STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEPHEN L. DENTON
D. Mitchell Bryant, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Victoria B. Eiger, New
York, New York, for the appellant, Stephen L. Denton.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N.
Estes, District Attorney General; and William W. Reedy and Amy Reedy,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
The defendant, a physician, was charged in three separate indictments
with a total of twenty sexual offenses involving eleven different
victims. The counts charged in the indictments were alleged to have
occurred over a time span of six years. The trial court denied the
defendant's pre-trial motion to sever the counts for separate trials
and granted the State's motion to consolidate all three indictments
for a single trial. The defendant was subsequently found guilty of
one count of sexual battery by an authority figure, six counts of
sexual battery, and three counts of assault. He was acquitted on
three counts of rape and three counts of sexual battery. The
defendant then presented several issues on appeal, including: (1) that
the trial court erred in denying the motion to sever the offenses; and
(2) that the defendant was improperly convicted of sexual battery by
an authority figure. The Court of Criminal Appeals held, among other
things, that the trial court erred in denying the motion to sever.
However, the Court found this error to be harmless and therefore
affirmed the convictions. The Court of Criminal Appeals also held
that the defendant's conviction for sexual battery by an authority
figure was proper as a physician fell within the ambit of the
applicable statute. For the reasons stated herein, we hold that the
failure to sever the counts against the defendant was reversible
error, and therefore we reverse the convictions. Further, we hold
that a physician is not an authority figure as contemplated under
Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-527 (2003) and therefore the
defendant's conviction under this statute was improper. Accordingly,
the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed, and the
case remanded for new trials.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. JENNIFER
SIMPSON BLACKWELL IN THE MATTER OF J.S., Jr. (DOB 6/21/96)
Jim L. Fields, Paris, TN, for Appellant
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Juan G. Villasenor,
Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee
This case involves the termination of Mother's parental rights. The
trial court found clear and convincing evidence to terminate Mother's
parental rights on the grounds of (1) persistent conditions and (2)
substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan. Additionally, the
trial court determined that termination of Mother's parental rights
was in Child's best interest. Mother appeals the decision of the
trial court. For the following reasons, we affirm.
RICHARD H. DEVAUGHN v. FAYETTE MULLINS, ET AL.
Richard H. DeVaughn, Pro Se.
James H. Bradberry, Jeffery T. Washburn, Dresden, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Fayette Mullins and Brenda Mullins.
The trial court determined that the boundary line separating the
parties' properties was established by an old fence line. We affirm.
CLARK DUNLAP, ET AL. v. CITY OF MEMPHIS
Rex L. Brasher, Jr., Memphis, For Appellant, Clark Dunlap
Louis P. Britt III and David P. Knox of Memphis For Appellee, City of
Eight full-time Memphis police officers, all of them former officers
with the Memphis Police Reserve, sued for declaratory judgment finding
that time they served in the Memphis Police Reserve should be credited
toward the thirty years of service required in order to receive an
automatic promotion to the rank of Captain under Section 67 of the
Memphis Charter. Plaintiffs argued that designation of reserve
officers as "part-time employees" in Article III, Section 28-56 of the
Memphis Code, entitles them to receive such service credit. The Shelby
County Chancery Court denied their request for declaratory judgment.
Plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.
MICHAEL S. HOLMES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Mike Mosier, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael S. Holmes.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Markham,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee
The petitioner, Michael S. Holmes, was convicted in 1997 of aggravated
robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, felony escape,
burglary of a vehicle, and theft of property over $1000. His
convictions were affirmed on direct appeal. Subsequently, he filed a
petition for post- conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance
of counsel and improper jury instructions on lesser- included
offenses. After a review of the affidavits submitted by the
petitioner, the post-conviction court denied the petition, and this
appeal followed. We affirm the order of the post-conviction court
denying the petition.