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Court: TCA


Stephan Walker Pate, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Shannon Kopp.

Phillip Macklin George, Smyrna, Tennessee, for the appellee, Calley Denise Kopp.


Father appeals the trial court's denial of his petition to modify child support. Father showed that his obligation was $109 per month based on the child support guidelines. Instead, the trial court granted an upward deviation and set Father's child support obligation at $567.50 per month. We find that Father showed a significant variance between his current obligation and his obligation under the child support guidelines justifying a modification in the amount of his child support obligation, but we have determined that an upward deviation is also justified. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court and set child support at $249 per month.



Court: TCA


Samuel R. Anderson and Amanda G. Branam, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellants, William E. Smith, III, and Julie Ann Smith.

Jonathan L. Griffith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Emily Steward.

Joshua Gerald Offutt, Nashville, Tennessee, for unnamed Appellee, Mountain Laurel Assurance Company.


This tort action arises from an automobile accident. Defendants admitted liability, but appeal the jury's award of damages in the amount of $76,792 to Plaintiff. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


David W. Schmidt, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rickey Lee Beamon.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Bates W. Bryan, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Rickey Lee Beamon, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief in the Criminal Court for Hamilton County from his convictions for theft of property valued between $10,000 and $60,000, a Class C felony; two counts of burglary, a Class D felony; aggravated criminal trespass, a Class A misdemeanor; and three counts of theft of property valued at $500 or less, a Class A misdemeanor. For the felony theft, he received a sentence of fifteen years as a career offender. For the two burglaries, he received concurrent twelve-year sentences as a career offender, to be served consecutively to the felony theft sentence. The four misdemeanor sentences of eleven months, twenty-nine days, were ordered to run concurrently to the twelve-year burglary sentences, for an effective sentence of twenty-seven years in confinement. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred in denying relief because: (1) counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to sever offenses in case 238463; (2) counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to include in the appellate record the transcript of the suppression hearing in case 245041; and (3) counsel provided ineffective assistance by waiving the issue of retained counsel of choice on appeal by failing to support his claim through argument, citation to authority, and references to the appellate record. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Lawrence Jones.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Dan M. Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; Kelly Jackson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

The appellant, David Lawrence Jones, pled guilty to driving under the influence, fourth offense; driving on a revoked license; violating the open container law; and violating the implied consent law. He received a total effective sentence of two years. As a condition of his plea, the appellant reserved the following certified question of law: "whether the officer's initial encounter was a 'seizure' and, if so, was it supported by probable cause o[r] reasonable suspicion." Upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


R. Timothy Hogan and Joe M. Brandon, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Aldrick D. Lillard.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Bill Whitesell, District Attorney General; and Trevor H. Lynch, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

Appellant, Aldrick D. Lillard, and two other individuals were indicted by the Rutherford County Grand Jury for first degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit especially aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit especially aggravated robbery, and theft of property in connection with the death of Randy Betts. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of first degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. The trial court merged the felony murder conviction into the first degree murder conviction. The jury sentenced Appellant to life without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction. On the remaining convictions, the trial court sentenced Appellant to an effective sentence of twenty-five years. The remaining sentences were ordered to be served concurrently with the life sentence. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant initiated a timely appeal. On appeal, the following issues are presented for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) whether the Appellant was prejudiced because one judge ruled on pre-trial motions and a different judge presided over the trial; (3) whether the trial court improperly allowed the jury to view the trial exhibits in the jury room; (4) whether the trial court properly denied the motion for bill of particulars; (5) whether the trial court improperly admitted a portion of videotaped evidence which referenced Appellant's prior incarceration; and (6) whether the trial court improperly omitted lesser included offenses from the jury instructions. After a thorough and complete review of the record, we determine Appellant is not entitled to relief. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Debra A. Wall, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald E. O'Neal, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Chris Clark and Steve Garrett, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, Donald E. O'Neal, was convicted of attempted especially aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; delivery of a Schedule II drug, a Class C felony; and reckless homicide, a Class D felony. He was sentenced to twelve years for the Class B felony, six years for the Class C felony, and four years for the Class D felony, with all sentences to run consecutively for a total effective sentence of twenty-two years. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his Class C felony conviction and that he was sentenced improperly. After careful review, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's conviction for delivery of a Schedule II drug and the imposition of consecutive sentences. With regard to sentencing, it was within the trial court's discretion to apply the sentencing enhancement factor that the victim was particularly vulnerable and that the defendant employed a firearm in the commission of the crimes. However the trial court misapplied two other enhancement factors. Therefore, we remand this case to the trial court for resentencing in compliance with sentencing procedures.



Court: TCCA


Emeterio R. (Terry) Hernando, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joe Tyree.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Frank Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Joe Tyree, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner submitted a guilty plea to one count of violation of the sex offender registry. On appeal, he contends that: defense counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel; his plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered; and the post-conviction court failed to comply with the statute that requires the court to set forth findings of fact and conclusions of law with regard to each issue. After careful review, we conclude no reversible error exists and affirm the judgment from the post-conviction court.



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Stop 'Jesus' prayers at council meetings, group warns
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WREG.com reports
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The Commercial Appeal has this breaking story
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The Seattle TImes covered her speech
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The Chattanooga Times Free Press carried this AP story
Obama lawyers argue Bagram detainees should not be in U.S. court
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MTSU marks Constitution's anniversary with lecture series
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TBA expands insurance services for members
The TBA Member Insurance Solutions Program has been expanded to offer assistance to members in meeting their health, life, disability and other insurance needs. Working with Graham Swafford III of Capital Financial Group, the TBA is now able to provide members with exclusive benefits, personalized service, and pricing discounts. Services and products offered include: disability income insurance, business overhead expense insurance, group life, long-term and short-term disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, and group health, dental and vision insurance along with other employee related benefits.
Learn more about TBA Insurance Solutions now

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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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