Supreme Court permits higher rates for interpreters

The Tennessee supreme Court has amended its rule on eligible costs in cases involving indigent defendants to permit the trial court to waive the maximum daily rate in certain cases. The maximum daily rate for a certified interpreter under the rules is $500. Registered interpreters can be paid a maximum of $400 a day and non-credentailed interpreters can receive up to $250 per day .The amendment permits the trial court to determine, in cases other than Spanish, that a higher rate is necessary. Read revised Rule 13:

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/rule13amendment_061206.pdf

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

JENNIFER LYNN ANDERSON v. MICHAEL E. ANDERSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John Russell Parkes and Wesley Mack Bryant, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael E. Anderson.

Morgan Andrew Hoover, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jennifer Lynn Anderson.

Judge: DAVID R. FARMER

In this divorce action, Husband appeals the trial court's calculation of a downward deviation in child support. Wife appeals the trial court's denial of a motion to alter or amend the final divorce decree in order to grant wife an equitable share of a pension plan belonging to Husband. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/andersonj_061206


ASHAD R.A. MUHAMMAD ALI, a/k/a LOUIS WEBB v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ashad R.A. Muhhammad Ali, a/k/a/ Louis Webb, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Ann L. Filer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The defendant, Ashad R.A. Muhammad Ali, a/k/a Louis Webb, appeals pro se the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction DNA analysis. The defendant presents two issues: (1) whether the post-conviction court properly dismissed the petition, and (2) whether the post-conviction court erred in denying relief or sanctions for the failure of the State to preserve all testable evidence. We conclude that the petition was properly dismissed and that no relief or sanctions for failure to preserve all testable evidence should be afforded the defendant. We affirm the post-conviction court's dismissal of the defendant's petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/alira_060906.pdf


ARTHUR L. ARMSTRONG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Arthur L. Armstrong, Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Lisa Naylor, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Petitioner, Arthur L. Armstrong, filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis alleging newly discovered evidence in the context of a Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), violation and, alternatively, that counsel was ineffective by failing to use the evidence for impeachment purposes. The trial court summarily denied relief on the basis that the petition was time-barred. We conclude that, with respect to the Petitionerís claim of newly discovered evidence, an evidentiary hearing is required. As to the allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel, this issue is not appropriately addressed in a petition for writ of error coram nobis and, insofar as the pleading may be considered a petition for post-conviction relief, the trial court properly dismissed the claim without a hearing. Thus, we affirm the summary dismissal of the ineffective assistance claim. The judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/armstronga_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERNEST CUNNINGHAM, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Nathan Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ernest Cunningham, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Angelita B. Dalton and Sarah N. Davis, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The defendant, Ernest Cunningham, Jr., appeals his convictions for facilitation of sale of cocaine under .5 grams (Class D felony) and possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell (Class B felony). The defendant received concurrent sentences of twelve years for the facilitation offense and thirty years for possession with intent to sell, as a career offender with a 60% release eligibility date. The sole issue on appeal is whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions. Our review reveals that the evidence was sufficient. The judgments of conviction are hereby affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cunninghamejr_060906.pdf


JESSE LANE DABBS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jesse Lane Dabbs, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Tom Thurman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Petitioner, Jesse Lane Dabbs, appeals the trial courtís summary dismissal of his petition for post- conviction relief. The trial court determined that the petition was filed outside the statute of limitations and was time-barred. After a review of the record, the judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court summarily dismissing the petition is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/dabbsj_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARLOS EDDINGS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Garland Erguden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Carlos Eddings.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; David Zak, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Carlos Eddings, was tried and convicted for aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to ten years in prison. The Defendant appealed, and a majority of this Court concluded that his sentence must be modified to eight years pursuant to the United States Supreme Court case Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). State v. Carlos Eddings, No. W2003-02255-CCA-R3-CD, 2004 WL 2266794, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Oct. 8, 2004). The State filed an application for permission to appeal with the Tennessee Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 11(a) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. On May 23, 2005, the Tennessee Supreme Court granted the Stateís application for the purpose of remanding the case to this Court for reconsideration in light of State v. Gomez, 163 S.W.3d 632 (Tenn. 2005). On remand, we affirm the Defendantís ten-year sentence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/eddingsc-remand_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES BRANDON HANNER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ann Marie Kroeger, Springfield, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Charles Brandon Hanner.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; and Dent Morris, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR.

