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Join your colleagues from the Tennessee legal community at the state's largest and longest-running gathering - the annual Tennessee Bar Association convention. This year's event will be in Memphis, June 14-17 at the Peabody Hotel. The event will again be held in conjunction with gatherings of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women. Register or find out more now.

http://www.tba.org/convention2006/index.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

05 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
17 - 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

NOEL CRAWLEY and JOSEPHINE CRAWLEY v. HAMILTON COUNTY

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

R. Dee Hobbs, Special Counsel for Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, for the appellant, Hamilton County.

Marvin Berke and Andrew Berke, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Noel Crawley and Josephine Crawley.

Judge: BIRCH

We granted permission to appeal in this case pursuant to Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure 11 to determine whether a county may exempt itself from the Governmental Tort Liability Act by adopting an "exclusive" policy of compensation for on-the-job injuries. We hold that a county that has not opted into the workers' compensation statutes may not exempt itself from liability under the Governmental Tort Liability Act by adopting a policy purporting to be an employee's exclusive remedy for work-related injuries. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/crawleyn_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DAVID G. HOUSLER, JR.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Michael E. Terry, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David G. Housler, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: BARKER

Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, we granted review principally to determine whether the State violated the Appellant's Due Process rights (1) by introducing into evidence at his murder trial the Appellant's confession, which contained several known falsehoods, or (2) by advancing allegedly inconsistent theories, arguments, and facts in the Appellant's and his co-defendant's respective prosecutions. We hold that a criminal defendant's confession may be used against him consistent with Due Process protections even when the confession contains peripheral facts known by prosecutors to be false. Further, we hold on the facts presented to us in this case that the State did not pursue inconsistent prosecutions in the respective trials of the Appellant and his co-defendant and that, therefore, we need not address whether a criminal defendant's Due Process rights could be violated by such inconsistency.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/houslerd_051906.pdf


JENNIE JONES v. PROFESSIONAL MOTORCYCLE ESCORT SERVICE, L.L.C., ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Gary R. Wilkinson, Memphis, Tennessee, for Defendant/Appellant Professional Motorcycle Escort Service, L.L.C.

Glenn K. Vines, Memphis, Tennessee, for Plaintiff/Appellee Jennie Jones.

Judge: CLARK

We accepted Defendant's interlocutory appeal in this personal injury action to determine whether, under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-1-119, a plaintiff is required to obtain the permission of the trial court to file an amended complaint naming an additional defendant after an original defendant alleges possible fault by that nonparty. We conclude that permission to file is necessary under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 15.01. We also conclude that, under the facts of this case, Plaintiff has substantially complied with the applicable rules. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion to dismiss and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/jonesj_051906.pdf


ROY L. TIDWELL and RICHARD COGGINS, ET AL. v. CITY OF MEMPHIS MEMPHIS

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

John Ford Canale, III, Donald A. Donati, William B. Ryan, and Timothy Taylor, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Roy L. Tidwell and Richard Coggins, et al.

Sam L. Crain, Jr., and Sara Hall, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Memphis.

Thomas A. Woodley, Washington DC, for the amicus curiae, International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO.

Judge: BIRCH

This case involves an appeal filed by thirteen firefighters and one police officer currently or previously employed by the City of Memphis. Each of the employees was diagnosed with an illness or condition claimed to be work-related. After the City of Memphis denied the employees' claims for benefits stemming from their work-related conditions, the employees appealed to the Chancery Court of Shelby County. The chancery court consolidated the cases, reversed the City's denial of benefits, and awarded benefits to each of the employees. The chancery court's decision was based upon its determination that the cases should have proceeded under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act "UAPA" rather than an alternative process adopted by the City to handle such claims. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the City was not required to comply with the UAPA in resolving claims for work-related benefits. After careful consideration of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the chancery court correctly determined that the employees' cases were subject to the contested case procedures set forth in the UAPA. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed. We also reverse the trial court's judgment to the extent that it awards benefits to the employees. The case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings pursuant to this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/tidwellroy_051906.pdf


LAWRENCE A. WELCH, JR. v. BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Lawrence A. Welch, Jr., Greeneville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Sandy Garrett, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Board of Professional Responsibility.

