Opinion Flash

October 6, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 181

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
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
04 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
09 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


SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_1006.wpd

MARK B. GORE v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark B. Gore, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter and Stephanie R. Reevers,
Associate Deputy Attorney General, for the appellees, Tennessee
Department of Correction, Warden David Mills, Warden Ricky Bell, Sgt.
F/N/U Settles, Employee F/N/U Henry, and Employee F/N/U Hall.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

Mark B. Gore, an inmate in the Department of Corrections, appeals the
action of the Chancery Court of Davidson County in granting a T.R.C.P.
rule 12.02(6) motion to dismiss his Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
 We affirm the action of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/goremark.wpd

BRENDA HICKS V. JOHN E. HICKS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

David W. Camp and Angela Snider, Jackson, Tennessee, for appellant,
John E. Hicks.

Brenda Hicks Oldham, Owensboro, Kentucky, Pro se.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is a divorce case.  At the time the wife filed for divorce, the
parties had been married for eight months.  The trial judge awarded
the divorce to the wife on the grounds of adultery.  The trial court
also granted the wife a monetary award for "alimony in solido and as a
division of the marital estate."  The husband appeals.  We affirm and
modify.  The proof at trial did not support awarding the wife the
divorce on grounds of adultery, nor did it support the amount of the
monetary award to the wife.  The judgment of the trial court is
affirmed but modified to reflect that the wife is granted the divorce
on grounds of inappropriate marital conduct, and the monetary award is
modified as well.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hicksje.wpd

DIANNA DAWN MCGAHEY v. DAVIS LEE MCGAHGEY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Rosella M. Shackelford, Paris, For Appellant, Dianna Dawn McGahey

Steven L. West, McKenzie, For Appellee, Davis Lee McGahey

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a motion for sanctions pursuant to Rule 11, Tenn.
R. App. P.  Husband and Wife were scheduled for a contested divorce
hearing.  On the morning of the hearing, Husband and Wife negotiated a
settlement and Judgment was subsequently entered dissolving the
parties' marriage and incorporating their Marital Dissolution
Agreement and Permanent Parenting Plan.  Thereafter, Wife obtained new
counsel and filed a Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment.  As the
basis for her Motion, Wife alleged that she had not received proper
representation from her former attorney.  Husband filed a Motion for
Rule 11 Sanctions.  Following a hearing, the trial court denied Wife's
Motion to Alter or Amend and granted Husband's Motion for Rule 11
Sanctions.  Wife appeals.  We affirm in part, reverse in part.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mcgaheyd.wpd

STEVEN SCOTT MEANS, ET AL. v. DAVID VINCENT ASHBY, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael W. Binkley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Steven
Scott Means and Cheryl Lynn Means.

Phillip R. Robinson and James C. Bradshaw, III, Nashville, Tennessee,
for the appellee, David Vincent Ashby.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

Current custodian of Minor Child petitioned the court for termination
of parental rights of both parents.  Petitioners are the brother and
sister-in-law of Minor Child's mother.  The parents of the Minor Child
are divorced.  Mother had no contact with Minor Child for over a year
prior to the Petition, and Father has had no contact for approximately
five years.  We find that any failure to visit by the parents and
failure to support by the Mother was not willful and affirm the trial
court in dismissing the Petition to Terminate their parental rights. 
However, the trial court's custody determination is vacated, and that
issue is remanded for further consideration.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/meanssteven.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEFFERY P. BECKHAM

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender; and Richard W. DeBerry,
Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Jeffery P.
Beckham.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; G. Robert Radford, District Attorney
General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY
 
First Paragraph:

A Hardin County jury convicted the defendant, Jeffery P. Beckham, of
aggravated assault.  The trial court sentenced him to five years
incarceration as a Range I standard offender.  On appeal, the
defendant contends (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the
conviction; (2) his sentence is excessive; and (3) the trial court
erred in denying probation.  We affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

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

TONY CARRUTHERS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles R. Ray, Nashville, Tennessee; Larry Copeland, Memphis,
Tennessee, for the Appellee, Tony Carruthers.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Alice B. Lustre, Assistant Attorney General, for
the Appellant, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The State of Tennessee appeals from an interlocutory order of the
post-conviction court, permitting the unsealing of biographical
information of a jury that was anonymously empaneled.  The Defendant,
Tony Carruthers, was convicted of the 1994 murders of Marcellos
Anderson, his mother Delois Anderson, and Frederick Tucker and was
sentenced to death.  After his convictions and sentences were affirmed
on direct appeal, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief,
alleging that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel.
Carruthers sought to unseal the jury records in order to obtain
information to support his claim.  The post-conviction court ordered
the release of the information to only the Defendant's attorneys.  The
State, pursuant to Rule 10 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate
Procedure, seeks review of this decision.  After review, we conclude
that the method employed by the post-conviction court in unsealing the
jury records was error.  Accordingly, we reverse and remand for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RITA CATES

