Online legal research free through new TBA benefit

Online legal research is now available free to all Tennessee Bar Association members through an agreement with Fastcase, a leading online legal research firm. The new TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost. Log in now to try it out.

http://www.tba2.org/members/member_fastcase_login.php

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
01 - TN Court of Appeals
29 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - 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

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2007/certlist_010207.pdf


JOHN C. KERSEY v. PATTY WILSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John C. Kersey, Smyrna, Tennessee, pro se.

George H. Cate, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Patty Wilson.

Judge: COTTRELL

A member of a Methodist Church sued another member of the same church for defamation because of a remark she allegedly made about a poem he had posted on a church bulletin board. The defendant filed a motion for a judgment on the pleadings. After a hearing, the trial court granted the motion and also enjoined the plaintiff from having any further contact with officials or members of the church. We affirm the judgment on the pleadings, but vacate the court's injunction because it is overly broad.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/kerseyj_010207.pdf


FARIS ADB AL-ALI V. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, William Whitesell, District Attorney General; Laural A. Nutt, Assistant District Attorney General, for Respondent, State of Tennessee.

Adam T. Dodd, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Attorney for the Petitioner, Faris Abd Al-Ali.

Judge: DANIEL

Petitioner, Faris Adb Al-Ali, was convicted by a Rutherford County jury of rape of a child and received a twenty-two year sentence. The conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. Petitioner timely filed his pro se post-conviction petition. Following the appointment of counsel and filing of an amended petition, the post-conviction court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the petition. On December 1, 2005, the post-conviction court entered an order dismissing the petition. Petitioner appealed. We affirm the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/alif_010207.pdf


CARLOS ANGEL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos Angel.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Carlos Angel, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received the effective assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/angelc_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. DANIEL BUCK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General and Dent Morriss, Assistant Attorney General for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Charles S. Bloodworth, Springfield, Tennessee and Roger E. Nell, Clarksville, Tennessee, Attorneys for the Appellant, Daniel Buck.

Judge: DANIEL

The appellant was convicted following a jury trial of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery and received concurrent fifteen and eight year sentences, respectively. The appellant contends that the trial court erred in failing to dismiss these charges based on violation of his right to a speedy trial. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/buckd_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES OTIS BUTLER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Linda L. Moore, Assistant Public Defender, Trenton, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Otis Butler.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Garry Brown, District Attorney General,for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, James Otis Butler, pled guilty to one count of delivery of over .5 grams of cocaine. As a result, the trial court imposed an eight-year sentence, but ordered the appellant to serve the sentence on probation. Subsequently, several probation violation warrants were issued against the appellant. The trial court held a hearing, at which the appellant was not represented by counsel, and revoked the appellant's probation. The trial court later rescinded that order and held a second hearing after appointment of counsel. After the second hearing, the trial court again revoked the appellant's probation and ordered him to serve the remainder of his sentence in incarceration. The appellant argues on appeal that the trial court violated his due process rights by failing to issue written findings of fact, failing to allow counsel to argue on his behalf at the probation revocation hearing, and failing to consider the appellant's drug and alcohol treatment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/butlerj_100207.pdf


JOSE CARRILLO v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Nathan Scott Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jose Carrillo.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Bret Thomas Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Jose Carrillo, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of post-conviction relief. On appeal, he contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel which caused him to enter an unknowing and involuntary guilty plea. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/carrilloj_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC MICHAEL GOLDMAN AKA ERIC FORREST

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Donna Leigh, District Public Defender, and Michael J. Collins, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Eric Michael Goldman, aka Eric Forrest.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The appellant, Eric Michael Goldman aka Eric Forrest, was convicted of driving after being declared a habitual motor vehicle offender (Class E felony) and sentenced to four years in the Department of Correction as a multiple offender. He was also found guilty of driving on a revoked license, tenth offense (Class A misdemeanor), which was merged with the conviction for driving as a habitual motor vehicle offender. On appeal, he contends that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction for the offense of driving after being declared a habitual motor vehicle offender; and (2) the sentence imposed by the trial court is excessive and contrary to the law. After careful review, we conclude that no reversible error exists and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/goldmane_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN ANTHONY GUST

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, John Anthony Gust.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Charles F. Crawford, District Attorney General; and Melissa L. Thomas and William B. Bottoms, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

