Details emerge on Selection Commission's vote

Members of the Judicial Selection Commission revealed yesterday that they are divided on whether to fight the lawsuit filed by Gov. Phil Bredesen on Monday. However, the panel did vote 7-3 to hire a lawyer to advise them on their next move. After debating whether the state attorney general is caught in a "hopeless conflict of interest," they asked him to appoint outside counsel but consider their input on who that person should be. The Nashville City Paper has the story or read the commision's letter to Attorney General Paul Summers:

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


Court: TCCA


James E. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), and Howard B. Manis, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Anthony M. Bond.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich and Nicole Germain, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The defendant, Anthony M. Bond, was convicted of first degree felony murder. See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-13-202(a)(2) (1997). The jury returned a verdict of life without parole. See Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-13-204 (1997). In this appeal as of right, the defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for felony murder because the facts and circumstances of the underlying robbery were not the proximate cause of the victim's death; (2) the trial court erred by denying the defendant's request for a curative instruction after the prosecution stated in its closing argument that the jury had been sequestered because of the defendant; (3) the trial court erred by allowing the introduction of testimony concerning the defendant's teeth; and (4) the trial court erred by allowing the prosecution to bolster an expert witness's credibility. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


James R. Hickman, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Davis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Rocky H. Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Bobby Davis, appeals from the post-conviction court's order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief after finding that the petition was filed outside the statute of limitations. Tenn. Code Ann. Section 40-30-102(a). On appeal, the petitioner argues that his right to due process required the statute of limitations be tolled. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.


Court: TCCA


Wade V. Davies, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffery Todd Epps.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Al Schmutzer, Jr., District Attorney General; and Steven R. Hawkins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennesse

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, Jeffery Todd Epps, was convicted by a jury in the Sevier County Circuit Court of reckless aggravated assault. The trial court sentenced the appellant as a Range II multiple offender to eight years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred in sentencing him to the maximum sentence within the range. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Randall B. Tolley, Memphis Tennessee (at revocation hearing and on appeal), and Sanjeev Memula, Assistant Public Defender (at hearing), for the appellant, Nicholas Goff.

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

Judge: WADE

The defendant, Nicholas Goff, entered a plea of guilty to one count of driving under the influence, first offense. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the state, the trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days with two days in jail followed by probation. Five months later, a violation warrant was issued and the trial court revoked his probation and ordered the original sentence into execution. In this appeal, the defendant asserts (1) that he was not afforded due process of law; (2) that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel; (3) that the trial court erred by revoking his probation on the basis of a mere arrest; and (4) that the trial court erred by appointing an assistant public defender as his lawyer. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


Court: TCCA


Randy G. Rogers, Athens, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Marvin L. Locke.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Shari Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Marvin L. Locke, appeals from his Bradley County Criminal Court convictions of selling methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance, in a school zone; possession of methamphetamine in a school zone with intent to sell; unlawful possession of a firearm; and possession of drug paraphernalia. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of eight years. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence that the sale and possession of methamphetamine (the subjects, respectively, of the first two counts of the indictment) occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. Following our review of the case, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Kenneth Ramsey, Pro Se, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Cox, District Attorney General; and Lila Statom, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

After a bench trial in Hamilton County, the appellant, Kenneth Ramsey, was convicted of speeding, simple assault and resisting arrest. As a result, the trial court sentenced the appellant to thirty days for speeding, six months for resisting arrest and eleven months and twenty-nine days for assault, with the sentences to run concurrently. The trial court suspended the effective eleven month, twenty-nine day sentence and placed the appellant on unsupervised probation. The appellant filed a timely notice of appeal. On appeal, the appellant presents the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred by failing to allow the appellant to call a witness to testify on his behalf; (2) whether the trial court erred by failing to present a copy of the indictment to the appellant; (3) whether the trial court erred by denying a continuance because the appellant was not provided documents as required by law in a timely manner; (4) whether the trial court failed to provide equal access to the court by denying a continuance; and (5) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions. Because the judgment forms do not properly reflect that the appellant was found guilty after a bench trial, we remand the matter for entry of corrected judgment forms. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Use Permitted on Review Zoning Classification

