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Case Law

Wed, Apr 6th, 2011
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions for 2nd Quarter 2011

State of Tennessee v. Eddie J. Baucom, III - M2010-00276-CCA-R3-CD View
Dickson County - The defendant, Eddie J. Baucom, III, was convicted by a Dickson County jury of one count of fourth offense of driving while under the influence and one count of resisting arrest. He was subsequently sentenced to two years probation for driving under the influence and thirty days incarceration in the Dickson County jail for resisting arrest. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence for the driving under the influence. Based upon a thorough review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court.

Rodney Buford v. State of Tennessee - M2009-01740-CCA-R3-PC View
Davidson County - Petitioner, Rodney Buford, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because counsel failed to obtain a medical expert to testify at trial and failed to file a motion to suppress his statement to police. He further argues that appellate counsel was deficient for failing to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence on appeal and that the trial court erred by not finding that he was illegally sentenced. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner has failed to show that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel and affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

State of Tennessee v. David Neal Davis - M2009-00691-CCA-R3-CD View
Rutherford County - Defendant, David Neal Davis, was originally indicted by the Rutherford County Grand Jury on four counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of attempt to commit aggravated sexual battery. In a trial on these charges, Defendant moved for a mistrial, after the victim testified that she had been digitally penetrated by Defendant. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion for a mistrial. In a superceding indictment, Defendant was indicted on two counts of rape of a child, eight counts of aggravated sexual battery, one count of solicitation of a minor, and one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery. Following a jury trial on these charges, Defendant was convicted of rape of a child, attempted rape of a child, seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of child abuse, and one count of attempted solicitation of a minor. He was sentenced by the trial court to an effective sentence of twenty years confinement. In this appeal as of right, Defendant asserts the following errors by the trial court: 1) the trial court erred by failing to dismiss the indictment on the basis of double jeopardy, or alternatively, on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct; 2) the trial court erred by denying Defendant’s motion to introduce evidence of specific instances of sexual conduct by the victim; 3) the trial court erred by failing to dismiss Counts five and seven of the indictment, charging aggravated sexual battery, based on the State’s failure to prove venue in those counts; and 4) the trial court erred by failing to dismiss Count one of the indictment, charging rape of a child, based on the State’s failure to prove an element of the offense. After a thorough review of the record and the briefs of the parties, we find no error and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Tommy Earl Jones - M2010-00976-CCA-R3-CD View
Dickson County - Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Tommy Earl Jones, was convicted of rape, a Class B felony, theft of property over $1,000, a Class D felony, aggravated kidnapping, a Class B felony, and especially aggravated burglary, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-304(b), -13-503(b), -14-103, -14-105(3), -14-404(c). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to ten years for his rape conviction, three years for his theft conviction, ten years for his aggravated kidnapping conviction, and twelve years for his especially aggravated burglary conviction. The trial court ordered that the Defendant’s sentences for rape and aggravated kidnapping be served consecutively for a total effective sentence of twenty years. In this direct appeal, the Defendant presents the following issues for our review: (1) The trial court erred when it excluded the Defendant from jury selection, trial, and the return of the verdict in the absence of any waiver; (2) The State presented insufficient evidence to convict the Defendant of especially aggravated burglary; (3) The trial court erred when it allowed a forensic expert to testify about opinions based on possibilities; and (4) The trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences. After our review, we conclude that the Defendant’s fundamental right to be present during his trial was violated. As a result, we must reverse the Defendant’s convictions and remand for a new trial.

Frank Peake, III v. State of Tennessee - M2010-01117-CCA-R3-PC View
Putnam County - The Petitioner, Frank Peake, III, appeals from the Putnam County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. In 2004, the Petitioner was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault and was, thereafter, sentenced to six years as a Range II, multiple offender. This Court affirmed the Petitioner’s conviction on direct appeal. The Petitioner later filed a post-conviction petition and, following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel due to trial counsel’s failure (1) to investigate and interview witnesses that would have corroborated his self-defense theory and (2) to request a limiting instruction as to the prior threat made by the Petitioner. Following our review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the Petitioner has not shown that he is entitled to relief. The judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