Following a jury trial, the defendant, John Anthony Gust, was convicted of forgery over $1000, a Class D felony, and theft up to $500, a Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to two years for the felony conviction and eleven months, twenty-nine days for the misdemeanor conviction, with the sentences to be served concurrently. On appeal, he argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/gustj_010206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RUSSELL HOUSE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David R. Howard, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Russell House.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence R. Whitley, District Attorney General; and Bryna L. Grant, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Russell House, was convicted by a Sumner County Criminal Court jury of aggravated perjury, a Class D felony, for lying about his criminal history during his testimony at his probation revocation hearing. The trial court subsequently sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to two years, with six months to be served in the county jail and the balance of the time on supervised probation. In a timely appeal to this court, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in overruling his motion in limine to exclude the testimony of the probation revocation hearing judge and that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction. Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/houser_010207.pdf


DAINMUS T. HUDSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William Kroeger, Springfield, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Dainmus T. Hudson.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Dainmus T. Hudson, pleaded guilty in Robertson County Circuit Court to two counts of delivering under 0.5 grams of cocaine in a school zone. He sought post conviction relief, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and that his plea was involuntary. The court denied his petition, and the petitioner appealed. Because we discern no error in the post-conviction court's proceedings and because the record supports that court's determinations, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/hudsond_010207.pdf


RUSSELL JENSEN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Norris A. Kessler, III, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, Russell Jensen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven M. Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Russell Jensen, appeals from the post-conviction court's order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief, raising three issues for our review: (1) whether he was denied the effective assistance of counsel; (2) whether the trial court erred in denying his request for additional time to hire private counsel and refusing to allow his appointed attorney to withdraw; and (3) whether his guilty pleas were knowingly and voluntarily entered. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court's order of dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/jensenr_010207.pdf


COREY ADAMS KENNERLY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Corey Adams Kennerly, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General; for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Petitioner has appealed the habeas corpus court's order dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the habeas corpus court was correct in dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State's motion is granted and the judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/kennerlyc_010207.pdf


COREY DOUGLAS KUCLO v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffry S. Grimes, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Corey Douglas Kuclo.

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and A. Danielle Ashby, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Corey Douglas Kuclo, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress and by not conducting an adequate investigation. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court's dismissal of the petition.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/kucloc_010207.pdf


MICHAEL LEWIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael Lewis, pro se, Nashville, Tennessee.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

This matter is before the Court upon the State's motion to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has appealed the trial court's order summarily dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in summarily dismissing the habeas corpus petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal AppealState’s motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/lewism_010207.pdf


FELIX LOPEZ VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael A. Colavecchio, Nashville, Tennessee, Attorney for the Petitioner, Felix Lopez.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Respondent, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DANIEL

Petitioner, Felix Lopez, pled guilty to manslaughter and received a negotiated out-of-range fifteen-year sentence, to be served at sixty percent. Subsequently, petitioner timely filed a post-conviction petition alleging he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. When the post-conviction court denied post-conviction relief, this appeal followed. After careful review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/lopezf_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID MARSH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

R. Timothy Hogan, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Marsh.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Jude Santana, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, David Marsh, was convicted of two counts of forgery and sentenced to serve three years in the Department of Correction for each offense, to be served concurrently, for an effective sentence of three years. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions for forgery. After a thorough review, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/marshd_010207.pdf


JOHNNY McGOWAN v. RICKY J. BELL, WARDEN
With Concurring Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Johnny McGowan, Petros, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Johnny McGowan, appeals the habeas corpus court's orders dismissing his petitions for writs of habeas corpus and error coram nobis. Following our review, we affirm the orders of dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/mcgowanj_010207.pdf

HAYES CONCURRING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/mcgowanj_conn_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALBERT R. NEESE
With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David L. Raybin and William Bruce, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Albert Ray Neese.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Bernard McEvoy and Jennifer Tackett, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Albert R. Neese, appeals from jury convictions of two counts of aggravated sexual battery and two counts of rape of a child. The defendant also appeals the imposition of consecutive sentences which totaled twenty-eight years. The issues on appeal include challenges to the admissibility of a videotaped interview of the seven-year-old victim, the defendant’s pastor's report to the police, and the victim's statement to a social worker for medical diagnosis and treatment. The remaining issues are the propriety of the jury instructions as to the mens rea elements of child rape and the propriety of consecutive sentences. Having found no reversible error, we affirm the judgments of conviction and sentence as imposed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/neesea_010207.pdf

WELLES DISSENTING
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/neesea_diss_010207.pdf


MICHAEL J. NUNLEY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul D. Cross, Monteagle, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael J. Nunley.

