Opinion FlashMay 7, 2002
Volume 8 Number 079
What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES HENDERSON DELLINGER AND GARY WAYNE SUTTON WITH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION WITH APPENDIX Court:TSC Attorneys: F.D. Gibson, Maryville, Tennessee, and John M. Goergen, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary Wayne Sutton. Charles Deas and Eugene Dixon, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Henderson Dellinger. Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Jennifer L. Smith and Kenneth W. Rucker, Assistant Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Paula R. Voss, Knoxville, Tennessee for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Marjorie A. Bristol, Assistant Post-Conviction Defender, for the amicus curiae, Office of the Post- Conviction Defender. Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: James Henderson Dellinger and Gary Wayne Sutton were convicted of first degree premeditated murder in the death of Tommy Mayford Griffin. Dellinger and Sutton were both sentenced to death, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed their convictions and sentences. We entered an order designating the following issues for oral argument: 1) whether the indictments violate the United States Constitution as construed in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); 2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant the defendants a severance or to grant separate juries for each defendant; 3) whether the trial court erred in dismissing the jury selection expert previously granted the defendants; 4) whether the trial court erred in refusing to suppress evidence seized from Dellinger's residence under a search warrant; 5) whether the evidence supports the jury's finding of aggravating circumstance (i)(2); 6) whether the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury at sentencing that the identity of the defendants in prior convictions must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; 7) whether the trial court erred in refusing to charge the jury as a mitigating factor that the defendants are human beings; 8) whether the trial court erred in refusing to answer the jury's question about the manner of serving life sentences; and 9) whether the sentences of death are excessive or disproportionate under Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-206(c)(1)(D). Having carefully reviewed these issues and the remainder of the issues raised by Dellinger and Sutton, we find no merit to their arguments. Accordingly, we affirm the Court of Criminal Appeals in all respects. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dellingerjh_opn.wpd CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dellingerjh_condiss.wpd APPENDIX http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dellingerjh_apdx.wpd
BOBBY RAY SEARS v. METROPOLITAN NASHVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY Court:TCA Attorneys: D. Kirk Shaffer, Bryan E. Pieper, Nashville, For Appellant, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Mike W. Binkley, Nashville, For Appellee, Bobby Ray Sears Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: This is a negligence case under the Governmental Tort Liability Act where plaintiff was awarded money damages against defendant. Subsequent to trial, the defendant filed a motion seeking credit pursuant to T.C.A. S 29-11-105 (a)(1) for the amount paid to plaintiff by a settling co- defendant. The trial court denied the motion, and defendant appeals. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/searsbobby.wpd
JAMES RANDALL SLAUGHTER, et al. v. DUCK RIVER ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Walter W. Bussart, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellants, James Randall Slaughter and Beverly Slaughter. Thomas M. Donnell, Jr., and Jeffrey M. Beemer, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation. George Andrew Rowlett, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Osborne Electrical Contractors, Inc. Judge: NEAL First Paragraph: This is an appeal from an order of the trial court granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation and the third-party defendant, Osborne Electrical Contractors, Inc., on the ground that Duck River Electric Membership Corporation was a statutory employer for the purposes of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act at the time the plaintiff, James Randall Slaughter, received a severe electrical shock resulting in massive injuries. For the reasons herein stated, we affirm the judgment of the trial court and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/slaughterjr.wpd
WILLIAM T. TARPLEY v. RON SEARCY, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Paula Ogle Blair, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ron Searcy, Individually and d/b/a Restoration Contractors. William W. Burton, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, William T. Tarpley. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The Circuit Court of Davidson County affirmed an arbitrator's award despite the opponent's claim of the arbitrator's bias and of erroneous calculations. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/tarpleywt.wpd
FAYE R. TAYLOR v. ANDREW R. DYER, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Bridgett A. Wohlpart, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellants Andrew R. Dyer and Jennifer L. Dyer. Franklin D. Brabson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Faye R. Taylor. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: In a non-jury trial, the Circuit Court of Davidson County awarded $10,920 to a plaintiff injured in a rear-end collision. The defendants assert on appeal that the court erred in allowing the plaintiff to supplement her trial proof with her doctor's statement that his charges were reasonable and necessary. In addition, the defendants assert that most of the medical expenses included in the plaintiff's award were not caused by the accident. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/taylorfr.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEPHEN BART WOOD Court:TCA Attorneys: C. Dawn Deaner and Jonathan F. Wing, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); Jonathan F. Wing and Holly Ruskin, Nashville, Tennessee (at hearing), for the appellant, Stephen Bart Wood. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General (on appeal) and Angelita Dalton, Assistant District Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee (at hearing), for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The General Sessions Court of Davidson County found the defendant guilty of thirty-six violations of an order of protection and ordered him to serve ten days for each violation. Each sentence was to be served consecutively and day-for-day. The defendant appealed to the Criminal Court and that court affirmed. We find that the Criminal Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the appeal, that the sentence should be vacated, and the cause remanded to the General Sessions Court for a review of the sentence for excessiveness in accordance with the guidelines we adopt in this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/woodsb.wpd
PHILIP WORKMAN v. DONAL CAMPBELL, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Paul G. Summers, Attorney General, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Mark A. Hudson, Senior Counsel, For Defendants- Appellants, Donal Campbell, et al Louis W. Oliver, III, Hendersonville, For Plaintiff-Appellee, Philip Workman Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: This case involves the extent to which the State of Tennessee may regulate a condemned prisoner's right to be attended by his personal minister in the hours leading up to his execution. Prisoner sued the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections and the prison warden based upon the warden's denial of prisoner's request that his personal religious advisor be physically present at all times leading up to his execution. The chancery court ordered the issuance of a writ of mandamus requiring the prison warden to allow the prisoner's minister to attend the prisoner at all times until the prisoner enters the death chamber. We reverse and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/workmanphilip.wpd
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