State of Tennessee v. Courtney Partin - E2010-01508-CCA-R3-CD View
Campbell County - This case is before the court after remand to the Campbell County Criminal Court for resentencing. The Defendant, Courtney Partin, was convicted by a Campbell County Criminal Court jury of attempted first degree murder, a Class A felony, and two counts of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-202 (Supp. 2001) (amended 2002, 2007), 39-13-102 (Supp. 2001) (amended 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010). The trial court merged one count of aggravated assault with the attempted first degree murder because the offenses involved the same victim and sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to twenty-two years’ confinement for attempted first degree murder and to four years’ confinement for aggravated assault, to be served concurrently. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred during sentencing by beginning its sentencing consideration at the midpoint in the applicable range. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Carlie D. Schoenthal - E2010-01312-CCA-R3-CD View
Hamilton County - The Defendant, Carlie D. Schoenthal, pled guilty to one count of driving under the influence (DUI), first offense, reserving a certified question of law for appellate review pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2). The Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress the evidence resulting from the traffic stop. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Nicole Spates - W2009-02437-CCA-R3-CD View
Shelby County - A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Nicole Spates, of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and especially aggravated kidnapping, a Class A felony. The trial court sentenced her, as a Range I standard offender, to serve an effective twenty-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the evidence at trial was insufficient to convict her of especially aggravated kidnapping; (2) the dual convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery violate the Due Process Clause of the Tennessee Constitution; (3) the trial judge erred by granting the state’s request for a special jury instruction; and (4) her sentence is excessive, and the court misapplied enhancement factors. After a thorough review of the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Jessica Lee Clark - M2010-00651-CCA-R3-CD View
Franklin County - The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Jessica Lee Clark, for one count of driving under the influence (“DUI”), one count of violation of the implied consent law, and one count of reckless driving. Appellant was convicted of DUI by a jury and the trial court determined she had violated the implied consent law. She was acquitted of the reckless driving charge. The trial court sentenced Appellant to eleven months and twenty-nine days to be served on probation except for seven days to be served in confinement. Appellant appeals her DUI conviction. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence presented that she was intoxicated through the ingestion of alcohol is not sufficient evidence to support her conviction because the use of the term “intoxicant” in Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-401(a)(1) requires evidence of the use of an intoxicant other than alcohol. We conclude that the term “intoxicant” as used in Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-401(a)(1) does include alcohol and that Appellant’s argument is without merit. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. George D. Oakes - E2010-00636-CCA-R3-CD View
Knox County - The Defendant, George D. Oakes, was charged with one count of second degree murder, a Class A felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-210. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter, a Class C felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-211. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III, persistent offender to 15 years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction for voluntary manslaughter and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing the Defendant. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Ralph Wilhoite - E2010-00352-CCA-R3-CD View
Hamilton County - After a bench trial, the Sevier County Circuit Court convicted the appellant, Ralph Wilhoite, of driving under the influence (DUI), third offense; violating the implied consent law; and violating the financial responsibility law. On appeal, the appellant claims that (1) the trial court erred by failing to grant his motion to suppress evidence that was obtained as the result of an illegal arrest for DUI and (2) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the appellant’s convictions for DUI and violating the financial responsibility law but modify his conviction for Class A misdemeanor violation of the implied consent law to non-criminal violation of the implied consent law. The case is remanded to the trial court for correction of that judgment and for correction of a clerical error on the judgment of conviction for violating the financial responsibility law.

State of Tennessee v. Norman L. Ricks - E2010-01096-CCA-R3-CD View
Hamilton County - The appellant, Norman L. Ricks, pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for an agreed sentence of ten years. The plea agreement provided that the trial court would determine whether the sentence would be served concurrently with or consecutively to a previously imposed federal sentence. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

