Criminal appeals court candidates sent to governor

The Judicial Selection Commission today sent a slate of three candidates to Gov. Bredesen for consideration in filling the Court of Criminal Appeals vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Gary Wade to the Tennessee Supreme Court. The candidates submitted to the governor are: Hugh Moore Jr. of Chattanooga, Circuit Court Judge Kelly D. Thomas Jr. of Maryville and Paula Voss of Knoxville.
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. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
09 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
02 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

NANCY LEE BARLOW LONG v. BOBBY RAY LONG

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Clark Lee Shaw, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant.

Robert Todd Jackson, Brentwood, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

In this post-divorce action, the Trial Court entered Judgment against the defendant for previously awarded obligations, and held him in contempt. On appeal, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/longn072606.pdf


CATHERINE MORMAN v. CHRISTOPHER MORMAN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

David B. Lyons, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Catherine Morman.

Carrie W. Gasaway, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christopher Morman.

Judge: CLEMENT

This appeal originates from a post-divorce dispute over custody of the parties' two minor children. The parties agreed to Mother's designation as primary residential parent in the Permanent Parenting Plan that was incorporated into the Divorce Decree. Eleven months later, Father filed a petition to modify the parenting plan due to Mother's willful failure to comply with the plan and her attempts to interfere with Father's communication and relationship with the children. The trial court found a material change of circumstances and that it was in the best interest of the children for Father to be the primary residential parent. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/mormanc072606.pdf


SUMNER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION v. CARDEN COMPANY, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Todd E. Panther, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant.

James L. Fuqua, Jr., Hendersonville, Tennessee, for Appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

In this action, the Trial Court stayed defendant's planned arbitration and defendant has appealed. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/sumner072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM EARL CHERRY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Braden H. Boucek, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Joseph D. Baugh and Mark L. Puryear, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, William Earl Cherry.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, William Earl Cherry, was indicted for three counts of aggravated assault and three counts of reckless endangerment. He filed an application for pretrial diversion, and the State denied his request. He then filed a petition for writ of certiorari, and the trial court ordered that the State enter into a memorandum of understanding. The State filed a Rule 9 appeal. Following our review, we reverse the order of the trial court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cherryw072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN LEWIS COCKHERN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Roger E. Nell (on appeal) and James Stevens (at trial), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Lewis Cockhern.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Chris Clark, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, John Lewis Cockhern, pled guilty in the Montgomery County Circuit Court to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and the trial court sentenced him to three years to be served on probation. Subsequently, the trial court revoked the appellant's probation and ordered him to serve his sentence in confinement. In this appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to revoke his probation. He also requests that this court establish a rule regarding the admissibility of uncertified copies of judgments of conviction at probation revocation hearings. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the trial court's revocation of the appellant's probation. Regarding the admissibility of uncertified copies of judgments of conviction, the appellant requests an advisory opinion, which this court will not issue.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cockhernj072606.pdf


SCOTT M. CRAIG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles Richard Hughes, Jr., District Public Defender; and A. Wayne Carter, Assistant Public Defender, for the Appellant, Scott M. Craig.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Steven Davis Crump, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

Aggrieved of his aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape convictions, the petitioner, Scott M. Craig, sought post-conviction relief, which was denied by the Criminal Court of Bradley County after an evidentiary hearing. On appeal, the petitioner presents several issues of the ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/craigs072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARKUS K. HARTLEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David H. King, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Markus Hartley.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Ron Davis, District Attorney General; and Georgia Felner, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Markus K. Hartley, was indicted by the Williamson County Grand Jury for driving under the influence, fourth offense. The appellant filed a motion to suppress the evidence, arguing that the police did not have probable cause to stop his vehicle. The trial court denied the motion to suppress the evidence. Subsequently, the appellant pled guilty to driving under the influence, second offense, but reserved a certified question of law to determine whether the trial court properly ruled on the motion to suppress. Because the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hartleym072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSE E. MOLINA

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Amy Harwell and Matthew Robnett, Assistant Public Defenders (at trial) and James P. McNamara, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal), for the appellant, Jose E. Molina.