Judge: BARKER

This is a direct appeal, pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, section 1.3, from the judgment of the chancery court approving the order of a hearing committee of the Board of Professional Responsibility that suspended Lawrence A. Welch, Jr., from the practice of law for three years. The chancery court upheld the decision of the hearing committee, adopting its findings of fact and conclusions of law and approving the three-year suspension. On appeal to this Court, Mr. Welch argues that: 1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss; 2) the trial court erred in basing its decision on the transcript from the hearing before the Board; 3) the trial court erred in admitting the report of the expert witness; 4) he was denied effective assistance of counsel; 5) his right to equal protection was violated; and 6) the evidence did not support the hearing committee's decision. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that none of the issues raised by Mr. Welch warrant relief and that the three-year suspension is appropriate. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the chancery court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/welchla_051906.pdf


DANIEL R. BEAIRD, ET AL. v. WILLIE ROGERS, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Willie and Brenda Rogers, Pro Se.

Charles M. Agree, Jr., of Dyersburg, Tennessee for Appellees, Daniel R. Beaird and Marvin Land.

Judge: CRAWFORD

Plaintiffs/Appellees obtained a judgment on a detainer warrant in the General Sessions Court at Lauderdale County requiring the Defendants/Appellants to relinquish possession of the residence at 465 Maple Hill Circle in Ripley, Tennessee. The Defendants/Appellants filed a de novo appeal as of right in the Circuit Court at Lauderdale County. The circuit court affirmed the judgment of the sessions court. Appellants appeal. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/beairdd_051906.pdf


CATHEY JENKINS JACKSON v. JOHN JACKSON, III

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Curtis D. Johnson, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the Respondent/Appellant, John Jackson.

Linda L. Holmes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Petitioner/Appellee, Cathey Jackson.

Judge: KIRBY

This is an appeal from a post-divorce criminal contempt proceeding. The parties were divorced by final decree in July 1999. The divorce decree incorporated the parties' marital dissolution agreement, in which the husband agreed to pay the wife spousal support over a period of time. The husband did not make the support payments, and consequently the wife filed several motions for criminal contempt against the husband. After a hearing, the trial court entered an order reserving judgment on the issue of the husband's criminal contempt, but requiring a non-party corporation in which the husband was a shareholder to pay to the wife a portion of the monies received by the corporation in satisfaction of the husband's support obligation. The husband now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in holding the corporation liable for his personal debt. We dismiss the appeal, finding that it is not an appeal from a final order, and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/jacksoncj_051906.pdf


HORACE RAY RUNIONS v. MARY RUNIONS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James H. Bradberry of Dresden, Tennessee for Appellant, Harce Ray Runions.

Robert W. Hawley of Paris, Tennessee for Appellee, Mary Runions.

Judge: CRAWFORD

In this divorce case, Appellant/Husband appeals from the trial court's classification of certain real property as marital property. The property at issue was Husband's separate property prior to the marriage. The property was sold to a third party during the marriage, and a deed of trust secured the balance of the purchase price. The third party defaulted in the installment payments, and Husband purchased the property at the foreclosure sale and received a trustee's deed in his name only. Husband asserts that the property is separate property under either T.C.A. Section 36-4-121(b)(2)(A) or T.C.A. Section 36-4-121(b)(2)(B). The trial court concluded that the property was marital property under T.C.A. Section 36-4-121(b)(1)(A). We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/runionsh_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMIE L. BAILEY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jim W. Horner, District Public Defender, and H. Tod Taylor and Patrick R. McGill, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Jamie L. Bailey.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The trial court found that the defendant, Jamie L. Bailey, was competent to stand trial and he pled guilty to three counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences, reserving as a certified question of law whether the trial court was correct in its competency determination. He then filed a pro se motion to withdraw his pleas of guilty, and defense counsel filed a notice of appeal as to the certified question. Pending the outcome of his appeal, the trial court held in abeyance the pro se motion to withdraw the pleas of guilty. Before considering the appeal as to the certified question, this court remanded the matter to the trial court for a determination as to the motion to withdraw the pleas of guilty. Following the remand, the defendant withdrew his motion to withdraw the pleas of guilty, and this court then considered his appeal as to the certified question. Following our review, we conclude that this appeal does not properly present a certified question because, even if resolved in favor of the defendant, it would result only in remand to the trial court for further determinations. Accordingly, this court does not have jurisdiction as to the matter and the appeal is dismissed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/baileyj_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES DEWAYNE BASS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