William G. Allen v. State of Tennessee - M2009-02151-CCA-R3-PC View
Davidson County - In 1968, a Davidson County grand jury indicted the Petitioner, William G. Allen, along with his four co-defendants, for the murders of two Davidson County police officers. The two murder cases were tried separately, and the Petitioner was convicted of the first degree murder of Officer Thomasson, after which he received a sentence of ninety-nine years. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the Petitioner’s conviction and sentence. The Petitioner brought his first petition for post-conviction relief in 1971. The post-conviction court denied this petition, and this Court affirmed its denial on appeal. In 1990, the Petitioner brought his second petition for post-conviction relief, which the post-conviction court dismissed without a hearing. On appeal, our supreme court remanded the case for a hearing, and, in 1994, the Petitioner, pursuant to the supreme court’s instructions, re-filed his second petition for postconviction relief. The Petitioner amended this petition three times and, in 2001, submitted a consolidated petition for post-conviction relief. After a hearing in 2007 and another in 2008, the post-conviction court denied relief. The Petitioner appeals, contending he is entitled to post-conviction relief because: (1) the grand jury that indicted him and his codefendants did not represent a fair cross-section of the population, as required by the equal protection and due process clauses of the United States and Tennessee State Constitutions; (2) the sentencing statute under which he was sentenced was unconstitutional; and (3) the trial court improperly instructed the jury. After a careful review of the record, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Gregory L. Sain v. State of Tennessee - M2010-00654-CCA-R3-PC View
Rutherford County - On January 24, 2006, a jury convicted the petitioner, Gregory L. Sain, of one count of delivery of a Schedule II drug to a minor, one count of possession of a Schedule II drug with the intent to deliver, one count of introduction of contraband into a penal facility, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and simple possession of marijuana. A panel of this court affirmed the jury’s verdict and modified the petitioner’s sentence on March 6, 2008. The petitioner sought post-conviction relief and the same was denied pursuant to an order dated February 19, 2010. On appeal, the petitioner alleges ineffective assistance of counsel at both the trial and appellate levels. The petitioner claims that counsels’ performance was deficient because: (1) trial counsel failed to request a Batson hearing after the peremptory challenge of an African American female juror; (2) trial counsel failed to conduct a proper investigation into the petitioner’s case; (3) trial counsel and appellate counsel both failed to challenge an improper jury instruction. Upon a thorough review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Christa Gail Pike v. State of Tennessee - E2009-00016-CCA-R3-PD View
Knox County - The Petitioner, Christa Gail Pike, appeals as of right the judgment of the Knox County Criminal Court denying her petition for post-conviction relief. A Knox County jury found the Petitioner guilty of premeditated first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. The jury further found two statutory aggravating circumstances: (1) “[t]he murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse beyond that necessary to produce death”; and (2) “[t]he murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution of the defendant or another.” T.C.A. § 39-13-204(i)(5), (6) (2006). The jury further found that these two aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury then sentenced the Petitioner to death. The Petitioner’s conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal by the Tennessee Supreme Court. State v. Pike, 978 S.W.2d 904 (Tenn. 1998), cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1147 (1999). On June 3, 1999, the Petitioner timely filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. In 2001, the Petitioner advised the trial court that she desired to withdraw her post-conviction petition. In 2002, the lower court dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner then sought to reinstate her post-conviction petition. Litigation ensued, after which the Tennessee Supreme Court ultimately determined that the motion to vacate the dismissal order should be granted and remanded the matter to the lower court to reinstate the Petitioner’s postconviction petition. Pike v. State, 164 S.W.3d 257 (Tenn. 2005). Evidentiary hearings were conducted in January 2007, July 2007, and August 2008. On December 10, 2008, the postconviction court entered an order denying the Petitioner post-conviction relief. On appeal to this court, the Petitioner presents a number of claims that can be characterized in the following categories: (1) the post-conviction court should have recused itself; (2) the Petitioner’s trial and appellate counsel were ineffective; (3) the Petitioner is ineligible for the death penalty; and (4) the death penalty is unconstitutional. Following a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

State of Tennessee v. Anthony W. Hutchinson - E2010-01053-CCA-R3-CD View
Blount County - The Defendant, Anthony W. Hutchinson, was convicted of one count of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more, a Class D felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-14-103, 105. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and (2) the trial court erred by denying alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Robert Lynn Hunt Jr. - W2010-01404-CCA-R3-CD View
Dyer County - The appellant, Robert Lynn Hunt, Jr., pled nolo contendere in the Dyer County Circuit Court to abuse and neglect of a child under six years of age, a Class D felony, and received a fouryear sentence. At some point, the appellant was placed on probation. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred by revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his original sentence in confinement. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Cases posted the week of 4/18/2011
State of Tennessee v. Samuel Sherrill - M2009-01979-CCA-R3-CD View
Wayne County - The Defendant, Samuel Sherrill, was indicted for second degree murder, a Class A felony. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of reckless homicide, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to four years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in refusing to admit testimony from two witnesses regarding the victim’s specific acts of prior violence in support of his assertion that the victim was the first aggressor. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. David A. Hunter - E2010-01351-CCA-R3-CD View
Hamilton County - The defendant, David A. Hunter, appeals his Hamilton County Criminal Court jury convictions of first degree felony murder, see T.C.A. § 39-13-202(a)(2) (2006), and attempted especially aggravated robbery, see id. §§ 39-12-101(a)(3), -13-403, for which he received an effective sentence of life imprisonment. In addition to contesting the sufficiency of the evidence on appeal, he argues that the trial court erred by denying his motions to suppress his statement and an eyewitness identification. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Donald L. Seiber v. State of Tennessee - E2010-00285-CCA-R3-PC View
Knox County - The petitioner, Donald L. Seiber, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the case should be remanded because the post-conviction court failed to make adequate factual findings and that the post-conviction court erred by denying post-conviction relief. Because the record supports the denial of post-conviction relief, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