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles S. Kelly, Sr., Dyersburg, Tennessee (at hearing); Gary F.
Antrican, District Public Defender; and Julie K. Pillow, Assistant
District Public Defender (on appeal), for the appellant, Rita Cates.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General; and Tracey A. Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY
 
First Paragraph:

The defendant pled guilty to attempted second degree murder,
especially aggravated burglary, and reckless aggravated assault. 
Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed an effective
sentence of eight years and six months.  In this appeal, the defendant
argues her sentences are excessive because she should have received
alternative sentencing.  We affirm the judgments of the trial court,
but, due to a clerical error, remand for entry of a corrected
judgment.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES CRAVENS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David N. Brady, District Public Defender (at hearing and on appeal);
and John B. Nisbet, III, Assistant District Public Defender (on
appeal), for the appellant, James Cravens.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlan,
Assistant Attorney General; William Edward Gibson, District Attorney
General; and Benjamin W. Fann, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The Putnam County trial court revoked the probation of the defendant,
James Cravens, and ordered him to serve his original sentence of
eleven months and twenty-nine days in confinement.  On appeal, the
defendant contends: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the
trial court's probation revocation order; (2) his sentence is
excessive; and (3) the trial court erred in placing certain conditions
on his bond pending appeal.  We affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARTIN TODD FELTS, Alias MARTY FELTS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Judson W. Phillips, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Martin
Todd Felts.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General;  Dan Mitchum Alsobrooks, District Attorney
General; and Robert S. Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant appeals the revocation of his probation contending that
the trial court abused its discretion.  We hold that the record
contains substantial evidence to support the trial court's conclusion
that a violation had occurred, and there was no abuse of discretion. 
Accordingly, we affirm the judgments.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT JOSEPH KING, SR.

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

George M. Googe, District Public Defender (on appeal), and J. Colin
Morris, Jackson, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Robert
Joseph King, Sr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; and Jody Pickens, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Robert Joseph King, Sr., pled guilty to burglary and
theft of property over $1,000.  The plea agreement provided for
concurrent Range I sentences between two and four years. Before the
defendant entered his plea, the district attorney general filed notice
of the state's request for enhanced punishment due to the defendant's
status as a multiple offender.  The trial court ordered two Range II
sentences of six years.  In this appeal, the defendant argues that the
imposition of Range II sentences violated the terms of the plea
agreement.  The judgments are affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE  v.  ERIC LAWSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert T. Carter, Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric
Lawson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; Charles Michael Layne, District Attorney
General; Doug Aaron, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Eric Lawson, was indicted by the Coffee County Grand Jury
on one count of rape of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual
battery.  Defendant entered guilty pleas to three counts of aggravated
sexual battery.  Following a sentencing hearing, Defendant was
sentenced to ten years in count one and eight years each in counts two
and three.  The trial court ordered that the eight-year sentences be
served concurrent with each other, but consecutive to Defendant's
ten-year sentence in count one, for a total effective sentence of
eighteen years.  In this appeal as of right, Defendant challenges the
length of his sentence in count one and the trial court's order of
consecutive sentencing.  After reviewing the record, we affirm the
judgments of the trial court, but remand for entry of judgments that
properly reflect the release eligibility as 100% pursuant to Tenn.
Code Ann. S 40-35-501(i)(1).

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARL WATSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Joseph S. Ozment, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carl Watson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William
L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Stephen P. Jones and Amy P.
Weirich, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State
of Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

A jury convicted the Defendant, Carl Watson, of rape, and the trial
court imposed a ten-year sentence.  On appeal, the Defendant contends:
(1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the
State's bill of particulars was inadequate; (3) the trial court erred
in failing to grant him a continuance or a mistrial due to the State's
failure to comply with discovery; (4) the trial court erred in
excluding evidence of the victim's alleged gang affiliation and
initiation as a possible source of her hymenal tear; and (5) the trial
court erred in not recusing itself following an ex parte communication
with jurors after trial.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JANALEE ANNETTE WILSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee (on appeal); George Morton
Googe, District Public Defender (on appeal and at trial); and David
Crichton, Assistant Public Defender (on appeal and at trial), for the
appellant, Janalee Annette Wilson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District
Attorney General; and R. Leigh Grinalds, Assistant United States
Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Janalee Annette Wilson, was convicted of first degree
premeditated murder for the death of her husband, Rickey Wilson, Sr. 
The jury imposed a sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility
of parole.  In this appeal as of right, the defendant contends that
the trial court committed four evidentiary errors and that the
evidence was insufficient to support her conviction.  The judgment of
the trial court is affirmed.

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

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