Opinion Flash

August 22, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 153

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):
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
06 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONALD B. FINCH

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

John E. Rodgers, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Ronald
B. Finch.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S.
(Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Roger D. Moore,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Ronald B. Finch, was convicted by a Davidson County
jury of aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated rape.  As a result
of these convictions, Finch was sentenced to concurrent thirty-year
sentences in the Department of Correction.  On appeal, Finch raises
two issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to
support his convictions and (2) whether the sentences imposed were
excessive.  After review of the record, we find no error. 
Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/finchronaldb.wpd

JAMES NICHOLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Dwight E. Scott, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James
Nichols.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; and Jon P. Seaborg, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

A Davidson County trial jury convicted the petitioner of first degree
murder, for which he received a life sentence. State v. Nichols, 24
S.W.3d 297, 300 (Tenn. 2000).  Thereafter, the petitioner
unsuccessfully sought appellate relief from both this Court and the
Tennessee Supreme Court. See id. at 298; State v. James C. Nichols,
No. 01C01-9704-CR-00158, 1998 WL 468638, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. at
Nashville, Aug. 12, 1998). Through the present appeal the petitioner
seeks post- conviction relief from his conviction, alleging that his
trial attorneys did not provide effective assistance of counsel. More
specifically, the petitioner asserts that counsel failed to interview
and call needed witnesses and that counsel failed to object to
inappropriate questioning of a witness by the trial court. We have
reviewed these allegations and find that neither merit relief;
therefore, we affirm the lower court's denial of post-conviction
relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/nicholsjames.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CALVIN JEROME OLIVER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry F. Wallace, Jr., Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Calvin Jerome Oliver.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney
General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Calvin Jerome Oliver, pled guilty in the Marshall
County Circuit Court to aggravated robbery, a Class B felony;
aggravated burglary, a Class C felony; two counts of attempted
aggravated robbery, a Class C felony; and three counts of aggravated
assault, a Class C felony.  The trial court merged his attempted
aggravated robbery convictions into his aggravated robbery conviction
and sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to eighteen years
in the Department of Correction (DOC).  The trial court sentenced him
to seven years for the aggravated burglary conviction and eight years
for each aggravated assault conviction, all to be served concurrently
to each other but consecutively to the eighteen-year sentence for an
effective sentence of twenty-six years in the DOC.  The defendant
appeals, claiming the trial court erred by refusing to apply and give
proper weight to mitigating factors.  We affirm the judgments of the
trial court, but we remand the case for correction of a clerical error
regarding the aggravated burglary judgment.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/olivercalvinj.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES ALAN SHEPPARD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David L. Raybin, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Edward M.
Yarbrough, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal and at trial), for the
appellant, James Alan Sheppard.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III,
District Attorney General; James D. Sledge and Tammy Haggard Mead,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant for one felony count
and one misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident
involving death or injury pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section
55-10-101(b)(1)-(2). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an
effective sentence of eighteen months with forty-five days to be
served in the county jail and the remainder to be served on probation.
 The Defendant now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by
granting the State's motion to amend the indictment without the
consent of the Defendant.  After a review of the record, we conclude
that the amendment was invalid.  We therefore reverse the Defendant's
felony conviction and remand the case to the trial court to enter the
conviction as a misdemeanor.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/sheppardjamesa.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE V. KENNETH STRICKLAND

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Brad W. Hornsby and Aaron S. Guin, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (on
appeal); and G. Wayne Davis, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the
appellant, Kenneth Strickland.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlan,
Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District
Attorney General; and William A. Osborne, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Kenneth Strickland, was convicted by a jury in the
Rutherford County Circuit Court of possession of .5 grams or more of
cocaine with the intent to deliver or sell.  The trial court sentenced
the appellant to twelve years incarceration in the Tennessee
Department of Correction.  On appeal, the appellant argues that the
evidence is insufficient to support his conviction.  Upon review of
the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/stricklandk.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHNNY DARRYL WILLIAMS-BEY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

William Jordan Steed, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Johnny
Darryl Williams-Bey.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Johnny Darryl Williams-Bey, was convicted by a jury of
carjacking, a Class B felony.  See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-404(b). 
Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the
Defendant as a Range II offender to serve the maximum sentence of
twenty years.  The trial court ordered the sentence to be served
consecutively to any sentence not yet served in the federal system. 
In this direct appeal, the Defendant raises the following six issues:
(1) whether the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress
evidence of the victim's identification of the Defendant; (2) whether
the trial court erred by not suppressing evidence found by the police
during his arrest; (3) whether the evidence is sufficient to support
his conviction for carjacking; (4) whether the trial court erred by
ruling that, if the Defendant chose to testify, evidence of two prior
convictions would be admissible to impeach his credibility; (5)
whether the trial court effectively denied the Defendant the right to
present a defense; and (6) whether the trial court erred by imposing
the maximum sentence in the Defendant's range and by ordering the
sentence to be served consecutively to a federal sentence.  We modify
the sentence to eighteen years and otherwise affirm the judgment of
the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/williamsbeyjd.wpd

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