State of Tennessee v. Phyllis A. Polk - W2010-00788-CCA-R3-CD View
Madison County - The Defendant, Phyllis A. Polk, was convicted by a jury in the Madison County Circuit Court of driving under the influence (DUI), a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, with credit for time served and the remainder in community corrections. See T.C.A. § 55-10-401 (Supp. 2009) (amended 2010). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Michael Deshawn Smith - W2010-00344-CCA-R3-CD View
Fayette County - The Defendant, Michael Deshawn Smith, pled guilty to second degree murder, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2010). He was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to twenty-three years’ confinement. On appeal, he contends that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Michael W. Kemp - M2010-00603-CCA-R3-CD View
Smith County - The defendant, Michael W. Kemp, was convicted by a Smith County Criminal Court jury of three counts of reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. The trial court sentenced the defendant to three years for each vehicular homicide conviction and one year for each reckless endangerment conviction. The court merged the reckless endangerment convictions into the vehicular homicide convictions and ordered that the terms run consecutively with all but one year served on probation. The defendant appealed and, on direct appeal, this court remanded for reconsideration of the consecutive sentences because the trial court failed to make the proper findings. Upon remand, the trial court again imposed consecutive sentences, which the defendant now appeals. After review, we conclude that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing and order that the defendant’s sentences be served concurrently.

State of Tennessee v. Jose Hermes Gomez - M2010-00182-CCA-R3-CD View
Bedford County - Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Jose Hermes Gomez, was convicted of three counts of aggravated robbery, Class B felonies, and one count of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-402(b), -14-403(b). The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to ten years for each aggravated robbery conviction and five years for the aggravated burglary conviction. The trial court ordered that his five-year sentence and two of his ten-year sentences be served consecutively, for a total effective sentence of twenty-five years. In this direct appeal, the Defendant presents the following issues for our review: (1) The trial court erred when it denied two of the Defendant’s challenges for cause to potential jurors; (2) The State presented insufficient evidence to convict the Defendant of three counts of aggravated robbery; and (3) The trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentences. After our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court and remand solely for the entry of corrected judgment forms for each of the Defendant’s aggravated robbery convictions.

State of Tennessee v. Kenny Lamont McGee
- M2010-00978-CCA-R3-CD View
Moore County - In January 2009, the Moore County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Kenny LaMont McGee for three counts of aggravated sexual battery. Appellant pled guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery. Pursuant to the plea agreement Appellant was ordered to serve an effective sentence of twelve years on community corrections. In January 2010, the Moore County Grand Jury indicted Appellant for violation of the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act. In February 2010, Appellant’s community corrections officer filed an affidavit alleging that Appellant had violated the conditions of the community corrections sentence. Appellant pled guilty to the violation of the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked Appellant’s community corrections sentence and ordered him to serve the twelve-year sentence in confinement. In addition, the trial court sentenced Appellant to two years and six months for his violation of the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act and ordered the sentence to be served consecutively to the twelve-year sentence. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the trial court’s revocation of the community corrections sentence. However, we vacate the consecutive sentence, order the new sentence to be served concurrently to the prior imposed sentence and remand for entry of a corrected judgment.