Indicted for rape of a child, the defendant, Brandon Hanner, was convicted by a jury of aggravated sexual battery. He appeals and challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Because the record supports the juryís verdict, we affirm the conviction.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hannerc_060906.pdf


JONATHON CHRISTOPHER HOOD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Huskey, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathon Christopher Hood.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steve M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

This is an appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief. The Petitioner, Jonathon Christopher Hood, entered a best-interest guilty plea to felony reckless endangerment and, pursuant to a plea agreement, was sentenced to one year imprisonment with a release eligibility date of 30%. The Petitioner filed for and was denied post-conviction relief. The Petitioner now appeals the denial of post-conviction relief, claiming his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel which resulted in an involuntary guilty plea. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hoodj_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. EDWARD JANKOWSKI, SR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Morgan, Assistant Public Defender, Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edward Jankowski, Sr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; and J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Defendant, Edward Jankowski, Sr., appeals from the sentencing decision of the Sequatchie County Circuit Court. The Defendant pled guilty to one count of incest. The victim was his eighteen-year-old daughter. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, he received a six-year sentence as a Range I, standard offender, and the manner of service was to be determined by the trial court. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the sentence to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred by ordering a sentence of total confinement rather than a less restrictive alternative. After review, the sentencing decision is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jankowskie_060906.pdf


RANDY L. JONES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Randy L. Jones, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steve Strain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DAVID H. WELLES

The Petitioner, Randy L. Jones, pro se, appeals as of right from the Grundy County Circuit Courtís denial of post-conviction relief. In 1997, the Petitioner was convicted of two counts of first degree, premeditated murder, and he received consecutive life sentences for these convictions. Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and, after several amendments by the Petitioner and appointed counsel, received an evidentiary hearing. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition, and he now appeals to this Court. In this appeal, he raises seven issues which, in substance, relate to the following claims: denial of his right to self-representation, ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and improper jury instructions. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court denying relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/jonesr_060906.pdf


JAMES MCCLENNON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronald Munkeboe, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James McClennon.

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

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

The petitioner, James McClennon, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he asserted various instances of ineffective assistance of counsel. A review of the record reveals support for the findings of the post-conviction court. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mcclennonj_060906.pdf


KEVIN FRANK MERCER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Hershell D. Koger, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Frank Mercer.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Senior Counsel; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

In this post-conviction action, the petitioner, Kevin Frank Mercer, contends that: (1) his plea was involuntary and unknowing; and (2) trial counsel was ineffective by providing little meaningful advice as to whether to enter a plea or proceed to trial. Following our review, we conclude that his plea was knowingly and voluntarily entered and that counsel was effective in his representation of the petitioner. Therefore, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/mercerkf_060906.pdf


ANDREW ROCHESTER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claudia S. Jack, District Public Defender, and Robert H. Stovall, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Andrew Rochester.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Joel D. Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS

In this post-conviction action, the petitioner, Andrew Rochester, contends that trial counsel was ineffective by: (1) failing to file a motion to suppress evidence taken from his vehicle after his arrest; (2) failing to object to testimony elicited from two witnesses not qualified as experts; and (3) failing to comply with the requirements of Momon v. State on the record at trial. Following our review, we conclude that counsel was not ineffective in his representation; therefore, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/rochestera_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WALFRIDO L. RODRIGUEZ

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; and Jeffrey Devasher, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Walfrido L. Rodriquez.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Robert McGuire, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR.

The defendant, Walfrido L. Rodriguez, appeals from his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of second degree murder and aggravated assault, claiming that the trial court erred by instructing the jury to consider the charges sequentially, that the convicting evidence is insufficient, and that the trial court erred in rejecting a request for a special jury instruction. We discern no reversible error and affirm the convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/rodriguezw_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LAMONT DESHAWN RUTLAND

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David M. Hopkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lamont Deshawn Rutland.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS T. WOODALL

Defendant, Lamont Deshawn Rutland, appeals the trial courtís revocation of his probation. After a review of this matter, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/rutlandl_060906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DANNY STRODE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michelle Chapman McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, and James W. Pope, III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Cynthia A. LeCroy-Schemel, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Danny Strode.