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

Judge: WADE

The defendant, Jose E. Molina, was convicted of aggravated rape, a Class A felony, and aggravated robbery, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-13-502, -402 (2003). The trial court imposed a sentence of twenty-one years for the aggravated rape, to be served at one hundred percent, and a concurrent sentence of nine years for the aggravated robbery. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress a pretrial identification and that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/molinaj072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER R. PIERCE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William B. Lockert, III, and Richard Taylor, Jr., Ashland City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher R. Pierce.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Carey J. Thompson and Ray Crouch, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Stewart County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant, Christopher R. Pierce, of one count of vehicular homicide, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count of aiding and abetting driving under the influence (DUI). The trial court merged the DUI conviction into the vehicular homicide conviction and sentenced the appellant to concurrent sentences of twelve years for vehicular homicide and eleven months, twenty-nine days for each count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. On appeal, the appellant claims (1) that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions and that the trial court erred by denying his motion for judgment of acquittal and (2) that the trial court erred by denying his request for a mistrial when a State witness revealed to the jury that the appellant had been driving without a license, had a prior arrest for DUI, and had been involved in a previous car accident. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/piercec072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKIE J. STALLINGS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John E. Eldridge and Robert Kurtz, Knoxville, Tennessee (at trial); and G. Scott Green (on appeal), for the Appellant, Rickie J. Stallings.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Al C. Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General; and Steven R. Hawkins and Nichole Bass, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Rickie J. Stallings, is serving an effective incarcerative sentence of 18 years in connection with his Sevier County convictions for attempted aggravated arson, aggravated assault, assault, and possession of explosive components. See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-12-101, -14-302, -2-101, -13-101, -14-702 (2003). On appeal, the defendant asserts (1) that the evidence is legally insufficient to support his convictions, (2) that the trial court committed reversible error in admitting evidence seized from within the curtilage of his residence, (3) that he was denied a fair trial because the trial court failed to declare a mistrial during the state's case-in-chief, (4) that the trial court committed plain error in admitting testimony regarding the condition of an automobile parked at his residence, (5) that his right to a unanimous verdict was compromised when the trial court failed to supplement its jury instructions relative to unanimity, (6) that his sentence is excessive, and (7) that the cumulative effect of the trial court's errors deprived him of a fair trial. After thoroughly reviewing the record, briefs of the parties, and applicable authorities, we find that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, that any error in the admission or exclusion of evidence at trial was harmless and/or did not rise to the level of plain error, that any instructional error did not constitute plain error, and no cumulative error deprived the defendant of a fair trial. Finding, however, error in the application of various enhancing factors, we modify the defendant's effective sentence from 18 to 16 years.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/stallingsr072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY GENE WALKER, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Bobby Gene Walker, Jr., Appellant, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Michael Gallegos, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Bobby Gene Walker, Jr., appeals a certified question of law regarding a police officer's stop of him which resulted in his arrest for driving under the influence and violating the implied consent law. Because we agree with the Circuit Court for Blount County that reasonable suspicion supported by specific and articulable facts existed for the stop, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/walkerb072606.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT J. WRIGGLESWORTH, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and C. Daniel Brollier, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Timothy R. Wallace, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Robert J. Wrigglesworth, Jr.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Robert J. Wrigglesworth, Jr., previously convicted in Texas for the offense of indecency with a child by contact, was indicted for violating Tennessee Code Annotated Section 40-39-211(c) because of his residing at an address where a minor child also resided. He offered to stipulate that he was a sex offender as covered by this statute. The trial court concluded that the State was required to accept this stipulation and thus barred from proving that the defendant was a convicted sex offender or why it was unlawful for him to live in the same residence as a minor. The State filed a Rule 9 appeal. Following our review, we reverse the order of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wrigglesworthr072606.pdf