State of Tennessee v. Paul Williams aka Paul Williams EL - W2010-00598-CCA-R3-CD View
Carroll County - The defendant, Paul Williams, a/k/a Paul Williams El, was convicted by a Carroll County Circuit Court jury of driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license, second offense, and was sentenced to six months in the county jail. On appeal, he argues that: (1) the trial court’s method for selecting the alternate juror resulted in the exclusion of the only African-American on the panel; (2) there is newly discovered evidence that should be considered; (3) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; and (4) the trial court erred in revoking his probation on a previous conviction and in sentencing him. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Cases posted the week of 4/11/2011
State of Tennessee v. John Bailey - E2010-00681-CCA-R3-CD View
Jefferson County - The Defendant, John M. Bailey, pled guilty to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and failure to appear, a Class E felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-102 (Supp. 2009) (amended 2010), 39-16-609 (2010). He was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to ten years’ confinement for aggravated assault and a consecutive four-year sentence for failure to appear. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred during sentencing by affording undue weight to enhancement factors and by failing to apply mitigating factors supported by the evidence. Without the guilty plea hearing transcript, we presume the trial court’s determinations were correct. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Danny Ray Smith - M2009-02275-CCA-R3-CD View
Davidson County - The Defendant, Danny Ray Smith, was convicted of four counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, and three counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-504, 522. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the trial court erred by allowing the victim to testify about instances of sexual contact between her and the Defendant other than those charged in the indictment; (2) the trial court erred by allowing a videotape of the victim’s forensic interview to be played for the jury; (3) the trial court erred by allowing the State to cross-examine the Defendant about an expunged criminal conviction; (4) the evidence was insufficient to sustain the Defendant’s conviction on count two of the indictment because the State’s proof materially varied from the allegations in the indictment; (5) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s motion for a judgment of acquittal on counts two, six, and seven; (6) the trial court erred by denying the Defendant’s motion for a new trial which was based on newly discovered evidence; and (7) the trial court erred by imposing partial consecutive sentences. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Michael R. Smart - M2009-02262-CCA-R3-CCA View
Bedford County - Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Michael R. Smart, was found guilty of sale of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class E felony; delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class E felony; and simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court merged the sale and delivery convictions and sentenced the Defendant to 2 years for the Class E felony conviction and a consecutive 11 months and 29 days for the Class A misdemeanor conviction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends (1) that the trial court erred in allowing the State to impeach him with his prior conviction of receiving stolen property; (2) that the trial court erred in failing to include the requested defense of entrapment in the jury instructions; and (3) that the trial court erred in sentencing him. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Anthony D. Forster - M2002-0008-CCA-R3-CD View
Davidson County - A Davidson County grand jury indicted the Defendant, Anthony D. Forster, for four counts of robbery related charges stemming from two incidents. The Defendant was convicted of one count of especially aggravated robbery, acquitted on the remaining charges, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to twenty-two years in prison. On appeal, the Defendant claims that:(1) the Defendant was denied his right to a speedy trial; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (3) the trial court erred in failing to sever the offenses; (4) the trial court erred in failing to compel the State to comply with Rule 16 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure; and (5) the trial court improperly sentenced the Defendant. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Tennessee v. Larry Randall Henry, II -
M2010-01175-CCA-R3-CD View
Bedford County - A Bedford County jury convicted the Defendant, Larry Randall Henry, II, of aggravated burglary, and the trial court sentenced him to nine years in the Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and that the trial court erred when it set the length of his sentence. Having reviewed the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Tennessee v. Tony Ray Billings - M2010-00624-CCA-R3-CD View
Davidson County - A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, Tony Ray Billings, of aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range II, Multiple Offender to fourteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”). On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred when it allowed the State to amend the indictment; (2) the trial court committed plain error when it denied the Defendant’s motion to exclude identification testimony; and (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Tennessee v. Bryan K. Howard - E2010-00904-CCA-R3-CD View
Roane County - The Defendant, Bryan K. Howard, pled guilty to vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, with the length of his sentence and manner of service left to the discretion of the trial court. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied all forms of alternative sentencing and sentenced the Defendant to eight years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying all forms of alternative sentencing. Following our de novo review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Leonard Lamont Currie -
W2010-01702-CCA-R3-CD View
Tipton County - The defendant, Leonard Lamont Currie, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a Class C felony, and sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to eight years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s rejection of his claim of self-defense. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Bronche Blair - W2010-01285-CCA-R3-CD View
Madison County - The defendant, Bronche Blair, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and was sentenced as a Range I, violent offender to twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Chad Allen Kirk - E2010-01042-CCA-R3-CD View
Blount County - The Defendant, Chad Allen Kirk, pled guilty to one count of driving on a suspended license, a Class B misdemeanor, in the Blount County General Sessions Court. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-50-504(a)(1). The General Sessions Court sentenced the Defendant to six months with 75 percent of the sentence to be served in confinement. The Defendant appealed the decision to the Blount County Circuit Court, which dismissed the appeal and remanded the case back to the General Sessions Court for execution of the judgment. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the Circuit Court failed to conduct a de novo review of the sentence. Following our review, we reverse the decision of the Circuit Court and remand the case for a new sentencing.

