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TODAY'S OPINIONS: Monday, September 19, 2005
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.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - TN Court of Appeals
07 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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Here's how you can obtain full-text version. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

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

AARON T. BURTON v. VIRGINIA LEWIS, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Aaron T. Burton, Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Aaron T. Burton, appeals from the trial court's order dismissing his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The state has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The petitioner has failed to establish that he is entitled to habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, the state's motion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/burtona91905.pdf


JUAN ALFONZO HILL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William L. Francisco, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Juan Alfonzo Hill.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dennis Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he contends that: (1) he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel, and (2) the post-conviction court and the district attorney general erred in failing to comply with the Post Conviction Procedure Act, which caused him prejudice. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court denying post-conviction relief.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/hillj91905.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. NATHANIEL ROBINSON, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender; and Terry Jordan, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Nathaniel Robinson, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and B. Todd Martin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Nathaniel Robinson, Jr., stands convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), third offense and driving on a revoked license, second or subsequent offense. For these convictions, the trial court imposed two consecutive sentences of 11 months and 29 days. The court ordered that the sentence for driving on a revoked license be suspended upon service of the sentence for driving under the influence; that the defendant be eligible for release after 75 percent service; and that fines imposed by the jury be reduced to $1,000 for each offense. After the defendantās motion for a new trial was denied, he timely filed a notice of appeal. On appeal, he challenges the validity of a pretrial hearing, the denial of a motion to dismiss, jury instructions on the stateās duty to preserve evidence, and the denial of alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the lower court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/robinsonn91905.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JEFFERY SCOTT SHERRILL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Phillip A. Condra, District Public Defender; and B. Jeffery Harmon, Assistant District PublicDefender, for the Appellant, Jeffery Scott Sherrill.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Seth P. Kestner, Assistant Attorney General;and James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Jeffery Scott Sherrill, pleaded guilty to second degree murder. After conductinga sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant to serve a 25-year sentence as a Range I violent offender. Aggrieved of his sentence, the defendant brings the instant appealchallenging his sentence as excessive. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the lower court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/sherrillj91905.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERRY DALE TIGNER, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

C. Anne Tipton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry Dale Tigner, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant AttorneyGeneral; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Lance E. Webb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Jerry Dale Tigner, Jr., was indicted for second degree murder, a Class A felony,and was convicted by a jury as charged and sentenced as a Range I, violent offender to seventeen years in confinement. The defendant appeals his conviction and sentence, claiming that: (1) theevidence is insufficient to support the conviction; (2) the sequential jury instructions on second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter are unconstitutional; (3) the trial court erred insentencing by failing to consider all mitigating factors; and (4) the State committed Brady violations with regard to a witness. Upon review, we find no reversible error and affirm theconviction and sentence.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/tignerj91905.pdf


XAVIER S. TODD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, COUNTY OF SHELBYAND DISTRICT ATTY. GENERAL PAUL SUMMERS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Xavier S. Todd, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant AttorneyGeneral, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The Petitioner, Xavier S. Todd, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for habeas corpusrelief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. After review, we concludethat the Petitioner is statutorily prohibited from seeking state habeas corpus relief as he is in federal custody and is being restrained under an order of a federal court. Accordingly, the State'smotion is granted and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/toddx91905.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARNELL LAVELLE WELCH AKA "PLATINUM"

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender, and David S. Stockton, Assistant Public Defender,for the appellant, Darnell Lavelle Welch aka ćPlatinum.ä

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General;Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and David S. Stockton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Darnell Lavelle Welch, was indicted for premeditated first degree murder. Ajury convicted the defendant as charged, and he was sentenced to life in prison. The defendant now appeals his conviction, alleging that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictionin two respects: (1) that self-defense was not rebutted beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) that premeditation was not proven. Upon review, we conclude that the jury was justified in rejectingself-defense and in finding that the defendant acted with premeditation in killing the victim. Therefore, the defendantās conviction is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/2005/welchd91905.pdf


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