Williams is House Speaker in surprise vote

East Tennessee Republican Rep. Kent Williams of Carter County was elected Speaker of the House for 106th General Assembly this afternoon in a vote Republicans thought would go to Jason Mumpower. It was a scene that had the highway patrol in the chamber to guard the new speaker -- from his own party members. Williams said at least three lawmakers hurled "the f-word" at him. Amid booing, Williams addressed the crowd, acknowledging that he would likely lose his next election, but saying that today wasn't about Rep. Jason Mumpower or former Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. It was about change.

Williams' election was a apparently a well-crafted plan, laid out by Naifeh and House Democratic leader Gary Odom, The Nashville Scene reports. Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith had a different take on the vote, telling the Nashville Business Journal that "Kent Williams has betrayed his constituents and the people of Carter County."

The new House coalition of Democrats-plus Williams later elected Democrat Lois DeBerry over Republican Beth Harwell as speaker pro tem. In the Senate, there were no such surprises: Speaker and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey retained his post in the 19-14 GOP-controlled Senate.

Read NashvillePost.com's detailed account of the afternoon

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MUSTAPHA BOUTCHICHE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and John Halstead, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Mustapha Boutchiche.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Phillip H. Morton, Ta Kisha M. Fitzgerald, Willie Harper, Del Holley, and Leland Price, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Mustapha Boutchiche, was convicted of sexual battery, a Class E felony, and sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to two years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in excluding evidence that the victim was untruthful in a prior proceeding, admitting the victim's 9-1-1 phone call, not requiring the State to make an election of offenses, and ordering that he undergo a psychosexual evaluation prior to sentencing. He also argues that his sentence was excessive because the trial court enhanced his sentence based on enhancement factors not proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt and denied probation because he refused to undergo the psychosexual evaluation. We affirm the defendant's conviction and the trial court's denial of probation but modify his sentence to one year.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/boutchichem_011309.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM THOMAS BRYANT

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph P. Atnip, District Public Defender (on appeal); Noel H. Riley, II and Carla Christian, Dyersburg, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, William Thomas Bryant.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and James T. Cannon and Heard B. Critchlow, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

The defendant, William Thomas Bryant, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Obion County of three counts of rape of a child. See T.C.A. section 39-13-522 (2003) (amended 2005, 2006, 2007). He was sentenced to three concurrent fifteen-year sentences of confinement. In this delayed appeal, he claims (1) the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to convict him of rape of a child, (2) the court erred in admitting the testimony of two nurses as hearsay exceptions, and (3) the court erred in finding the two child victims competent to testify. We affirm the convictions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/bryantw_011309.pdf


MICHAEL J. FLOYD v. CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael J. Floyd, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; and Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General, attorneys for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The pro se petitioner, Michael J. Floyd, appeals as of right the summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus by the Wayne County Circuit Court. The petitioner alleges that his conviction and resulting sentence for aggravated robbery is illegal and void due to an involuntary guilty plea. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/floydm_011309.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. GORDON MCGEE, SR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John P. Partin, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gordon McGee, Sr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Lisa Zavogiannis, District Attorney General; and Mark E. Tribble, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

Gordon McGee, Sr., the defendant, was granted an extraordinary appeal by this court pursuant to Rule 10 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. This followed a denial of the defendant's pretrial diversion application by the State and the trial court's affirmance of the denial and refusal to grant an interlocutory appeal. After review, we conclude that the denial of pretrial diversion was an abuse of discretion and remand for entry of a grant of pretrial diversion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/mcgeeg_011309.pdf


LAQUENTON MONGER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Laquenton Monger, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

The Appellant, Laquenton Monger, appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The Appellant fails to assert a cognizable claim for which habeas corpus relief may be granted. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/mongerl_011309.pdf


RONALD D. MORROW v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, JAMES FORTNER, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Ronald D. Morrow, Pro Se, Only, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Deshea Dulany, 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 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 summarily 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 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 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/2009/morrowr_011309.pdf


ANGELEE PRATER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Philip A. Condra, District Public Defender; Michelle Story, Assistant Public Defender, and Jeffrey Harmon, Assistant Public Defender, Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, Angelee Prater.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; Dorothy M. Ray, Assistant District Attorney General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Angelee Prater, appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of her petition for post- conviction relief. In her appeal, Petitioner argues that her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to interview potential witnesses and to seek funding for an expert witness. After review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/pratera_011309.pdf


WILLIE JAMES ROBINSON, JR. v. RICKY J. BELL, Warden, and STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Willie James Robinson, Jr., Pro Se.

