All Content

Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Apr 19, 2018

Head Comment: THOMAS T. WOODALL, P.J., concurring.

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Derek K. Smith, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, George A. Stanhope.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; and Michael J. Fahey, II, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

George A. Stanhope, the Petitioner, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of first degree felony murder, theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, and aggravated burglary. The Petitioner received a total effective sentence of life without parole plus ten years. His petition for post-conviction relief was denied by the post-conviction court following a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that: (1) the State’s voir dire and trial counsel’s concession to second degree murder during closing argument violated the Petitioner’s right to a jury trial and constituted a structural constitutional error; and (2) the Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel during voir dire and closing argument. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable case law, we affirm.