Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/28/2015
Format: 08/28/2015
State of Tennessee v. Justin Hadley
W2014-00985-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

A Shelby County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Justin Hadley, of theft of property valued $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range III, career offender to twelve years. On appeal, the appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction, that the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce inadmissible propensity evidence, and that the State failed to give proper notice of its intent to seek enhanced punishment. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/21/15
State of Tennessee v. Steven Troy Wilburn
E2014-01866-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Richard R. Vance

Defendant, Steven Roy Wilburn, appeals his conviction for DUI, pursuant to a certified question of law, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the arresting officer was not authorized to arrest Defendant outside of his municipal jurisdiction. Because the arresting officer was authorized to stop and arrest Defendant under Tennessee’s arrest by a private person statute, the decision of the trial court is affirmed.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/21/15
Joshua D. Kruse v. State of Tennessee
E2014-01141-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Tammy M. Harrington

The petitioners, Joshua David Kruse and Donald Wayne Bowman, appeal the denial of their petitions for the writ of habeas corpus. They argue that the habeas corpus court erred in dismissing their petitions because their sentences of confinement have expired. After thoroughly reviewing the briefs of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, we conclude that the petitioners' sentences have not expired, and we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Blount County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/20/15
Brice C. Whaley, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
E2014-01636-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge John F. Dugger, Jr.

The petitioner, Brice C. Whaley, Jr., appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his best interest guilty plea convictions for criminal responsibility for especially aggravated kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. He argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Hamblen County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/20/15
James Dellinger v.State of Tennessee
E2013-02094-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Reed Duggan

The Petitioner, James Dellinger, appeals from the trial court‘s denial of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis, his petition for a writ of audita querela, his motion for a declaratory judgment, his claims pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and his claims under the due process, law of the land, and open courts provisions of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. The Petitioner seeks relief from his conviction for first degree murder and his resulting death sentence, claiming that he is ineligible for the death penalty because he is intellectually disabled and that his conviction violates principles of double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Blount County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
Anthony Williams v. State of Tennessee
W2014-02313-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

Petitioner, Anthony Williams, was convicted of first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery and sentenced to an effective sentence of life in prison. State v. Anthony Williams, No. W2012-00014-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 5355706, at *4 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 31, 2012). Petitioner now alleges that his trial counsel was ineffective for: (1) failing to test the victim's jacket for soot and gunpowder; (2) failing to inquire into a deal that was struck between the State and a witness; (3) failing to object to the trial court's giving a jury instruction on flight; (4) failing to show petitioner a video recording prior to trial; and (5) failing to impeach a witness. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
State of Tennessee v. Charlotte Renee Stanford
M2014-01886-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Jones

The defendant, Charlotte Renee Stanford, was convicted by a Giles County Circuit Court jury of theft of property in an amount of $10,000 or more, a Class C felony; filing a false report, a Class C felony; and conspiracy to commit theft in an amount of $10,000 or more, a Class D felony.  The trial court imposed an effective sentence of five years, with one year served in incarceration and four years on supervised probation.  On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence.  After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Giles County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
Ruslan Edward Woodbridge v. State of Tennessee
M2014-02033-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge John H. Gasaway, III

The Petitioner, Ruslan Edward Woodbridge, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief for his conviction for rape of a child.  The Petitioner previously entered a guilty plea to rape of a child, a Class A felony, and received a sentence of 25 years’ confinement.  On appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel in relation to his guilty plea and that his plea was unknowing and involuntary.  Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
Horace E. Hollis, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
M20143-01509-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert E. Burch

The Petitioner, Horace E. Hollis, Jr., appeals the Dickson County Circuit Court’s denial of post-conviction relief.  The Petitioner was convicted by a jury of two counts of rape of a child for which he received an effective sentence of forty years.  On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred in dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief without considering the transcript from his trial.  Because the transcript from the post-conviction hearing is not included in the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Dickson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
Jamie Grimes v. State of Tennessee
M2014-01533-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The Petitioner, Jamie Grimes, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2009 convictions for possession of more than 300 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia and his effective thirty-year sentence.  He contends that his constitutional rights to due process and the effective assistanceof counsel were violated.  We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/18/15
State of Tennessee v. Anthony Bayman
W2014-01537-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Anthony Bayman, of second degree murder, and the trial court sentenced him to thirty-two years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction because the evidence supported a conviction for the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter rather than second degree murder. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/17/15
Darell Ayers v. State of Tennessee
W2014-01963-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