Judge: JERRY L. SMITH

The defendant, Danny Strode, was indicted by the Bledsoe County Grand Jury for one count of premeditated murder, one count of felony murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery. The State sought the death penalty. The defendant asserted he could not be put to death because he was mentally retarded within the meaning of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39- 13-203(a). The trial court held a hearing and determined that the defendant was indeed mentally retarded under the definition provided in the statute and therefore could not be sentenced to death. The State requested permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal which was granted by the trial court. On appeal, we determine that the defendant is not mentally retarded under the definition of the statute and, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/stroded_060906.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Election 2006
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Lawsuit over education funding ends
An 18-year-old lawsuit brought by small schools in Tennessee that forced lawmakers to create a new education funding formula fairer to counties with smaller tax bases was dismissed by a Nashville judge Friday. Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled that the so-called small schools lawsuit be dismissed because there were no issues related to the suit still pending.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel has the story.
Supreme finances: Justices report their '05 road trips
U.S. Supreme Court justices crisscrossed the world last year, with stops in Bangkok, Paris, London and Prague. Financial disclosure reports released Friday show that several justices got out of Washington a good bit in 2005 at the expense of law schools and legal groups. The reports also show new Chief Justice John Roberts easily in the ranks of the court's millionaires.
Read the details in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Charter ruling could give county fresh start
Chancellor John Weaver's ruling Friday that the Knox County Charter is "incomplete, invalid and ineffective" might have been predicable based on his comments during an earlier case, but for now the decision adds another uncertain dimension to an already confusing chapter centered on an all-too-confusing election cycle.
Read a Knoxville News Sentinel editorial.
Download the trial court's 57-page opinion on the Knox County charter
here.
Tate County judge chided in DUI case
The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a public reprimand for a Tate County justice court judge for actions related to his grandson's driving-under-the-influence case. The commission records showed Judge Cecil Cole had removed himself from presiding over his grandson's case, but before doing so had ordered the man's driver's license reinstated. Read more in the
Commercial Appeal.
Criminal Justice Summit kicks off in Memphis
Top Tennessee law enforcement agents were in Memphis today to look at ways to cut down on crime in the state. Memphis has seen its share of crime, including more than 70 murders this year. The Criminal Justice Summit will be held in two other regtions this month, one in Nashville and the other in Knoxville.
News Channel 3
Conspiracy conviction may hamper March's murder defense
As they alluded to on Thursday, Perry March's lawyers will waste no time in preparing a defense for their client's upcoming murder trial. That defense, however, may be complicated by the fact that March was just found guilty of conspiring to kill two individuals who are scheduled to be key witnesses in that murder case. Read the full story in
The City Paper.
Hooks talks about civil rights accomplishments
Dr. Benjamin Hooks told a Jackson audience Sunday night that there are two things that can still rile him. "I get mad when people say we have made no progress," the longtime civil rights leader told the annual banquet of the Knights of Pythias and Court of Calanthe at the Comfort Inn. However, the 81-year-old pastor, lawyer, former judge and from 1977-92 the NAACP's executive director, gets equally annoyed at another attitude. "I get just as mad at people who think there isn't any more we have to do as a people, and that's just as wrong," he said. Read more about Dr.Hooks' speech in the
Jackson Sun.
Legislative News
Bill would separate budgets of Juvenile Justice and Children's Services
A bill has passed both the House and the Senate in the Tennessee Legislature in favor of setting up a separate budget for the Juvenile Justice Division of the Department of Children's Services. The bill is still currently awaiting the governor's signature to become law.
Get the full story from Tri-Cities.com
Election 2006
5 qualify to run for town judge, town clerk
Three Murfreesboro residents met Friday's qualifying deadline to run for town judge, and two will seek the court clerk's office. See who they are in
The Daily News Journal.
TBA Member Services
Student loans at low rates through SunTrust
The TBA and SunTrust Bank now have a Partnership Program to help alleviate the burden of student loans. Members and their families can consolidate their federal student loans at a special low fixed rate - right now as low as 5.375%. In addition, those with consolidation loans greater than $10,000 are eligible to reduce their interest rate by another 1.5% for on-time payments and automatic debit payments.
Learn more

 
 
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