Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 06/23/2018
Format: 06/23/2018
State of Tennessee v. Ashley Juvinall
E2017-01906-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rex Henry Ogle

The Defendant, Ashley Juvinall, pleaded guilty to theft of property valued over $1,000, theft of property valued over $500 but less than $1,000, theft of property valued under $500, and fraudulent use of a credit card in exchange for an effective sentence of four years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days to be served on supervised probation. A probation violation warrant was issued alleging multiple violations and, after a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant’s probation sentence, ordering that she serve her sentence in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court abused its discretion when it revoked her probation sentence. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/22/18
State of Tennessee v. Brian Allen Spears
E2017-01458-CA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Don R. Ash

The Defendant, Brian Allen Spears, appeals as of right from the Sevier County Circuit Court’s judgment revoking his community corrections sentence and ordering the Defendant to serve the remainder of his sentence in confinement. The Defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the sentence served in confinement. The State has filed a motion to affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken and affirm the order of the trial court.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/22/18
State of Tennessee v. Harley Crosland - Dissent
M2017-01232-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

Believing that it is not a forced interpretation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-402(b)(1) to provide the State an avenue for appeal and thus convey appellate jurisdiction, I respectfully dissent.

Lewis County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/21/18
State of Tennessee v. Harley Crosland
M2017-01232-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

In this appeal, the State challenges the trial court’s application of the general savings statute to the Defendant’s theft conviction, which occurred prior to the amendment of the theft statute, see T.C.A. §§ 39-14-103 (2014) (theft); 39-14-105 (2014) (amended 2017). Because no appeal as of right lies for the State pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3 or Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-402, this court lacks jurisdiction to review this issue. Accordingly, we dismiss this appeal. We nevertheless detect errors in the judgment and remand for entry of a corrected judgment to reflect a Class A misdemeanor consistent with the amended theft statute.

Lewis County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/21/18
State of Tennessee v. Lorenzoe Wilson
M2017-02084-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:

Lorenzoe Wilson (“the Defendant”) appeals the trial court’s revocation of his community corrections sentence and the imposition of his sentence of confinement, claiming that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that he violated the terms of alternative sentencing and that he should have been reinstated to community corrections. After a review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Robertson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/21/18
Roderick Dewayne Crosby v. State of Tennessee
M2017-01482-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

A Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner, Roderick Dewayne Crosby, of four counts of aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated robbery, one count of burglary, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and the Petitioner received an effective sentence of thirty-four years. On appeal, this court affirmed the judgments. See State v. Roderick Dewayne Crosby, No. M2014-00914-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 4197613, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, July 13, 2015), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 15, 2015). The Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition, and the post-conviction court denied relief following a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner maintains that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/21/18
Joseph Kantrell Norris v. State of Tennessee
M2017-01006-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

The Petitioner, Joseph Kantrell Norris, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief by the Williamson County Circuit Court. In this appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/18
State of Tennessee v. Howard P. Fisher
M2017-00975-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte Watkins

Following a bench trial, the Defendant, Howard P. Fisher, was convicted of aggravated assault and criminal trespass, for which he received a ten-year sentence and a $50 fine, respectively. On appeal, the Defendant argues (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of aggravated assault; (2) that the trial court erred in granting the State a continuance for sentencing; and (3) that the trial court erred in denying his ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/18
Edward Wilson v. State of Tennessee
E2017-02232-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Bobby R. McGeei

The Petitioner, Edward Wilson, pled guilty to possession of heroin with the intent to sell, possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, and possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and to five misdemeanors, which consisted mainly of traffic offenses, in exchange for an agreed-upon effective sentence of twenty years of imprisonment as a Range II, multiple offender. He filed a timely post-conviction petition asserting that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to inform him that he was pleading guilty to multiple offenses and by failing to litigate a motion to suppress. The postconviction court denied relief, finding that the Petitioner had failed to establish either deficiency or prejudice. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/18
State of Tennessee v. Kentrell Lebron Lindsey
E2017-01542-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

The Defendant, Kentrell Lebron Lindsey, appeals the trial court’s order requiring him to serve in confinement his effective six-year sentence for his guilty-pleaded convictions of possession of dihydrocodeinone, a Schedule III controlled substance, with the intent to sell or deliver; possession of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, with the intent to sell or deliver; and possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony. The trial court found that Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-1324(e), which required that the Defendant serve his three-year sentence for the firearm conviction in confinement and consecutively to his sentences for the drug convictions, rendered the Defendant statutorily ineligible for probation for his drug convictions. We conclude, and the State concedes, that the trial court erred in finding the Defendant statutorily ineligible for probation for his drug convictions. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s denial of probation for the drug convictions and remand the case for the trial court to consider the Defendant’s suitability for probation on his three-year sentences for the drug convictions. The trial court’s judgments are otherwise affirmed.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/18
State of Tennessee v. Lisa Edwards
E2017-01709-CCA-R9-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Scott Green

Following the denial of her application for pretrial diversion, the defendant, Lisa Edwards, petitioned the Knox County Criminal Court for a writ of certiorari. The trial court denied the petition for writ of certiorari but granted the defendant’s request for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Because we find no abuse of discretion, we affirm the denial of pretrial diversion in this case.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/19/18
Bobby Chism v. State of Tennessee
W2017-01016-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula Skahan

The Petitioner, Bobby Chism, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his guilty plea to two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The Petitioner argues that his guilty plea was involuntary and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/19/18
Kevin Clark v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00755-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge David A. Patterson

