Bar Foundation announces IOLTA grant process

The Tennessee Bar Foundation, through the Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, provides grant awards to organizations that provide direct civil legal services to the indigent or that seek to improve the administration of justice. Applications for the 2009 grants will be available Aug. 1 on the foundation's web site. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than midnight, Sept. 5. For more information, contact the foundation at, call (615) 242-1531 or (800) 634-2516, or visit the foundation's web site:

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Court: TCCA


David Hopkins (at hearing), and William E. Griffith (on appeal), Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Grady Hayes Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Sharon Reddick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, the State of Tennessee.


The Defendant pled guilty to one count of rape and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Petitioner received an eight year sentence for the rape conviction and three year sentences on each sexual battery conviction. The trial court held a sentencing hearing to determine the manner of service. At the sentencing hearing, the Defendant complained that his counsel forced him to plead guilty, after which counsel moved to withdraw. The trial court denied the motion to withdraw, and it ordered the Defendant to serve the sexual battery convictions concurrently to each other but consecutively to the rape conviction. The court also denied alternative sentencing. On appeal, the Defendant raises three issues: (1) the trial court erred in refusing to allow Counsel to withdraw during the sentencing hearing; (2) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing for the sexual battery and rape convictions; and (3) the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


Collins Landstreet, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Lee Demery.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Joe Crumley, District Attorney General; and Ken Baldwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Timothy Lee Demery, was convicted by a Carter County Jury of second degree murder. As a result, he was sentenced to twenty-three years in incarceration. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant initiated the appeal herein. On appeal, he argues that the trial court improperly denied the motion for new trial on the basis of newly-discovered evidence that exonerated Appellant and was withheld from the defense during trial. We determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a new trial on the basis of newly-discovered evidence and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCCA


M. Wallace Coleman, Jr., Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Derrick Sawyers.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; T. T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Joel Douglas Dicus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Derrick Sawyers appeals the habeas court's denial of habeas corpus relief. Following our review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the court's decision.


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