State of Tennessee v. Gary Wayne McCullough -
E2010-01126-CCA-R9-CD View
Hamilton County - Following a preliminary hearing in Hamilton County General Sessions Court, a Hamilton County grand jury charged the defendant, Gary Wayne McCullough, with operating a boat without lights, see T.C.A. § 69-9-209 (2004), boating under the influence, see id. § 69-9- 217(a), violating the implied consent law, see id. § 69-9-217(f)(1), and simple possession of marijuana, see id. § 39-17-418 (2006). In the trial court, the defendant contended in a motion to dismiss the indictment that the actions of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) in setting their own cases in a disproportionate number before certain general sessions judges constituted “judge-shopping” and resulted in a violation of the defendant’s due process rights. Following an evidentiary hearing on the defendant’s motion, the trial court agreed and remanded the case for a new preliminary hearing before a division of the general sessions court not implicated by the judge-shopping allegation. On interlocutory appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court should have dismissed his indictment with prejudice instead of remanding the case for a new preliminary hearing. The State contends that the trial court erred in dismissing the indictment and remanding the case. Because we conclude that the trial court’s findings of fact are not supported by the record, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and direct the trial court to reinstate the indictment on remand.

Victor E. McConnell v. Jim Morrow, Warden and State of Tennessee- E2010-02341-CCA-R3-HC View
Bledsoe County - The Petitioner, Victor E. McConnell, appeals the Bledsoe County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief attacking his 1983 conviction for assault with intent to commit first degree murder. The Petitioner alleged that his judgment of conviction was void because the indictment was illegally amended on the day of his plea “to broaden the original charge without being resubmitted to the grand jury[.]” The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition, finding that the Petitioner had failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. Following our review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the order summarily dismissing the petition.

Cases posted the week of 4/04/2011
Shanda Alene Wright v. State of Tennessee - M2010-00613-CCA-R3-PC View
Marshall County - The Petitioner, Shanda Alene Wright, appeals as of right from the Marshall County Circuit Court’s denial of her petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner was convicted of especially aggravated burglary, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated robbery. She received an effective sentence of 16 years for her convictions. The Petitioner challenges the performance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

Jose E. Molina a/k/a Roberto C. Perez v State of Tennessee - M2010-00447-CCA-R3-PC View
Davidson County - The Petitioner, Jose E. Molina, aka Roberto C. Perez, was convicted by a jury of aggravated rape and aggravated robbery and was, thereafter, sentenced to an effective sentence of twenty-one years at 100%. This Court affirmed the Petitioner’s convictions on direct appeal. The Petitioner filed a timely petition for post-conviction relief and, following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. In this appeal, the Petitioner raises the following issues for review: (1) the post-conviction court erred in its determination that the Petitioner’s trial counsel was effective; and (2) in light of a recent publication, the fingerprint comparison testimony at his trial should be excluded as scientifically unreliable. Following our review, we conclude that the Petitioner has not shown he is entitled to relief. We affirm the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of relief.

State of Tennessee v Kasey N. Maddox - M2010-01444-CCA-R3-CD View
Bedford County - The Defendant, Kasey N. Maddox, appeals the sentencing decision of the Bedford County Circuit Court. Following her guilty plea to the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony, the trial court imposed a nine-year sentence as a Range I, standard offender to be served in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v Tommy L. Beaty a/k/a Jacky Wayne Beaty
- M2010-01492-CCA-R3-CD View
Davidson County - The Defendant, Tommy L. Beaty, pled guilty to aggravated burglary and agreed to allow the trial court to set the length and manner of his sentence. The trial court sentenced him to thirteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends the trial court erred when it set the length of his sentence and when it ordered him to serve his sentence in confinement. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

State of Tennessee v. Leonard Allen - M2007-02581-CCA-R3-CD View
Davidson County - A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the appellant, Leonard Allen, of especially aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced him to twenty years in confinement to be served at one hundred percent. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) a plea agreement he entered into with the State after the jury convicted him is invalid because he had already filed a notice of appeal to this court; (2) the trial court committed plain error by not ruling that a photograph array shown to the victim months after the robbery and introduced into evidence at trial was impermissibly suggestive; and (3) the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the appellant’s conviction for especially aggravated robbery.

