AOC's Camp resigns, Sykes named acting director

Randy Camp, administrative director of the state court system, announced today that he is leaving the post because personal matters require his time and attention in West Tennessee. Camp began the position less than a year ago in November 2005. AOC Deputy Director Elizabeth (Libby) Sykes has been named acting director. Read the AOC news release for more information.

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


PATRICIA J. COTTRELL, J., concurring

Court: TCA


L. Webb Campbell, II, Phillip F. Cramer, Winston N. Harless, Lisa R. Cole and Deborah Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Powers Management, LLC.

Alfred H. Knight and Alan D. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., d/b/a The Tennessean and Sheila Burke.


A privately-held limited liability company appeals the decision of the trial court which found that the company was the functional equivalent of a government agency in its management of a publically-owned facility thus making its documents subject to the Public Records Act. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded

PATRICIA J. COTTRELL, J., concurring


Court: TCCA


Robert Wilson Jones (Of Counsel), Shelby County Chief Public Defender; Tony N. Brayton (on appeal) and Timothy Albers and William Robilio (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Hall.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: J.C. MCLIN

The defendant, Charles Hall, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of two counts of aggravated robbery. For these offenses, the defendant was sentenced as a repeat violent offender to consecutive sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On appeal, he argues that: (1) the trial court erred in consolidating the indictments for trial; (2) the trial court erred in sentencing him under the Repeat Violent Offender Act; (3) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; and (4) the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentencing. Following our review of the record and the partiesí briefs, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand for two separate trials.


Court: TCCA


Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Christy Murray, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Yvonne B. Ragland.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Philip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Yvonne B. Ragland, was convicted on her guilty plea to Class D felony theft in the Knox County Criminal Court. The trial court denied her bid for judicial diversion and sentenced her to three years on probation. She appeals the denial of judicial diversion and the length of sentence imposed. Because the trial court erred in denying judicial diversion, we reverse and remand the case with instructions for the trial court to enter an order placing the defendant on judicial diversion with appropriate conditions.


Court: TCCA


Kevin W. Shepherd, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Aaron Lee Skeen.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tammy Harrington, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, Petitioner, Aaron Lee Skeen, pled guilty and was convicted of one count of first degree murder, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated rape, four counts of aggravated burglary, and three counts of forgery. The sentences for each conviction were ordered to be served consecutively for an effective sentence of life without parole plus 124 years. He filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because trial counsel (1) failed to adequately investigate whether Petitioner was suffering from mental incompetency/diminished capacity at the time he committed the crime, and (2) failed to file a motion to suppress Petitionerís statement to authorities. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee, (on appeal); and Gene G. Scott, Jr., Johnson City, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, Patty D. Layland Smith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Todd Martin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Patty D. Layland Smith, pled guilty to two counts of failure to appear, each offense being a Class E felony. Defendant was sentenced as a career offender and ordered to serve six years for each offense, to be served concurrently, with a sixty (60) percent release eligibility date. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied probation and any other form of alternative sentencing. Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that she was not eligible for probation or alternative sentencing. After a full review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


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2006-2007 TBA Access to Justice Awards
The Tennessee Bar Association is accepting nominations for the 2006-2007 Access to Justice Awards -- but tomorrow is the deadline to submit applications. The awards are presented to individuals in three categories: public service attorneys, members of the private bar and law school students who provide outstanding representation to the state's poor. The winners will be announced during the 2007 TBA Leadership Conference and will be featured in the Tennessee Bar Journal. Deadline is Aug. 15.
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