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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TCA


Scarlett Beaty Latham, Albany, Kentucky, for appellant.

Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for appellee.


In this divorce action, the parties announced a property settlement in open court which settlement was made a part of the Divorce Decree. Defendant filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60 Motion to Set Aside Divorce and to reopen the issue of the property settlement which the Trial Court refused. On appeal, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Michelle L. Betserai, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Samuel D. Pate.

Bradley W. Eskins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Stephanie J. Pate.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a divorce involving the classification of property as "marital" or "separate." The parties were married in 1986. In 1998, the wife received a substantial inheritance. She used a portion of the inheritance to pay off the mortgage on the marital home, to purchase undeveloped property adjacent to the marital home, and to purchase a vehicle. Later, the parties separated and the marital home was sold. From the proceeds of the sale, the wife received her separate contribution to the property, as well as half of the profit earned on the property. She used her proceeds to purchase another home. The husband's name was on the title of the new home, but he was not an obligor on the mortgage. The parties made an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile, and subsequently filed cross petitions for divorce. They resolved all issues, except for the classification and division of certain property that was titled in both parties' names but purchased with the wife's inheritance. After a hearing, the trial court found that the wife did not intend to transmute any of her inheritance into marital property. Based on this finding, the trial court determined that the parties had already equitably divided their interest in the marital property, and that there was no property left to divide. From this order, the husband now appeals. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


George A. Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant.

Marvin Berke and Megan C. England, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellees.


The Chancellor ordered demolition of defendant's dwelling on the ground that it was in violation of restrictive covenants, and awarded discretionary costs to plaintiffs. We affirm in part and vacate in part.



Court: TCCA


A. Wayne Carter, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Arnold Ballinger.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; and Stephen Crump, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The petitioner, Charles Arnold Ballinger, appeals the Bradley County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his guilty plea to sexual battery by an authority figure and resulting six-year sentence as a Range II, multiple offender. He contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was involuntary. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


William A. Kennedy, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael E. Bunting.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, District Attorney General; and J. Lewis Combs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Michael E. Bunting, was convicted by a Sullivan County jury of possession of less than .5 grams of cocaine for resale, and he subsequently pled guilty to felony failure to appear. Following a joint sentencing hearing for these two convictions, the trial court imposed an effective twenty-one-year sentence as a Range III, persistent offender to be served in the Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his cocaine possession conviction, and (2) a sentence of community corrections was appropriate, and his sentences were improperly enhanced in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). After a review of the record, the judgments of conviction and resulting sentences are affirmed.



Court: TCCA


J. Carlton Drumwright, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth C. Dailey, III.

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

The defendant, Kenneth C. Dailey, III, pled guilty in the Criminal Court of Davidson County, Tennessee, to the charge of second degree murder (Class A felony), reserving a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(I) and agreed to a thirty-year sentence as a Range II, violent offender, to serve 100% of his sentence. The certified question relates to the defendant's confession and whether it is inadmissible against the defendant because he was in custody and was not properly Mirandized. We conclude the record before us does not demonstrate that the certified question is dispositive of the case, and we dismiss the appeal.



Court: TCCA


Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; Jeffrey A. Devasher (on appeal) and Jennifer Lichstein (at hearing), Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Henry A. Edmondson, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant DistrictAttorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Henry A. Edmondson, Jr., of carjacking, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to twenty years to be served in the Department of Correction. The defendant appeals, claiming (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict, (2) that the trial court erred in not granting his motion to suppress, (3) that the trial court erred in its instruction to the jury on possession, and (4) that the trial court erred in sentencing him. We conclude that although the trial court erred in charging the jury on the definition of possession, the error was harmless. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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Legal News
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The Memphis Commercial Appeal has the story
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Read more in the Commercial Appeal.
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Follow the latest in this continuing story in the Tennessean
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Read about developments in the case on the WMC-TV's website
Sumner County lawyer dies
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