All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 10, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

J. Liddell Kirk (on appeal) and Mary Ward (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael L. Powell.

Attorneys 2:

Robert L. Vogel (on appeal) and Vanessa Lemons (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randall S. Horne.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and TaKisha Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): BIVINS

A jury convicted Michael L. Powell and Randall S. Horne (“the Defendants”) each of one count of aggravated burglary; six counts of aggravated robbery; four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping; two counts of aggravated assault; one count of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony; and one count of possession of a firearm with intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony. The trial court subsequently merged several convictions of each Defendant and, after a hearing, sentenced each Defendant to an effective term of twenty-four years. In this consolidated appeal, both Defendants challenge the validity of their convictions of especially aggravated kidnapping. Horne also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence on all of his convictions, and Powell also challenges the trial court’s imposition of partial consecutive sentencing. Upon our careful review of the record and the recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision in State v. White, __ S.W.3d __, 2012 WL 758916 (Tenn. 2012), we hold that the Defendants’ convictions of especially aggravated kidnapping must be reversed and remanded for a new trial. We also are constrained to find plain error with respect to the trial court’s instructions to the jury on the firearms offenses, and we must reverse those convictions and remand them for a new trial. Therefore, Powell’s challenge to his consecutive sentence is rendered moot. The Defendants’ remaining convictions and sentences are affirmed.