'Don't say gay' bill wins subcommittee approval

Sen. Stacey Campfield's bill to ban discussion of all but "natural human reproduction science" before the ninth grade in public schools was voted out of a House subcommittee today. The "Don't Say Gay" bill has drawn national attention, much more since Sen. Campfield appeared on a talk show and said that the AIDS epidemic started when a man had sex with a monkey.

The Nashville Scene has more

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Court: TCA


C. Michael Robbins, Covington, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellant, James Coleman.

J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellees, Lauderdale County, TN, Sheriff Steve Sanders, and Deputy Sheriff Harry R. Hopkins.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a malicious prosecution case arising out of a dispute between neighbors. A dispute arose when the plaintiff neighbor hired a tree service to trim the branches of a tree near the border between the two neighbors' properties. After a confrontation, the police were called. After they arrived, the police cited both neighbors on charges of disorderly conduct. After the charges against the plaintiff neighbor were dismissed, he filed this malicious prosecution action against the defendant county and two of the police officers involved. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff neighbor now appeals. We affirm.



Court: TCCA


M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ashlee N. Appleton.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; David McGovern, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Marion County jury convicted the Defendant, Ashlee N. Appleton, of tampering with evidence, and the trial court sentenced her to four years, to be served on community corrections after six months of incarceration. The Defendant appeals, contending that the State failed to establish the corpus delicti of the crime for which she was convicted. The State concedes the error, and both parties assert that this case be reversed. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we agree with the parties. Accordingly, we reverse and dismiss the Defendant's conviction.



Court: TCCA


Jeffery A. DeVasher (on appeal), Tyler Chance Yarbro (at trial), and Jonathan F. Wing (at trial), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Emoe Zakiaya Mosi Bakari.

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

Judge: OGLE

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Emoe Zakiaya Mosi Bakari, of attempted rape of a child, a Class B felony, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to twelve years in confinement. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred by (1) allowing a State witness to testify about "delayed disclosure" in child sexual abuse cases; (2) allowing a police detective to give testimony suggesting the appellant was uncooperative during the investigation; (3) allowing the State to introduce a photograph of the victims into evidence; and (4) allowing the prosecutor during rebuttal closing argument to give personal examples in an attempt to vouch for the victims' credibility. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we conclude that the trial court erred by allowing a State witness to testify about "delayed disclosure," by allowing a police detective to give testimony suggesting the appellant was uncooperative during the investigation, and by allowing the prosecutor to give personal examples in an attempt to vouch for the victims' credibility. Moreover, we conclude that the cumulative effect of the errors warrants reversal of the appellant's conviction. Therefore, the appellant's conviction of attempted rape of a child is reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial.



Court: TCCA


Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ian Zraik McClellan.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Megan King and Kyle Anderson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Ian Zraik McClellan, pled guilty to an indictment against him. The State alleged that the indictment charged the Defendant with aggravated vehicular homicide, and the Defendant contended the indictment sufficiently charged him with only vehicular homicide. At the time he entered his plea, the Defendant agreed to allow the trial court to determine whether the indictment sufficiently charged him with aggravated vehicular homicide. After a hearing, the trial court determined the indictment sufficiently charged the Defendant with aggravated vehicular homicide. On appeal, the Defendant contends first that the indictment was not sufficient to charge him with aggravated vehicular homicide and only sufficiently charged him with vehicular homicide and second that his guilty plea was not validly entered. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the Defendant's conviction for aggravated vehicular homicide.



Court: TCCA


Russell F. Thomas, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Allison Elizabeth McLean.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; Mary Katharine White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


In this extraordinary appeal, the Defendant, Allison Elizabeth McLean, appeals the Williamson County Circuit Court's order affirming the Assistant District Attorney's ("ADA") denial of pretrial diversion and the trial court's refusal to grant an interlocutory appeal of it's denial of her pretrial diversion request. On appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant's petition for writ of certiorari because the Assistant District Attorney ("ADA") abused her discretion by (a) failing to support her decision with "substantial evidence;" (b) failing to consider and give proper weight to the Defendant's amenability to correction; (c) giving weight to the circumstances of the case and the need for deterrence without supporting it with evidence; (d) considering improperly the victim's age to "enhance" the circumstances of the offense; and (e) giving "little or no weight" to the Defendant's lack of criminal record and her eight-year marriage; and (2) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant's application for interlocutory appeal. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we conclude that the trial court properly affirmed the ADA's denial of pretrial diversion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



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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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