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-19

Opinion Number: 06-142

Re-establishment of Tennessee Racing Commission

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-19

Opinion Number: 06-143


Legal News
Supreme Court Watch
Legislative News

Legal News
Gibson responds to petition for temporary suspension
Bill Gibson, the district attorney for the 13th Judicial District, filed with the Supreme Court today a response to the state's petition for temporary suspension of his law license. Gibson argues that the petition does not meet the requirement showing risk of threat of substantial harm to the public.
Read the full filing here
Federal charges dismissed against Perry March
A U.S. court clerk confirmed yesterday that the federal indictment against Perry March has been dismissed. His current state-imposed sentence of 56 years in prison will stand and no additional time will be added through federal charges.
WSMV-TV has the report
Chattanooga paper calls for better execution option
In reflecting on the case of convicted killer Daryl Keith Holton and his request to be executed by the electric chair, the Chattanooga Times Free Press argues that the state should consider adopting a method known as "hypoxia," or simply the deprivation of oxygen.
Read the editorial
Judge recommends tent city as solution to jail crowding
One suggestion to come out of yesterday's county criminal justice meeting in Chattanooga was from General Sessions Court Judge David Bales who said that Hamilton County should consider a tent city to house overflow from the jail. In response to County Mayor Claude Ramsey's statement that he is exploring building more jail cells, Bales noted that an Arizona sheriff uses the tent city approach at a major cost savings to taxpayers, reports.

Alternative bond program may be shelved
In other news from Hamilton County, Mayor Claude Ramsey admits that an alternative bond program aimed at cutting jail costs and overcrowding by allowing supervised release for certain offenders has not worked as well as he had hoped. However, he has asked the county's general sessions judges to see if parts of the program can be salvaged.
Learn more about these programs on
Execution date set for Pervis Payne
The Supreme Court yesterday set April 11, 2007, as the execution date for convicted murderer Pervis T. Payne.
Download the order
'Banned Book Week' features Justice Clark
College Grove Community Library will sponsor a discussion on "Intellectual Freedom and Reading" as part of Banned Book Week, which is observed Sept. 23-30. Leading the discussion on Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. will be Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark and Kathy Patten, professor of young adult literature at Middle Tennessee State University. For more information contact the library at 615-776-5490.

New faces in Anderson County DA's office
Newly elected District Attorney General David S. Clark is making improved relationships with the community, law enforcement and the courts a priority for his tenure in office. Joining him are two new assistant DAs, Sandra N. Donaghy and Virginia Gannon Walsh. In two stories, the Oak Ridger profiles the office. Read about Clark's vision
Learn about Donaghy and Walsh
New pro bono opportunity in the arts
Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (TNVLA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to low-income artists and emerging arts organizations, opened its doors in Nashville earlier this month. The group is looking for lawyers of all practice areas to volunteer. Cases involve a wide range of legal issues, including corporate, landlord/tenant, employment and tax, entertainment and intellectual property. Contact Executive Director Casey Gill at (615) 312-7224 or email her for more information.

Supreme Court Watch
Chancellor Lyle to hear Bredesen case
Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman has recused herself from hearing the Supreme Court selection case brought by the governor against the Judicial Selection Commission. In response, presiding Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy has referred the case to Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, the Nashville City Paper reported today.

Court pick affects our lives
Gail Kerr, columnist for the Tennessean, writes in today's paper that while tangling between the governor and the Judicial Selection Commission might interest only political junkies, the rest of us should care about how the state's highest court is selected.
Read her opinion
Legislative News
Senator chided for fund use
Democrats are accusing state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, of spending $40,000 from his legislative mailing account to promote campaign events. Ketron spent funds to print and mail notices for two immigration forums to all registered voters in his district. Ketron defended the expense arguing that the meetings were bipartisan events and that the notices were approved by the Office of Legislative Administration, which monitors senators' mailings.
Read more in the News Sentinel

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