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GINGER WISE, individually, and as next of kin of ANNE SMITH, deceased, v. HERITAGE ASSISTED LIVING d/b/a HERITAGE HOME FOR SENIORS, LP

Court: TCA


Thomas Pinckney and Susan D. Bass, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Heritage Assisted Living d/b/a Heritage Home for Seniors, LP.

Mark N. Geller and Carrie W. Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Ginger Wise.


This appeal involves a Motion to Compel Arbitration. In the underlying wrongful death action, Ginger Wise ("Wise"), acting individually and as next of kin to her mother, the decedent Anne Smith ("Smith") sued Heritage Home for Seniors, LP ("Heritage"). Heritage filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration based upon an arbitration clause contained in the residency agreement ("Agreement"). The Agreement was signed by Wise when Smith was admitted to Heritage. Wise responded that she was not actually authorized to act as Smith's attorney-in-fact at that time because Smith had not been found incompetent by a physician and therefore the power-of-attorney never became effective. In the alternative, Wise argued that the arbitration clause was unconscionable. The trial court denied the Motion to Compel Arbitration and declined to rule on whether the arbitration clause was unconscionable. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Fletcher W. Long, Springfield, Tennessee (at hearing), for the appellant, Mark Allen.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Bryant Haskell, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and B. Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Mark Allen, was convicted of one count of exhibition of materials harmful to a minor, one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation, and one count of rape of a child, and sentenced to an effective sentence of twenty-four years. He filed a timely petition for post- conviction relief, asserting that trial counsel was ineffective. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. After our review of the record, we affirm the dismissal.



Court: TCCA


Bert W. McCarter, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jerome Antoine Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; Laural Hemenway and Jude Santana, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Pursuant to a plea agreement, the Defendant, Jerome Antoine Brown, pled guilty to possession of a Schedule II drug and tampering with evidence and received an effective sentence of twelve months in jail followed by ten years of probation. Subsequently, because the Defendant failed a drug screen and failed to report, the trial court found that the Defendant violated his probation, and ordered him to serve his sentence in prison. The Defendant now appeals, claiming that the trial court erroneously revoked his probation and that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel when he pled guilty. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.



Court: TCCA


C. Anne Tipton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ivory Gray.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilbur, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Tom Hoover, Assistant District Attorney General; and Alexia Fulgham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Ivory Gray, was indicted in count one for the first degree premeditated murder of Derek Jones and in count two for the attempted first degree premeditated murder of Georglvekio Hampton. Following a jury trial, Defendant was found not guilty in count one of the indictment. The jury found Defendant guilty of attempted first degree premeditated murder in count two. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to twenty years. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of attempted first degree premeditated murder; (2) the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury on the definition of "reasonable doubt;" (3) the trial court erred in restricting Defendant's cross-examination of one of the State's witnesses; and (4) the cumulative effect of these errors denied Defendant his constitutional right to a fair trial. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Martin E. Dunn, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carey Haynes, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Carey Haynes, Jr., was convicted of a Class B and a Class C felony involving the sale of cocaine and received an effective eighteen-year sentence. The only issue raised on direct appeal was ineffective assistance of counsel, which was deemed waived because it was not included in the motion for new trial. The petitioner has now filed seeking post-conviction relief, and the post-conviction court has granted the petitioner a delayed appeal and ruled that his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel was previously determined. As to the delayed appeal, we address whether the evidence was sufficient to support the petitioner's convictions and whether the petitioner's sentence was proper. We further address whether the post-conviction court properly denied relief. After careful review, we affirm the judgments from the lower courts.



Court: TCCA


Andre' L. Mayfield, appellant, pro se.

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


The petitioner, Andre' L. Mayfield, appeals from the Bledsoe County Circuit Court's dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The State has moved to have this court summarily affirm the dismissal pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. We grant the motion and affirm the order of dismissal pursuant to Rule 20.



Court: TCCA


Gene Honea (on appeal) and Trudy Bloodworth (at trial), Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brian S. Roberson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Sean B. Duddy, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Williamson County jury convicted the appellant, Brian Shondell Roberson, of one count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony. He was sentenced to thirty years as a career offender and fined five thousand dollars. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After reviewing the record, we affirm the appellant's conviction.



Court: TCCA


Charles S. Kelly, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, John L. Trull.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; and Stephanie J. Hale and Edward L. Hardister, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, John L. Trull, pled guilty in the Crockett County Circuit Court to driving under the influence ("DUI"), third offense, and was sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days, with all but 120 days suspended. As a condition of his guilty plea, he reserved the following certified question of law: "Whether the arrest of the defendant was unconstitutional in violation of Article I, Section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution." Upon review of the record, we agree with the State that the certified question of law does not clearly state the scope and limits of the legal issue the defendant sought to reserve for appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.



Court: TCCA


Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Donna Armstard, Assistant Public Defender; David Bell, Assistant Public Defender; and Garland Ergüden, Assistant Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Germaine Whitley.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Alonda Dwyer, Assistant District Attorney General; and Colin Campbell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a jury trial, Defendant, Germaine Whitley, was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder and first degree felony murder, which the trial court merged into a single conviction for first degree premeditated murder. Defendant was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. On appeal, Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


John A. Woodruff, Sr., Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, John A. Woodruff, Sr., appeals the denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief. The petitioner claims that he is being held unlawfully in that his sentence has expired and that due process demands his release after he was earlier mistakenly released by the Tennessee Department of Correction. After review, we affirm the trial court's denial of habeas corpus relief.



Court: TCCA


Jeffry S. Grimes, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Chris L. Young.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Senior Counsel; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Christopher Gene Clark, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Chris L. Young, was convicted following a bench trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County of possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with intent to sell, a Class B felony, unlawful possession of a weapon with intent to employ it in the commission of a felony, a Class E felony, and simple possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. He received an effective sentence of eight years on community corrections with 180 days to be served in jail. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion for a judgment of acquittal after allowing the State's motion to reopen the proof. We hold that the trial court did not err in denying the Defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.


Authority of Counties and Municipalities to Prohibit Firearms in Parks Which They Own

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-09-09

Opinion Number: 09-152



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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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