Robert E. Cross, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Steven H. Strain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Michael J. Nunley, appeals from the Grundy County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, by which he had challenged his convictions of second degree murder and aggravated robbery. We affirm the post-conviction court's order.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/nunleym_010207.pdf


CHARLES E. ROBINSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Venus Niner, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles E. Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Preston Shipp, Assistant Attorney General, Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Charles E. Robinson, appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. In his appeal, Petitioner argues that his counsel's assistance at trial was ineffective for failing to request the trial court to charge the jury on the lesser included offense of facilitation. After review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/robinsonc_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TAMMY RUMBAUGH

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Claudia S. Jack, District Public Defender; and R.H. Stovall, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tammy Rumbaugh.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General, T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Douglas A. Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Tammy Rumbaugh, was found guilty of reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony, and vandalism of property valued at between $1,000 and $10,000, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced Defendant to concurrent sentences of four years for each conviction, six months of which was to be served in the county jail, and the remainder suspended and Defendant placed on probation. In her appeal, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence, the length of her sentence, and the trial court's failure to grant her full probation. After review, the judgments of the trial court are reversed in part and remanded in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/rumbaught_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ISSAC SCOTT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Garland Erguden, (on appeal), and Amy Mayne and Cliff Abeles, (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Issac Scott.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Paul Goodman and Anita Spinetta, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Issac Scott, was convicted of first degree murder and received a life sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/scotti_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WAYNE SHELTON, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Wayne Shelton, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; W. Michael McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Wayne Shelton, Jr., appeals the sentencing decision of the Bedford County Circuit Court. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Shelton pled guilty to aggravated assault and attempted arson and received an effective six-year sentence, with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered that the sentence be served in confinement. On appeal, Shelton argues that the court erred in denying him an alternative sentence, specifically community corrections. After review, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/sheltonw_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH W. SNELL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John G. Mitchell, Jr., and Darwin C. Colston, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth W. Snell.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District Attorney General; and Thomas S. Santel, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Rutherford County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant of reckless aggravated assault and domestic assault, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to two years for the reckless aggravated assault conviction and to six months for the domestic assault conviction. The trial court ordered that the sentences run concurrently and that the appellant serve the sentences as three years on probation. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his request for judicial diversion. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/snellk_010207.pdf


JAMES BRIAN STEVENS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James Brian Stevens, Northeast Correctional Complex, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William M. McCown, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The pro se petitioner, James Brian Stevens, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the statute of limitations should have been tolled during the time that he spent on probation. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition as time-barred.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/stevensj_010207.pdf


WILLIAM R. STEVENS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul J. Morrow, Jr., Deputy Post-Conviction Defender, and Kelly A. Gleason, Assistant Post-Conviction Defender, for the appellant, William R. Stevens.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark E. Davidson, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Thomas B. Thurman and Jon P. Seaborg, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, William R. Stevens, appeals the judgment of the Davidson County Criminal Court denying his petition for post-conviction relief. He was convicted in 1999 of two counts of first degree premeditated murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery and sentenced to death for the murder convictions. His convictions and deathsentence were affirmed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. See State v. Stevens, 78 S.W.3d 817, 823 (Tenn. 2002), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1115, 123 S. Ct. 873 (2003). On appeal, the petitioner presents a number of issues: (1) the petitioner was denied his right to due process and a fair hearing when the post-conviction court refused to reset the evidentiary hearing even though counsel had not had time to prepare; (2) trial and appellate counsel were ineffective; (3) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during the petitioner's trial; (4) the trial court erred in refusing to sequester prospective jurors during the jury selection process; (5) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (6) imposition of a death sentence violates the petitioner's constitutional rights; and (7) the rights of Dr. William Kenner were violated when he was not properly compensated for services rendered in this matter. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/stevensw010207.pdf


MICHAEL A. SULLIVAN, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED UNDER T.C.A. 29-21-104 v. KAREN WATSON, ET AL.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John Jay Hooker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Sullivan.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Michael A. Sullivan, filed an application for habeas corpus relief in the Williamson County Circuit Court to challenge his conviction in the Williamson County General Sessions Court for sixth offense driving on a revoked license. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days, with all but 65 days suspended on supervised probation. He contends that Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 5(c) and Tennessee Code Annotated sections 40-1-109 and 40-3-101 are unconstitutional and should not allow a defendant to waive an indictment. After careful review of the record, we conclude no grounds exist for granting habeas corpus relief and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/sullivanm_010207.pdf