Term Limits on Gibson County Utility District Commissioners

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-07-25

Opinion Number: 06-115

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-115.pdf

Filling of Vacancy on Supreme Court

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-07-25

Opinion Number: 06-116

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-116.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2006
Legislative News

Legal News
AG issues opinion on judicial selection issue
Following Monday's withdrawal of state Supreme Court candidate Richard Dinkins, Gov. Bredesen rejected the slate of candidates submitted to him by the Judicial Selection Committee and requested a new list. The action raised questions as to whether the remaining two candidates could be considered again. Today, the attorney general issued an opinion that none of the nominees from the first panel may be resubmitted to the governor.
Read the opinion
NWA legal fees rise by $22 million
As Northwest Airlines Corp. continues cost-cutting efforts to work through its bankruptcy, legal fees have topped $45 million, with $22 million being incurred from February to May of this year. The airline, which operates a hub at Memphis International Airport, is seeking to trim $1.4 billion from its operating expenses, reports the Memphis Business Journal.
Read the article
Death row inmate requests stay
A death row inmate, who previously indicated he would not fight his execution, resumed his appeal Tuesday by requesting a stay of execution. In a petition filed in Hardeman County Circuit Court, Stephen Hugueley, 38, argued that he had ineffective counsel during his trial and appeals process and requested a court-appointed lawyer. His execution is currently set for Aug. 15.
Read more in this story by the Associated Press
Fisher elected to TLPJ board
Richard A. Fisher of the Richard Fisher Law Office in Cleveland has been elected to the Board of Directors for the TLPJ Foundation, the nonprofit parent of the national public interest law firm Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He joins two other board members from Tennessee -- former TLPJ Foundation President Mary A. Parker of Parker & Crofford in Nashville and J.D. Lee of Lee, Lee & Lee in Knoxville.

Congress passes legislation to get tough on child predators
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimous approved legislation yesterday cracking down on child predators. The bill increases penalties for crimes against children; creates a new office within the Justice Department to monitor and track sex offenders; and prohibits the production, transportation, distribution and sale of obscene materials. An identical bill had previously passed the Senate. It now goes to the president for his signature.
Get the full story on Chattanoogan.com
Wilder's bank targeted by federal prosecutors
Directors of a bank co-owned by Lt. Gov. John Wilder were questioned by a federal prosecutor in Chattanooga on Tuesday -- an indication that a probe may be continuing into a land fraud scheme linked to state Sen. Jerry Cooper, reports the Tennessean.
Learn more in this article
Coopertown police chief resigns
Coopertown Police Chief E.J. Bernard resigned last night saying that the town's mayoral scandal had taken a toll on him and his family. Several weeks ago, Coopertown Mayor Danny Crosby was suspended from office based on allegations of overzealous and racially targeted law enforcement. In fact, it was Bernard's testimony during the ouster hearing that persuaded Robertson County Chancellor Laurence McMillan Jr. to suspend Crosby.
The Robertson County Times has the story
Knoxville man served Nuremberg trial
Jesse Cawood, 80, serves as bailiff for Knox County Circuit Court Judge Dale Workman these days, but 61 years ago he served the International Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, where German war criminals were tried.
Read his story in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Election 2006
Judicial election funding raises thorny issues
In an opinion piece today, the Tennessean argues that the best option for ensuring objectivity in judicial elections is the adoption of a public financing scheme.
Read the editorial
Poll notes government doing 'fair' job
In a new University of Tennessee poll, the Social Science Research Institute found that three out of four respondents graded state government in general and the state legislature in particular as "fair" or "good," with 17 percent saying both are "poor."
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
Legislative News
Strader being treated for liver cancer
State Rep. Park M. "Parkey" Strader, R-Knoxville, has been diagnosed with liver cancer and will seek treatment from a specialist in Houston, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. Strader, 61, is the former Knox County Property Assessor and is serving his first term in Nashville. He is unopposed in seeking a second term.


 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association