Opinion FlashOctober 2, 2002
Volume 8 Number 173
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES L. CARRETHERS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Monte D. Watkins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, James L. Carrethers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Tucker, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: James L. Carrethers appeals his second-degree murder conviction. He was found guilty of that offense by a Davidson County Jury. He is presently serving an eighteen-year sentence in the Department of Correction for the crime. In this direct appeal, he claims that the evidence does not sufficiently support the conviction and that the lower court erred in denying a motion to suppress his inculpatory, pretrial statements. Because we are unconvinced of error in either respect, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/carrethers.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LONNIE KEITH DISHNER Court:TCCA Attorneys: Bob McD. Green, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lonnie Keith Dishner. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney General; and Jack Marecic, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The appellant was convicted at a jury trial of the offense of felonious reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to a term of one year imprisonment in the Greene County workhouse. In this appeal the appellant claims that the indictment is defective, that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict, and that the prosecution improperly commented in closing argument that the appellant should have produced a certain tape recording. After a review of the record we are of the opinion that the indictment and evidence are constitutionally sufficient to support the verdict. We are also of the opinion that the appellant has waived any error concerning closing argument by failing to include the transcript of the arguments in the record. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/dishner.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RALPH TAYLOR HOPSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal only); Ralph Taylor Hopson, pro se, (at trial); and Martha J. Yoakum, District Public Defender; and Charles A. Herman, Assistant Public Defender, Jacksboro, Tennessee (at trial as advisory counsel) for the appellant, Ralph Taylor Hopson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlan, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; Jared Effler, Assistant District Attorney General; John Arnold Steakley, Assistant District Attorney General; and Todd Longmire, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Defendant, Ralph Taylor Hopson, was indicted by the Grand Jury of Claiborne County for one count of second degree murder and one count of attempted second degree murder. Prior to trial, Defendant stated his desire to waive his right to representation by counsel and requested to proceed pro se. Four days later, the trial court conducted an inquiry into Defendant's ability to represent himself and granted his request. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of the offenses charged. The trial court subsequently sentenced Defendant to twenty-five years for the second degree murder conviction and ten years for the attempt conviction, to be served concurrently. In this appeal, Defendant challenges both convictions on the ground that the waiver of his right to counsel was not knowingly and intelligently made. In addition, Defendant contends that his sentence for the second degree murder conviction is excessive. After a review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that Defendant did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel and that the trial court erred in determining Defendant's sentences. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand this matter for a new trial. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hopsonr.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL GEORGE MEDINA Court:TCCA Attorneys: Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Michael George Medina. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and David E. Durham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HAYES First Paragraph: The Appellant, Michael George Medina, appeals his conviction by a Smith County jury finding him guilty of first-degree murder. On appeal, Medina challenges (1) the sufficiency of the convicting evidence, as it relates to the element of premeditation, and (2) the trial court's ruling which he asserts interfered with the defense's order of proof, thus, "forcing a premature election on defendant's right to testify." After review, we find no error. Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/medina.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER DUWAN ROBERTSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Larry B. Hoover, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Duwan Robertson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Roger D. Moore and Grady Alan Moore, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Christopher Duwan Robertson, appeals as of right from his conviction by a jury in the Davidson County Criminal Court of first degree, premeditated murder. The defendant received a sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. He contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) the trial court erroneously failed to instruct the jury to determine whether witnesses Karen Mullins and Michael Simpson were accomplices as a matter of fact, and (3) the trial court should have granted a mistrial after the victim's mother testified that the defendant had committed another murder. We affirm the trial court's judgment of conviction. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/robertsn.wpd
ANDRADE BRUCE WILLIAMS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrade Bruce Williams, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Kymberly Haas, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: RILEY First Paragraph: Petitioner appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He was originally convicted of felony murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery and received an effective life sentence. He now contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his jury trial. We conclude otherwise and affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/williamsab.wpd
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