All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 19, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Bryce Benjet (on appeal, pro hac vice), New York, New York; Hershel Koger (on appeal and at trial), Pulaski, Tennessee; Craig M. Cooley, (at trial, pro hac vice), New York, New York, for the Petitioner-Appellant, Randall Mills.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Charles F. Crawford, Jr., District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Petitioner-Appellant, Randy Mills, appeals the partial denial of his “Motion to Reopen Post[-]Conviction Petition and Other Relief.” On appeal, he argues: (1) the trial court erred in denying him a new trial on all of the charges in this case for which he was convicted; (2) the general sessions counsel’s and trial counsel’s 2003 post-conviction testimony regarding his admission of guilt as to some of the charges is inadmissible as substantive evidence of his guilt on retrial; and (3) the trial court erred in failing to adjudicate the merits of his state and federal constitutional law claims. Although not raised by the Petitioner, the State argues that the trial court’s agreed order, which was entered after the filing of the Petitioner’s notice of appeal, is null and void because the court no longer had jurisdiction of the case. Upon review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment granting a new trial in count 2, the conviction for rape of a child–penile penetration, in light of the newly discovered DNA evidence; however, we reverse the judgment denying a new trial on the remaining charges for which he was convicted, and we remand the case to the trial court for entry of an order also granting the Petitioner a new trial on counts 1, 4, 5, and 6.