An Overton County jury convicted the Petitioner, Kevin Clark, of two counts of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of reckless endangerment, one count of aggravated arson, and one count of abuse of a corpse. The trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of two consecutive life sentences. This court affirmed the trial court’s judgments on appeal. State v. Kevin Clark, No. M2912- 01744-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 6145812 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Nov. 21, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 8, 2014). The Petitioner filed a petition for postconviction relief in which he alleged, as relevant on appeal, that the post-conviction court erred when it denied his petition for post-conviction relief because: (1) he was deprived of his right to an impartial jury because of an improper communication between a juror and a witness; and (2) he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. He further contended that the post-conviction court erred when it: (1) did not limit the scope of cross-examination of the Petitioner’s witness to questions relevant to the post-conviction petition; and (2) did not consider all the issues presented in his petition for postconviction relief. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Overton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/19/18
Matthew Dixon v. State of Tennessee
W2017-00490-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

The pro se Petitioner, Matthew Dixon, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and post-conviction DNA analysis. Following our review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/14/18
Corey Mitchell v. State of Tennessee
W2016-01818-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

Petitioner, Corey Mitchell, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He raises two issues on appeal: (1) he was denied a full and fair hearing in the post-conviction proceedings, and (2) his guilty plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made due to the ineffective assistance of counsel rendered by his trial counsel. After review of the arguments of the parties and the entire record, we conclude that Petitioner is entitled to relief on his first issue. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand this matter for a new hearing. Furthermore, the interests of justice require that under the circumstances of this case, and to insure the public perception of a fair and impartial hearing, the post-conviction proceedings must be heard by a different judge than the one who has previously heard the proceedings. In light of our conclusion and disposition of the first issue, issue two is pretermitted at this time.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/14/18
David Michael Blevins v. State of Tennessee
E2016-02304-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

Petitioner, David Michael Blevins, appeals the Sullivan County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he contends that the post-conviction court improperly found: (1) that he had waived his independent claim regarding a speedy trial violation and (2) that trial counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to raise the speedy trial issue. Having reviewed the record before us, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/12/18
Nathaniel Walker v. State of Tennessee
W2017-00923-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle Atkins

The Petitioner, Nathaniel Walker, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty pleas were unknowingly and involuntarily entered. Following our review, we affirm the summary denial of the petition.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/11/18
State of Tennessee v. Marquel Stewart
W2017-00299-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The Defendant, Marquel Stewart, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of aggravated robbery, see T.C.A. § 39-13-402, for which he received a sentence of eight years. In this appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in (1) conditioning his motion to continue the trial upon revocation of his bond, (2) admitting a shirt and bandana into evidence without proper authentication or chain of custody, and (3) admitting the Defendant’s jail phone calls into evidence. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/08/18
State of Tennessee v. Bobby McKinley
W2017-01017-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

The pro se Defendant, Bobby McKinley, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his motion to vacate his judgments for aggravated robbery, arguing that the uniform judgment forms were not properly entered because the “file-stamp” was not on the face of the judgments and the judgments contained other clerical errors. Following our review, we dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/08/18
State of Tennessee v. Donaven Brown
W2017-02532-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

Defendant, Donaven Brown, appeals the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. After careful consideration, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Tipton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/08/18
State of Tennessee v. Wesley Lynn Hatmaker
E2017-01370-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paul G. Summers

Wesley Lynn Hatmaker (“the Defendant”) pled guilty to two counts of theft of property valued between $10,000 and $60,000 (Counts 1 and 6) and four counts of theft of property valued between $60,000 and $250,000 (Counts 2, 3, 4, and 5). The trial court imposed concurrent sentences of three years and six months for Counts 1 and 6, and concurrent sentences of ten years and six months for Counts 2, 3, 4, and 5, with Counts 1 and 2 to be served consecutively and all others concurrently, for an effective sentence of fourteen years in the Department of Correction with a release eligibility of thirty percent. The Defendant asserts that the trial court improperly applied sentencing factors, improperly imposed consecutive sentences, and improperly denied alternative sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Campbell County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/08/18
State of Tennessee v. Bobbie Sue Maddle
M2017-01707-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Gary S. McKenzie

The Defendant, Bobbie Sue Maddle, pleaded guilty to five counts of sale of less than .5 grams of methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and two counts of sale of more than .5 grams of methamphetamine, a Class B felony. The trial court imposed an effective fifteen-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion when it enhanced her sentences and when it denied her request for a sentence of split confinement with Community Corrections. The Defendant also contends that current sentencing law effectively denied appellate review on these issues. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Putnam County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/07/18
Thomas F. Greenwood v. State of Tennessee
M2017-01314-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge L. Craig Johnson

The Petitioner, Thomas F. Greenwood, appeals the post-conviction court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he challenged his convictions of felony murder during the perpetration of aggravated child neglect, reckless homicide, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated child neglect. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective by failing to retain an expert, present certain witnesses, and properly prepare the Petitioner for trial. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/07/18
State of Tennessee v. Cameo Antoinette Edwards
W2015-01398-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

Following a bench trial, the Defendant, Cameo Antoinette Edwards, was convicted in the Haywood County Circuit Court of assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both Class A misdemeanors. The trial court subsequently sentenced her to concurrent terms of eleven months, twenty-nine days for each conviction, suspended to supervised probation following service of thirty days in the county jail. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain her convictions and that the trial court erred by not granting her full probation. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Haywood County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/06/18
State of Tennessee v. Christopher Orlando Lyles
W2017-00292-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Defendant, Christopher Orlando Lyles, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of first degree felony murder; second degree murder, a Class A felony; two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, Class A felonies; three counts of attempted aggravated robbery, Class C felonies; and aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and was sentenced to an effective term of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in granting the State two continuances and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/06/18