John H. Henderson, District Public Defender; and Gene Honea, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, James Dewayne Bass.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, James Dewayne Bass, is aggrieved that the Williamson County Circuit Court ordered him to serve his guilty-pleaded, three-year, Department of Correction sentence consecutively to "all outstanding sentences," and he appeals that ruling. We hold that evidence of the defendant's extensive criminal activity and of his re-offending while on probation supports the consecutive sentencing determination, although the record fails to justify consecutive sentencing via a finding of professional criminality. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/bassjd_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN LEE CABLE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Brian Lee Cable.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Rocky Young, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Brian Lee Cable, was convicted by a Blount County jury of two counts of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony; two counts of theft over $10,000, a Class C felony; two counts of burglary, a Class D felony; and four counts of theft over $1000, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to three years for each of the Class C felonies and two years for each of the Class D felonies, imposed fines totaling $22,000, and ordered restitution totaling almost $18,000. Finding the defendant to be an offender whose record of criminal activity is extensive, the trial court ordered that all his sentences be served consecutively, for an effective sentence of twenty-four years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant challenges the aggregate length and manner of service of his sentences, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his request for alternative sentencing, in ordering consecutive sentences, and in imposing excessive fines without regard to his ability to pay. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand for entry of corrected judgments in Count 8 to reflect that the sentence is to be run consecutively to the sentence in Count 7, instead of Count 6, and in Count 2 to reflect that no fine was imposed for that count.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cablebrian_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES DAVID CREASY

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender (on appeal), and Bob Gray, Selmer, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, James David Creasy.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Robert "Gus" Radford, District Attorney General; and John W. Overton, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The defendant, James David Creasy, was convicted of possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia. The trial court imposed an eight-year sentence for the possession of methamphetamine conviction and an eleven- month and twenty-nine day sentence for the possession of drug paraphernalia conviction. The Range II sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. In this appeal, the defendant asserts (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell methamphetamine and (2) that the sentence is excessive. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/creasyjd_051906.pdf


JACKIE WILLIAM CROWE v. JAMES A. BOWLEN, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Wade V. Davies, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Eugene G. Hale, Athens, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Jackie William Crowe.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David E. Coenen, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Chal Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Jackie William Crowe, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging his two 1988 convictions for sexual battery, two 1996 convictions for incest, and two 1996 convictions for rape. After a hearing, the habeas corpus court granted the petition for the two 1996 rape convictions, finding that the petitioner's sentences were illegal and void. The habeas corpus court then remanded the petitioner to the trial court for resentencing of the 1996 rape convictions. The petitioner appeals, arguing: (1) the habeas corpus court lacked jurisdiction to remand his case to the trial court for resentencing; (2) his resentencing violates double jeopardy; (3) his new sentence violates the holding in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004); and (4) the resentencing court denied him the right to put on evidence at his resentencing hearing. Following our review, we affirm both judgments of the habeas corpus court and resentencing court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/crowej_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALBERT EVANS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

