of serious bodily injury. The trial court merged the murder convictions and imposed a sentence of life imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction with the possibility of parole. The trial court also merged the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions and sentenced the appellant to eighteen years to be served consecutively to the murder conviction. On appeal, the appellant argues (1) that counts one, two, and three of the indictment should have been dismissed for failure to state an offense; (2) that the trial court erred by refusing to order the State to reveal grand jury testimony; (3) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his murder convictions; and (4) that the trial court erred in sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the convictions and sentences. However, we vacate the judgments and remand the case to the trial court for entry of a single judgment reflecting the merger of the murder convictions and a single judgment reflecting the merger of the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. AHMAD R. MANNING, ALIAS

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Wade V. Davies and Anne E. Passino, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ahmad R. Manning, alias.

Judge: THOMAS

On appeal, the State challenges the trial court’s dismissal of the Defendant’s indictment due to pre-indictment delay. The State contends that the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the indictment because it misapplied the law in reaching its determination that the delay caused the Defendant actual prejudice. Following our review, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEERIC MCAFEE

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Bruce E. Poston, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deeric McAfee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Randall Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leslie Nassios, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Knox County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Deeric McAfee, of second degree murder and reckless endangerment. The trial court sentenced the appellant to a total effective sentence of twenty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for second degree murder, the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the victim’s criminal history, the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce on cross-examination a letter written by the appellant, the trial court erred by giving an instruction regarding flight, and the trial court erred in sentencing the appellant. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRANK HUBER SUMNER

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

B. Nathan Hunt, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank Huber Sumner.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Arthur Bieber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: PAGE

A Montgomery County jury convicted appellant, Frank Huber Sumner, of robbery. The trial court sentenced him to nine and one-half years of confinement as a multiple offender. Appellant challenges his sentence, arguing that the length of his sentence is excessive and that he should have received an alternative sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Appeals Court: Jury Should Have Heard Shackled Pregnant Inmate Case

The case of a pregnant Nashville inmate who was shackled during labor is headed back to district court to be heard by a jury after a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that summary judgment granted in the case was inappropriate because there were disputed facts that needed to be decided by a jury. While the appeals court found that “shackling of pregnant detainees while in labor” violates the Constitution’s prohibition against “unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,” it said there are exceptions when a prisoner poses a danger or a flight risk. The court concluded that determining whether Juana Villegas posed a flight risk should have been decided by a jury not by a judge, Knoxnews reports.


Obama Pardons 3 Tennesseans

President Barack Obama pardoned 17 people Friday, including three Tennesseans. Roy Eugene Grimes Sr. of Athens was pardoned on charges he falsely altered a U.S. postal money order; Donald Barrie Simon Jr. of Chattanooga was pardoned on charges he aided and abetted in the theft of an interstate shipment; and Donna Kaye Wright of Friendship was pardoned for embezzlement and misapplication of bank funds. Knoxnews has more on the three and their cases.


Parties Concerned About Appointment of Special Master

Parties involved in the merger of Shelby County’s two public school systems are raising concerns about what a special master would do and what powers he would have to advance the merger’s pace. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has asked the parties to weigh in on his idea of appointing a special master, but at least one group has declined; last week the school board voted not to file a response. Memphis Daily News has more on the story.


Legal Aid Receives Medical-Legal Partnership Grant

The Legal Aid Society has received a $40,388 grant from Baptist Healing Trust to further the groups’ medical-legal partnership in Middle Tennessee. The funds will allow Legal Aid to provide free, direct legal service to low-income patients and their families receiving treatment at two Nashville clinics – the United Neighborhood Health Services Clinic and the Vanderbilt University’s student-run Shade Tree Clinic. It also will fund training and education to help health care workers identify patients’ need for legal assistance related to their illnesses. The agency announced the news today.


DCS: Computer System Mostly Fixed

The Department of Children's Services reported on Friday that all major problems with its computer system have been fixed, and that a list of 1,700 defects identified a year ago has been reduced to just 383 minor issues. After a review of agency data, Commissioner Jim Henry said that 14 children died in DCS custody in 2011, while 11 more died in 2012. Henry said he hopes to be able to report "in the near future" on the larger group of children who died after having some interaction with DCS but were not taken into custody. DCS previously reported that at least 73 children fell into that category. WBIR Channel 10 has the story.


Award Honoree Strives for Efficient Jury Process

Shelby County Jury Commission Director Clyde “Kit” Carson was honored with the Bobby Dunavant Public Service Award last week for his work organizing the county’s jury pool. The award is given by the Rotary Club of Memphis East and the family of Dunavant, who served for many years as the probate court clerk. Read more about Carson’s career in the Memphis Daiy News.


Memphis Federalist Society Chapter Meets Tomorrow

The Memphis Chapter of the Federalist Society will meet Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Madison Hotel, 79 Madison Ave. Alan Gura of Gura & Possessky will present “The Right to Bear Arms for Self-Defense Outside the Home.” Cost is $30 for members and $35 for guests. RSVP to Greg Grisham at gregory.grisham@jacksonlewis.com or 462-2616.


Hamilton County Lawyer Takes Disability Inactive Status

The law license of Hamilton County lawyer Jeffrey A. Stinnett was transferred to disability inactive status on March 1. Stinnett may not practice law while on inactive status but he may petition the court for reinstatement by providing clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law. Download the BPR notice


 
 

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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.


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