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

Judge: WELLES

The Petitioner, Willie James Robinson, Jr., appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State's motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/robinsonw_011309.pdf


ARTHUR W. STAMEY, III v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Arthur W. Stamey, III, Pikeville, Tennessee, pro se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; R. Steven Bebb, District Attorney General; and Stephen M. Hatchett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Arthur W. Stamey, III, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. In this appeal, he contends that due process principles require the tolling of the one-year statute of limitations and that newly discovered, exculpatory evidence warrants coram nobis relief. Because the coram nobis court erred by summarily dismissing the petition for writ of error coram nobis, the judgment of that court is reversed, and the case is remanded for a determination of whether due process principles require the tolling of the coram nobis statute of limitations.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/stameya_011309.pdf


ISAAC STORY v. HOWARD CARLTON, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Isaac Story, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Tony Clark, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner appeals the trial court's dismissal of his habeas corpus petition. On appeal, Petitioner argues that his original sentence for second degree murder is illegal and alleges that the judgment was changed to reflect fifteen years of service at 100 percent instead of the 30 percent release eligibility date he claims was promised him in exchange for his guilty plea. The trial court determined that the judgment appeared to have been correctly marked at 100 percent and the corrected judgment reflected the same sentence as the original. As such, the trial court determined that Petitioner's sentence was not illegal. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/storyi_011309.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER SCOTT WALKER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mack Garner, Maryville, Tennessee (at trial); and J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal) for the appellant, Christopher Scott Walker.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Robert Headrick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Christopher Scott Walker, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more in exchange for a three-year sentence to be served as 120 days' incarceration followed by supervised probation. The defendant's supervising probation officer reported several probation violations and, after a probation revocation hearing, the trial court ordered the defendant to fully serve the balance of his sentence. The defendant concedes that he violated the terms of probation but argues that the trial court erred by ordering him to serve the balance of the sentence in the Department of Correction. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/walkerc_011309.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLARD J. WALLACE, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John Pellegrin, Gallatin, Tennessee; Peter D. Heil, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Willard J. Wallace, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Thomas B. Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The defendant, Willard J. Wallace, Jr., appeals the Sumner County Criminal Court's order revoking his community corrections sentence and sentencing him to seven years in the Department of Correction as a Range I, standard offender. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court but remand the case to the trial court for entry of a revised judgment of conviction on count 1 of the indictment, as detailed in this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/wallacew_011309.pdf


Requirements for Registered Out-of-State Sex Offenders with Expunged Convictions

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-01-13

Opinion Number: 09-01

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_01.pdf

Ex Parte Communications in Municipal Administrative Proceedings

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-01-13

Opinion Number: 09-02

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2009/ag_09_02.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Politics
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Candidates for Robinson's seat lined up
The following people have applied for the vacancy in the 20th Judicial District Circuit Court created by the retirement of Judge Muriel Robinson. The deadline to submit applications was at 4:30 p.m. CST today. Philip Smith, Madison; Lucinda Ellen Smith, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Nashville; Irwin J. Kuhn, Dobbins & Venick, Nashville; Stephanie Howard Gore, Terry & Gore, Nashville; Jefre Scot Goldtrap, Joelton; Cynthia M. Odle, Nashville; and Joy M. Sims, Nashville. The Judicial Selection Commission will meet on Feb. 9 to hear public comment on the candidates and begin its selection process.

DOJ official favored hires with same ideology, report says
A report by the Justice Department's inspector general concludes that the former leader of the Civil Rights Division used ideology in hiring and assignments, favoring conservatives he called "real Americans" and members of the Republican Party. The report says Bradley Schlozman criticized those who didn't share his political views as "libs" and "pinkos," and he gave false statements to Congress when he denied politics played a role in his hiring decisions.
ABAJournal.com connects you to the report and more
Commission to meet Feb. 25 to fill Stotts' seat
The Judicial Selection Commission will meet Feb. 25 in Memphis to begin the process of filling the vacancy in the 30th Judicial District Circuit Court created by the death of Judge Rita Stotts. Applications must be received by the Administrative Office of the Courts by Feb. 3 for consideration.
For details, go to the AOC web site
Judge: TVA must install pollution controls
U.S. District Court Judge Lacy Thornburg has sided with North Carolina and ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to install pollution controls at four coal-fired power plants. The decision issued today comes in a lawsuit filed in 2006 against the nation's largest public utility by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The News Sentinel has the story
Politics
Wamp 'won't go back to the House'
Republican Zach Wamp today said he would not run for re-election to his East Tennessee congressional seat if his 2010 gubernatorial bid doesn't work out. Wamp, 51, has about $550,000 left in his federal campaign account, but told reporters in Nashville that he's not keeping that money in reserve. "This a bridge that I've crossed," he said. "I won't go back to the House."
The News Sentinel reports
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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 TBA member benefit is national in scope and offers TBA members unlimited usage, unlimited customer service and unlimited printing -- all at no cost.
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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