Criminal Justice Section

The section was established to serve all elements of the criminal justice system, including state, federal and municipal prosecutors, judges with criminal jurisdiction, state and federal public defenders and those lawyers in private practice.

District Public Defender
112 S. Second St
Clarksville, TN 37040
Immediate Past Chair
Schell & Oglesby, LLC
509 New Highway 96 W Ste 201
Franklin, TN 37064
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

Woman Files Lawsuit Against Rutherford County Regarding Guilty Plea in Child Abuse Case

A woman who pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse in 2007 is suing the Murfreesboro Police Department and Rutherford County, claiming the plea was made under duress, The Daily News Journal reports. Catherin Funk-Vaughn filed the pro se lawsuit in federal court on Nov. 28, asking for $9.9 million, alleging she thought that she was pleading to a diversion charge — not a guilty plea — and that her attorney told her the only way she would see her children again was if she pleaded guilty. She also says her name was misspelled as “Catherine” on court documents, making them void and claims violations against several of her constitutional rights. Funk-Vaughn has also filed a separate suit against the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

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Supreme Court Affirms Revocation of Judicial Diversion for Sex Offender Noncompliant with Treatment

The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court’s revocation of judicial diversion for Westley A. Albright, who entered a no contest guilty plea to one count of solicitation of a minor, for which he was placed on judicial diversion and received a one-year probationary term.  As a condition of his probation, Albright was required to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment. The trial court revoked Albright’s judicial diversion after he was discharged from his sex offender treatment program for noncompliance. Chief Justice Jeff Bivins authored the court's opinion, with Justice Sharon Lee authoring a dissenting opinion that found the revocation of Albright's diversion violated his due process rights.
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