In 2013, the Petitioner, Darell Ayers, pleaded guilty to vehicle burglary, theft of property under $500, identity theft, and shoplifting. The Petitioner was sentenced to four years on community corrections. Subsequently, the trial court issued a warrant alleging that the Petitioner violated his community corrections sentence by being arrested for aggravated robbery and for failing to report this arrest to his community corrections officer. After a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's community corrections sentence. In 2014, the Petitioner was acquitted of the aggravated burglary charge. The Petitioner then filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, claiming that, had the evidence presented at the 2014 trial been made available to him at the revocation hearing, a different judgment would have been reached. After a hearing, the coram nobis court found that error coram nobis relief was not available to challenge the revocation of probation pursuant to Frederick Parks v. State, No. W2013-01601-CCA-R3-ECN, 2014 WL 1767107 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, April 30, 2014). On appeal, the Petitioner asserts that the coram nobis court erred when it dismissed his petition. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the coram nobis court's judgment.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/17/15
Christopher Lance Osteen v. State of Tennessee
W2014-01258-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Petitioner, Christopher Lance Osteen, appeals the Madison County Circuit Court‟s dismissal of his pro se petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred by summarily dismissing the petition for failing to state a colorable claim without first appointing counsel to “perfect” the petition. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/17/15
State of Tennessee v. Shanta Stinson
E2014-02144-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck
The Defendant, Shanta Stinson, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony, identity theft, a Class D felony, two counts of theft of property valued at more than $500 but less than $1000, Class E felonies, two counts of vandalism, Class A misdemeanors, and illegal possession of a credit card, a Class A misdemeanor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-14-403 (2014) (aggravated burglary), 39-14-103 (2014) (theft of property), 39-14-146 (2014) (theft of merchandise), 39-14-105 (2014) (grading of theft/vandalism), 39-14-150 (Supp. 2011) (amended 2013, 2014) (identity theft), 39-14-408 (2014) (vandalism), 39-14-118 (2014) (illegal possession of a credit card). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to concurrent terms of five years for aggravated burglary, three years for theft of property valued at $1000 or more, two years for identity theft, and two years for each theft of property valued at more than $500. The trial court also sentenced the Defendant to two concurrent terms of eleven months, twenty-nine days for each vandalism and illegal possession of a credit card conviction, for an effective five-year sentence. The court ordered the Defendant to serve eleven months, twenty-nine days at 75% service for the vandalism convictions and to serve her other sentences on probation. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by denying her request for alternative sentencing relative to her vandalism convictions and ordering her to serve the sentences in confinement.
 
Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/14/15
State of Tennessee v. Thomas L. Cope
M2014-00775-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry B. Stanley, Jr.

Following a bench trial, the defendant, Thomas L. Cope, was convicted of reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, violation of the open container law, and failure to yield the right of way.  The reckless endangerment conviction was merged into the aggravated assault conviction, for which the defendant was sentenced to three years at 30% and a concurrent sentence of thirty days for failure to yield the right of way.  The effective three-year sentence was ordered to be served by split confinement with 210 days’ incarceration with the balance of the sentence served on supervised probation.  He was fined $50 for violation of the open container law, with the same punishment for his conviction for failure to yield.  On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction for reckless aggravated assault. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Warren County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/14/15
Timothy Guilfoy v. State of Tennessee
M2014-01619-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The Petitioner, Timothy Guilfoy, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.  On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.  Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/14/15
Omar Alejandro Garcia v. State of Tennessee
M2014-02126-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

Omar Alejandro Garcia (“the Petitioner”) filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.  After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief.  Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/14/15
David Scott Kruse v. State of Tennessee
M2015-00360-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brody N. Kane

Convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, petitioner, David Scott Kruse, has filed his third petition for post-conviction relief.  The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition as being time-barred.  Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/13/15
State of Tennessee v. Michael Charles Lugiai
M2014-01813-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

The defendant, Michael Charles Lugiai, appeals his Davidson County Criminal Court jury conviction of aggravated robbery, contending that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress the statements he made to law enforcement officers.  Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/13/15
Demance M. Beasley v. State of Tennessee
M2014-01507-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The petitioner, Demance M. Beasley, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession with intent to sell .5 grams or more of cocaine.  Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/13/15
State of Tennessee v. Frederick J. Schmitz, Jr.
M2014-02377-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Wolfe

The defendant, Frederick J. Schmitz, Jr., appeals his Dickson County Circuit Court jury conviction of driving without a license, for which he received a sentence of 30 days’ probation.  In this appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to impose the conviction, that Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-50-301 is unconstitutional, and that various procedural errors occurred attendant to his conviction.  Discerning no error, we affirm.

Dickson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/13/15
Patrick Trawick v. State of Tennessee
W2014-01454-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

Petitioner, Patrick Trawick, was convicted of first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus six years. After denial of his direct appeal and his petition for post-conviction relief, he filed the instant petition for writ of error coram nobis alleging that an eyewitness’s recanting of his identification of petitioner constituted newly discovered evidence that entitled him to relief. The coram nobis court dismissed the petition, and this appeal follows. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the coram nobis court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/12/15
Brian Brawner v. State of Tennessee
W2014-02554-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

Petitioner, Brian Brawner, was convicted of aggravated assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, and facilitation of attempted first degree murder. The trial court merged his aggravated assault conviction into his conviction for facilitation of attempted first degree murder and sentenced him to an effective term of thirty years. Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and pursuit of post-conviction relief, petitioner filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition for failure to comply with the filing requirements and failure to state a basis for relief. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/12/15
State of Tennessee v. Rodney Bryant
W2014-01570-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

Appellant, Rodney Bryant, was convicted of carjacking and sentenced to twelve years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/12/15
State of Tennessee v. Chyanne Elizabeth Gobble
E2014-01596-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert E. Cupp

Defendant, Chyanne Elizabeth Gobble, pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. The trial court denied judicial diversion and sentenced Defendant to two years' incarceration, suspending all but thirty days to supervised probation. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying judicial diversion. We hold that the trial court committed an abuse of discretion in placing undue weight on an irrelevant factor. Upon our de novo review of the record, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for entry of an order placing Defendant on diversion for a period of four years in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-313.

Carter County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/12/15