William D. Massey, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal); Robert Parris and Lee Gerald, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Albert Evans.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Jerry Harris and Michelle Parks, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Albert Evans, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of first degree felony murder, first degree premeditated murder, and especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony. The trial court merged the first degree felony murder conviction into the premeditated murder conviction, for which the defendant was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and sentenced the defendant to twenty-four years as a Range I, standard offender for the especially aggravated robbery conviction, to be served consecutively to the life sentence without parole. On appeal, the defendant argues: (1) the trial court erred in (a) admitting an exhibit, (b) in allowing the defendant's spouse to testify in violation of the marital privilege, and (c) in allowing the State to "proffer the contents of a prior statement" of a witness "as substantive evidence under the guise of impeaching" the witness with a prior inconsistent statement; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; and (3) the trial court erred in sentencing the defendant. Finding no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/evansa_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRANDON GOODS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Robert Wilson Jones, Chief Public Defender, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial); Robert C. Brooks, Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, Brandon Goods.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Glen Baity and John Tibbetts, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Brandon Goods, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of first degree premeditated murder and especially aggravated robbery, resulting in concurrent sentences of life imprisonment and twenty years. On appeal, Goods raises the following issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting into evidence certain photographs of the deceased; and (2) whether the trial court's response to a jury question during deliberations constituted reversible error. After a review of the record, the judgment of the Shelby County Criminal Court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/goodsb_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMMY LEE HILL

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Fannie J. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timmy Lee Hill.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; C. Daniel Lins, 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

A Marshall County Circuit Court jury found the defendant, Timmy Lee Hill, guilty of possession with intent to sell one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, possession with intent to deliver one-half gram or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, and resisting arrest, a Class B misdemeanor. The trial court merged the possession with intent to deliver conviction into the possession with intent to sell conviction and imposed an eighteen-year sentence for the possession conviction and a sixty-day sentence for the evading arrest conviction to be served consecutively as a Range II, multiple offender in confinement. The defendant appeals, contending that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for possession with intent to sell one-half gram or more of cocaine. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/hilltimmylee_051906.pdf


MICHAEL KEITH KENNEDY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Lloyd R. Tatum, Henderson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Keith Kennedy.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Leslie Price, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

The petitioner, Michael Keith Kennedy, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The single issue presented for review is whether the petitioner received the effective assistance of counsel at trial. The judgment is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/kennedymk_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERRY R. KLEINBERG

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Michael W. Patrick. Waverly, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry K. Kleinberg.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Alsobrooks, District Attorney General; and Lisa C. Donegan, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Terry Kleinberg, was indicted for felony reckless endangerment in October of 2003. After a bench trial, the appellant was convicted of the offense and sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, and the trial court's denial of judicial diversion. Because the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying judicial diversion, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/kleinbergt_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SABRINA RENEE LEWIS
Corrected Case


Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jay Norman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sabrina Renee Lewis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Sabrina Renee Lewis, was indicted with a co-defendant on one count of first degree felony murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery. After a trial, the jury found the appellant guilty of criminally negligent homicide and facilitation of attempted especially aggravated robbery. As a result, the appellant was sentenced to six years as a Range III persistent offender for criminally negligent homicide and fifteen years as a Range III persistent offender for facilitation of attempted especially aggravated robbery. The trial court ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, for an effective sentence of twenty-one years. After the denial of a motion for new trial, the appellant seeks resolution of the following issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court properly admitted the appellant's video-taped statement into evidence; (2) whether the prosecutor's reference to an alibi during closing arguments was prejudicial in light of the trial court's curative instruction; (3) whether the trial court properly admitted the victim's dying declaration into evidence; (4) whether the trial court properly allowed an expert to testify about DNA testing; and (5) whether the trial court properly sentenced the appellant. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

CORRECTED VERSION WITH CHANGES ON PAGES 14 AND 15
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/lewissa_corr_051906.pdf


STEPHEN E. MILES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffery T. Washburn, Dresden, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephen E. Miles.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; and Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCGEE OGLE

The petitioner, Stephen E. Miles, appeals the Weakley County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his guilty pleas to six counts of aggravated robbery, one count of theft of property greater than ten thousand dollars but less than sixty thousand dollars, and the resulting effective sentence of eighteen years in confinement. He contends (1) that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (2) that his guilty pleas were involuntary; (3) that the State failed to turn over evidence to the defense as required by Rule 16, Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure; and (4) that his confession to police was involuntary. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/miless_051906.pdf


CHIVOUS ROBINSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joseph Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Chivous Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; John Halstead, Philip H. Morton, and Takisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

