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.
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Howard H. Vogel
NANCY LEE BARLOW LONG v. BOBBY RAY LONG
Clark Lee Shaw, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant.
Robert Todd Jackson, Brentwood, Tennessee, for Appellee.
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.
CATHERINE MORMAN v. CHRISTOPHER MORMAN
David B. Lyons, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Catherine Morman.
Carrie W. Gasaway, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christopher Morman.
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.
SUMNER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION v. CARDEN COMPANY, INC.
Todd E. Panther, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant.
James L. Fuqua, Jr., Hendersonville, Tennessee, for Appellee.
In this action, the Trial Court stayed defendant's planned arbitration and defendant has appealed. We affirm.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM EARL CHERRY
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.
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
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN LEWIS COCKHERN
Roger E. Nell (on appeal) and James Stevens (at trial), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John
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.
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.
SCOTT M. CRAIG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARKUS K. HARTLEY
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSE E. MOLINA
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER R. PIERCE
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RICKIE J. STALLINGS
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY GENE WALKER, JR.
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.
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.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT J. WRIGGLESWORTH, JR.
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.
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.
Term Limits on Gibson County Utility District Commissioners
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 06-115
Filling of Vacancy on Supreme Court
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 06-116
| 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
|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
|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.