Judge Hagler issues written statement, resigns

Tenth Judicial District Court Judge John Hagler said last night he is resigning effective Dec. 31, after law enforcement officials questioned him about a private audiotape recording he made. In comments to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Hagler said, "I have done nothing wrong..." but "tendered my resignation...to leave no room for anyone to reasonably question my integrity as a judge." The Chattanoogan.com indicated today that District Attorney General Steve Bebb said his office asked the TBI to conduct an inquiry last week after reviewing the audiotape because of concerns the judge could have been a candidate for blackmail, and no criminal charges would be filed. Bebb has called a press briefing on the matter for Thursday in his Cleveland office, according to Chattanoogan.com. Read Hagler's comments as reprinted on Chattanoogan.com.
Learn more about the story in two articles by the Chattanooga Times Free Press: the story breaking the news and the story covering the DA's role.
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Court: TSC


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Valerie Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

William D. Massey and Lorna S. McClusky, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eric Berrios.

Judge: WADE

The defendant, Eric Berrios, was charged with one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver more than three hundred grams of cocaine. After the trial court granted the defendantís motion to suppress the cocaine seized during the traffic stop, the State was granted an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the suppression of the evidence. We granted the State's application for permission to appeal to determine whether the officer's actions amounted to an unconstitutional seizure and, if so, whether the defendant's consent to search the vehicle was sufficiently attenuated from that illegal act. Because the seizure violated constitutional safeguards and because the consent to search was not sufficiently attenuated from the violation, we affirm the suppression of the evidence. The judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is, therefore, affirmed.



Court: TCCA


J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sherman Boddie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and James Walter Freeland, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Sherman Boddie, was convicted in the Tipton County Circuit Court of driving under the influence (DUI) and DUI per se. The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days, to be served on unsupervised probation after forty- eight hours incarceration. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence of his intoxication, because the sobriety roadblock where he was stopped violated the Tennessee Constitution. We hold that the roadblock was constitutional and affirm the trial court's denial of the motion to suppress.



Court: TCCA


Tom Moore, III, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

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


The petitioner, Tom Moore, III, pro se appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The petitioner alleges that his original indictment was void and defective because three separate charges were all listed as "Count One," thus rendering the court without jurisdiction. The petitioner's allegations are both factually and legally incorrect. We affirm the trial court's summary dismissal.



Court: TCCA


Patrick Thurmond, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter and David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.


The pro se petitioner, Patrick Thurmond, appeals the Johnson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner was convicted by a Davidson County jury of one count of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape, and one count of aggravated sexual battery for which he received a total effective sentence of fifty years. In this, his second petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the petitioner claims that his judgments are void due to the state's failure to elect offenses at trial. The trial court summarily dismissed the petition for failure to state a cognizable claim. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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TBA Member Services

Legal News
MBA lawyers rate judicial system
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Download the evaluations
CIA destroyed tapes after court said not to
The CIA destroyed tapes showing evidence of detainee torture and abuse in November 2005, months after U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. had ordered the Bush administration to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay." A lawyer for Yemeni national Mahmoad Abdah and others has asked Kennedy to schedule a hearing on the issue.
Read the AP story on NPR.org
Faced with deportation, He family heading back to China
After winning a seven-year fight to regain custody of Anna, their 8-year-old American-born daughter, Jack and Casey He must return to China or face deportation. The family is opting to leave voluntarily so they can reenter the U.S. more easily in the future.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Grandparents ask Supreme Court to hear custody appeal
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Senior judge to hear Blackwood case
Senior Judge Donald P. Harris has been appointed to hear a lawsuit filed against Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood by an Anderson County inmate charged with murder. The inmate alleges that Blackwood -- who is to preside over the murder trial -- has illegally kept him in jail and is seeking $1.75 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
Learn more in the Oak Ridger
Tennessean among 29 pardoned by Bush
President Bush pardoned 29 individuals and reduced the prison sentence of one more yesterday in an end-of-the-year presidential tradition. Among the group was Charles Eddie Trobaugh of Whitleyville, Tenn., who was convicted in 1965 on liquor charges. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's former top aide who was convicted in the case of the leaked identity of a CIA operative, did not receive a pardon.
The Kingsport Times News reports
Election panel delays imposition of Cooper fine
The Registry of Election Finance today voted to withhold enforcement of a $120,000 fine levied against former state Senator Jerry Cooper while it seeks a legal opinion from the state attorney general as to the maximum fine it can impose.
Read more in the News Sentinel
State comptroller reports on traffic stops
At the request of the state legislature, the comptroller has analyzed data from Tennessee Highway Patrol vehicle stops and concluded that race and ethnicity do not play a role in the decision to stop motorists. Search rates, however, do vary by race, the survey suggested with one of eight Hispanic drivers searched compared to one of 13 African-American drivers and one of 14 white drivers.
The Times News has the story
Download the study
Memphis Bar elects officers
The Memphis Bar Association held its elections last week and selected the following officers: President Amy Amundsen, President-elect Art Quinn, Treasurer Ricky Wilkins and Secretary John Cannon. In addition, Stacie Winkler was elected president of the association's Young Lawyers Division.

Sentencing body approves retroactive guidelines
A day after the U.S. Supreme Court eased the way for judges to depart from sentencing guidelines, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make retroactive a reduction in the crack cocaine sentencing guideline. The commission estimates that 19,500 inmates will be eligible to petition for reduced sentences because of the move.
The Washington Post has the story
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