KEVIN TAYLOR v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Wendy Tucker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Taylor.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Kevin Taylor, filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis alleging that newly discovered evidence mandated a new trial. The Davidson County Criminal Court denied relief concluding, among other things, that thewitness who testified in support of the petition was not credible. Upon a review of the record in this case, we conclude the Petitioner was not "without fault" in failing to present this witness at the "proper time" and, additionally, affirm the judgment based upon the trial court's determination that the witness was not credible. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/taylork_010206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TAYUANA D. TAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Hewitt Chatman, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tayuana D. Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; Bill R. Martin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Defendant, Tayuana D. Taylor, appeals the trial court's re-sentencing decision upon the revocation of her community corrections sentence. The Defendant claims that the trial court erred in sentencing her to the maximum allowable sentence and for not giving her credit for time already served. We conclude the trial court did not err in re-sentencing the Defendant and credit was given for time already served. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/taylort_010207.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAMIEAN DEVON TOLSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stanley K. Pierchoski, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Damiean Devon Tolson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Doug Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Damiean Devon Tolson, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal, he challenges: (1) the denial of his motion to suppress his statement to law enforcement; (2) the state's use of a peremptory challenge on an African-American prospective juror; (3) the under-representation of the African-American race in the jury pool; (4) the denial of his motion to preclude a witness's "prejudicial” testimony;" (5) the sufficiency of the convicting evidence; and (6) the denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/tolsond_010207.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
BPR Actions

Legal News
Federal judges need pay increase, says chief justice
Pay for federal judges is so inadequate that it threatens to undermine the judiciary's independence, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in a year-end report. His research reveals that district court judges are paid about half that of deans and senior law professors at top schools.
The News Sentinel has more
Is this the end of RICO?
For more than two decades, the federal RICO law was a pitiless tool in the fight against organized crime. But in 2006, federal prosecutors lost a pair of major RICO cases. Could this signal the demise of RICO?
Learn more in this Commercial Appeal story from the AP
Morgan County clerk resigns
Morgan County Clerk Tim Steelman resigned Friday, more than a month after prosecutors issued an ultimatum over missing money. Steelman plans to plead guilty within the next few weeks to a felony charge of theft of more than $10,000, according to Russell Johnson, the 9th Judicial District attorney general.
The News Sentinel reported on the story
Sells drops election challenge
Former Judge Lillie Ann Sells has dropped her challenge to August election results, which left her 10 votes short in a bid for 13th Judicial District criminal court judge. Sells confirmed last week that she has filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of her appeal.
The Cookeville Herald-Citizen has more
NAACP argues against unitary status
The Jackson-Madison County chapter of the NAACP lays out its objections to unitary status for Jackson schools in an opinion piece from Sunday's Jackson Sun.
Learn more
Juvenile crime spike worries police
Clarksville Police Chief Mark Smith estimates that half of all crime committed in the city by those 25 years and younger is gang-related. He says Clarksville needs a juvenile detention center, but at this point, neither the city nor the county have committed to building one.
The Leaf Chronicle has the story
Federal prosecutor retires this week
After 30 years of government service, Guy V. Blackwell Jr., Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, will retire on Wednesday. The Knoxville News Sentinel has a profile of his career.
Read the piece
Local jails ask for help housing state prisoners
Tennessee counties are asking the state to increase payments to local jails for housing its prisoners. Reimbursement rates have not increased in at least a decade and for some inmates, counties receive no reimbursement at all, the News Sentinel reports.
Read more on the story
Sheriff hopes to ease jail crowding
Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said he is working toward recertification of the county jail, which was decertified by the state for overcrowding. The jail's numbers have dropped over the past few months as officials have found other counties willing to house prisoners. Jarnagin hopes that by the summer, he can again seek certification.
The News Sentinel has the story
Legislative News
Proposal expands sex offender listings online
Legislation being proposed by Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, requires the state to post on its web-based registry, information for all sex offenders on record. Currently, information on sex offenders convicted between 1995 and July 1997 is not posted on the state's Web site.
The Nashville City Paper reports on the proposal
BPR Actions
Nashville lawyer conditionally suspended
The Supreme Court on Dec. 21 suspended Rodney M. Phelps for four years, but also established nine conditions that if met, would result in his probation rather than suspension.
Read the BPR release, which sets out the conditions

 
 
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