The Appellant, Chivous Robinson, appeals the judgment of the Knox County Criminal Court denying post-conviction relief. Robinson was convicted of second degree murder and solicitation to commit first degree murder and subsequently sentenced to an effective thirty-four year sentence. On appeal, Robinson argues that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel, specifically arguing that counsel was ineffective by: (1) not raising the issue of newly discovered evidence on direct appeal; and (2) not seeking jury instructions on the lesser included offenses of reckless homicide and criminally negligent homicide and not appealing the failure of the trial court to instruct on these lesser offenses. After review, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/robinsonc_051906.pdf


ALEX D. WELLS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Matthew R. Armour, Somerville, Tennessee, for the petitioner, Alex D. Wells.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian Clay Johnson, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Terry Dycus, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The petitioner, Alex D. Wells, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that the post-conviction court erred in finding that his guilty plea was voluntarily entered and that he received the effective assistance of counsel. Following our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post- conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wellsa_051906.pdf


KENNETH B. WHITE v. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN and STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Kenneth B. White, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition seeking habeas corpus relief. The State has filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's dismissal of the petition pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. The State's motion is granted. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/whitek_051906.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DONALD WILLIAMS, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark Mesler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Donald Williams, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Patience Branham and Paul Hagerman, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

The appellant, Donald Williams, Jr., was indicted on one count of first degree murder, two counts of felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated burglary and arson. After a jury trial, the appellant was found guilty of second degree murder, two counts of felony murder, especially aggravated robbery and especially aggravated burglary. The trial court imposed life sentences for the two felony murder convictions, a twenty-five year sentence for the second degree murder conviction, a twenty-five year sentence for the especially aggravated robbery conviction and a twelve-year sentence for the especially aggravated burglary conviction. The trial court denied a motion for new trial. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court erred: (1) by refusing to grant a continuance; (2) by refusing to allow the appellant to question Officer Robert Shemwell about a potentially exculpatory witness; and (3) by admitting an excessively graphic photograph of the victim. The appellant also contends that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. Because the judgment forms do not reflect whether the sentences were imposed concurrently or merged for an effective life sentence, we remand the matter to the trial court for entry of corrected judgment forms to reflect that the convictions for felony murder and second degree murder are merged into one count of felony murder for an effective life sentence. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsd_051906.pdf


JEFFREY SHAWN WILLIAMS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey Shawn Williams, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; and Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Petitioner, Jeffrey Shawn Williams, filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief attacking his convictions in Knox County Criminal Court in case number 69596. He pled guilty to aggravated kidnapping and rape of a child. The trial court entered an order summarily dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief. The basis for the dismissal was twofold: the petition was filed beyond the statute of limitations, and the allegations of the petition alleged "no constitutional ground for violation [of] the rights of the defendant." After a careful review of the record, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this case for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/williamsjs_051906.pdf


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D.A. to decide soon on charges in dead voter scandal
District Attorney General Bill Gibbons says he will decide in the coming weeks whether to seek indictments in the criminal probe of Shelby County's dead voter scandal, the Commercial Appeal reports.
Read the story
Tennessee Waltz trial to move forward
U.S. Dist. Court Judge Jon McCalla has rejected former state senator Roscoe Dixon's claims of race-based selective prosecution and refused to delay the upcoming Tennessee Waltz public corruption trial.
Read the Commercial Appeal story
Webcast of UT hooding ceremony now available
Former TBA President Charles Swanson was the Distinguished Alumni speaker at the recent University of Tennessee College of Law Hooding Ceremony, which also featured Judge Gary Wade as keynote speaker.
Watch a webcast of the event
Vanderbilt honors top scholar, award winners
Vanderbilt University Law School awarded Robin Hart Smith of Senatobia, Miss., the Founder's Medal, recognizing him as the school's leading scholar.
Read about the school's award winners
Blount County victims advocate honored
A victims advocate from the Blount County District Attorney General's office has been honored by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs for Victims of Crime.
Read the Maryville Daily Times story
Legislative News
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
Sunday session set for budget talks
Legislative leaders will hold a rare Sunday joint meeting of the House and Senate finance committees to work out differences between the two chambers' budget priorities, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports
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