Marshall Howard Murdock v. State of Tennessee - M2010-01315-CCA-R3-PC View
Davidson County - This matter is before the Court upon the State’s motion to dismiss or in the alternative to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner has appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his motion to reopen his petition for post-conviction relief. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State’s motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

State of Tennessee v. Kirby Whited - M2009-0154-CCA-R3-CD View
Fentress County - A Fentress County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Kirby Whited, of tampering with evidence, a Class C felony. Following his conviction, the trial court imposed a sentence of three years, with fifty days to be served in jail and the remainder to be served on probation. On appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction and the sentence imposed by the trial court. The State concedes that the evidence is insufficient to support the appellant’s conviction. Upon review, we conclude that the evidence is insufficient; therefore, the appellant’s conviction must be vacated and the case dismissed.

Cyrus Deville Wilson v. State of Tennessee - M2009-02241-CCA-R3-CO View
Separte Dissenting Opinion - View
Davidson County - The Petitioner, Cyrus Deville Wilson, appeals as of right from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis. The Petitioner contends that the coram nobis court erred by summarily dismissing his petition without an evidentiary hearing. Following our review, we reverse the judgment of the coram nobis court and remand the Petitioner’s case for an evidentiary hearing.

State of Tennessee v. Antonio L. Saulsberry - W2010-01326-CCA-R3-CD View
Shelby County - The defendant, Antonio L. Saulsberry, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of murder during the perpetration of a robbery and murder during the perpetration of a burglary. His convictions were merged and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, to be served consecutively to prior convictions for especially aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery for which he had already been sentenced to an effective term of fifty years as a Range II offender. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State of Tennessee v. Larry Ward - W2009-01876-CCA-R3-CD View
Shelby County - The defendant, Larry Ward, stands convicted of criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to four years in the workhouse. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his conviction. Upon our close review of the evidence, we are constrained to conclude that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a homicide was committed in this case. Therefore, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, vacate the conviction, and dismiss the charge against the defendant.

State of Tennessee v. Darius Williams - W2010-00797-CCA-R3-CD View
Shelby County - Appellant, Darius Williams, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for three counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of employing a firearm during a felony. After a jury trial, Appellant was found guilty on all counts. As a result, Appellant was sentenced to an effective sentence of seventeen years. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant initiated a direct appeal. On appeal, Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. After a review of the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support Appellant’s convictions. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

State of Tennessee v. Jonathan Everett - W2008-01578-CCA-R3-CD View
Shelby County - Appellant, Jonathan Everett, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. After a lengthy jury trial, Appellant was convicted of one count of second degree murder, one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, and one count of reckless endangerment. As a result, Appellant was sentenced to an effective sentence of twenty-nine years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. Appellant presents the following issues for our review on direct appeal: (1) whether the trial court properly denied the motion to dismiss and remand for a preliminary hearing; (2) whether the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress Appellant’s statement; (3) whether the trial court erred by denying Appellant’s request to cross-examine Jamarcus Palmer about specific instances of conduct; (4) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; and (5) whether the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the trial court properly denied the motion to dismiss; the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress when Appellant’s statement was made knowingly and voluntarily; the trial court properly denied Appellant’s request to cross-examine Jamarcus Palmer; the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; and
the trial court properly sentenced Appellant. Therefore, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Warren Fowler v. State of Tennessee - E2010-01027-CCA-R3-PC View
Knox County - The Petitioner, Warren Fowler, appeals as of right from the Knox County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner pled guilty to attempted first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping, both Class A felonies, and received concurrent sentences of 20 years. The Petitioner challenges the performance of trial counsel and the voluntariness of his guilty plea. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

State of Tennessee v. Timothy Lebron Arnold - E2010-00419-CCA-R3-CD View
Hamilton County - The Defendant, Timothy Lebron Arnold, was indicted for especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony, but pled guilty to robbery, a Class C felony, and received a sentence of five years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in permitting testimony from an officer at the sentencing hearing; that the trial court erred in setting the length of his sentence; and that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Phillip McCormick v. State of Tennessee - E2010-00987-CCA-MR3-HC View
Knox County - The Petitioner, Phillip McCormick, appeals pro se the Knox County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief from the remainder of his forty-year sentence for a 1984 conviction. The Petitioner contends that (1) the trial court erred by finding that the State did not relinquish jurisdiction when it surrendered him to federal authorities to serve concurrent federal and state sentences for felonies he committed while on parole, (2) the State violated his due process rights by failing to hold a parole revocation hearing before transferring him, and (3) the trial court erred by dismissing his petition without appointing counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.