Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/29/2014
Format: 07/29/2014
State of Tennessee v. Mitchell S. Pozezinski
M2013-01840-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael R. Jones

A Montgomery County jury convicted the Defendant, Mitchell S. Pozezinski, for one count of violating the terms of his community supervision for life, and the trial court sentenced him to ten days in jail plus six months of state probation. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence presented is insufficient to support a finding that he knowingly violated the terms of his community supervision for life. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
 

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/30/14
State of Tennessee v. Kevin Holst
W2013-00846-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Beasley Jr.

The Defendant, Kevin Holst, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-102 (2010). The trial court sentenced him as a Range III, persistent offender to twelve years’ confinement. On appeal, he contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and (2) the court erred by refusing to send the exhibits to the jury room during deliberations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/29/14
Derron Guy v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01851-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

Petitioner, Derron Guy, pled guilty to carjacking, employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and aggravated robbery in case number 10-00740; carjacking and employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony in case number 09-06692; and criminal attempt of carjacking and possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony in case number 10-00741. Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus relief. The dismissal of the petition was affirmed on appeal. See Derron S. Guy v. Cherry Lindamood, Warden, No. W2012-00759-CCA-R3-HC, 2012 WL 5943396, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Nov. 28, 2012). Petitioner sought leave in a different court to amend the first petition and raised additional grounds for habeas corpus relief. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition. Petitioner appeals. After a review, we determine that Petitioner is not entitled to habeas corpus relief as he has not proven on the face of the judgment or the record that the convicting court was without jurisdiction to convict or sentence Petitioner or that Petitioner is still imprisoned despite the expiration of his sentence. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.
 

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/29/14
State of Tennessee v. Arthur Ray Turner
M2013-00277-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve Dozier

In this procedurally complex case, a Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, Arthur Ray Turner, of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated rape, and attempted aggravated rape. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to a total effective sentence of seventy years in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress his statements to police; (2) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss based upon the State’s destruction of evidence; (3) the trial court erred when it ruled on the admissibility of DNA evidence; (4) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction for two counts of aggravated rape because the State did not prove that he was armed with a weapon or anything the victim reasonably believed was a weapon; (5) the trial court erred when it allowed separate convictions for aggravated rape in Counts 3 and 4 and attempted aggravated rape in Count 5 because separate convictions violate his protections against double jeopardy; (6) the trial court erred when it ordered his sentences to run consecutively and when it ordered him to serve his sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping at 100 percent. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgments in all respects save one. The trial court’s judgment in Count 1, especially aggravated kidnapping, should be modified to reflect a release eligibility date of 30 percent.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/28/14
State of Tennessee v. Aaron D. Ostine
M2013-00467-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Burch

A Cheatham County jury convicted the Defendant, Aaron D. Ostine, of first degree premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, and aggravated robbery. The trial court merged the two murder convictions and imposed a life sentence. The court then sentenced the Defendant to 00twelve years for the aggravated robbery conviction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the trial court erred when it denied a motion to suppress his statements to police; and (3) the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.
 

Cheatham County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/28/14
State of Tennessee v. Randall Scott McCoy
E2013-02138-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

Randall Scott McCoy (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to eight years’ incarceration. The Defendant reserved a certified question of law concerning the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/27/14
State of Tennessee v. David Michael Blevins
E2013-01976-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

Appellant, David Michael Blevins, was convicted by a Sullivan County jury of three counts of aggravated sexual battery as lesser-included offenses of the indicted charges, rape of a child. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed three consecutive sentences of ten years each. Appellant raises three issues in this appeal: (1) whether aggravated sexual battery is a lesser-included offense of rape of a child; (2) sufficiency of the convicting evidence; and (3) challenges to the length and alignment of his sentences. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/27/14
State of Tennessee v. Michael Wilder
W2013-01148-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan Jr.

The defendant, Michael Wilder, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of robbery, a Class C felony, and sentenced by the trial court as a Range III, persistent offender to fourteen years in the Department of Correction. He raises three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement to police; (2) whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain his conviction; and (3) whether the trial court imposed an excessive sentence by misapplying enhancement and mitigating factors and erroneously classifying him as a persistent offender. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/23/14
Rodricko O. Thomas v. Jerry Lester, Warden
W2013-02522-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph H. Walker III

The petitioner, Rodricko O. Thomas, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in the Lauderdale County Circuit Court. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition for failure to state a basis on which relief could be granted. On appeal, the petitioner challenges the dismissal, contending that the habeas corpus court should have appointed counsel and held a hearing. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Terrence Justin Feaster - concurring in part; dissenting in part
E2012-02636-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood

I agree with the majority opinion’s conclusion that the evidence was sufficient to convict appellant. Likewise, I agree with the conclusion that State v. Watkins, 362 S.W.3d 530 (Tenn. 2012), provides the current double jeopardy analysis and that the analysis announced in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932), applies retroactively. I respectfully disagree, though, with the majority opinion’s conclusion that a separate due process analysis is unnecessary in the present case, and I believe the separate convictions should be merged.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Terrence Justin Feaster
E2012-02636-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood

Appellant, Terrence Justin Feaster, stands convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment, for which he received consecutive sentences of twelve years as a career offender, fourteen years as a persistent offender, and eleven months, twenty-nine days, respectively. In this appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence underlying his convictions for attempted voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Ronald Bernard Anderson, III
M2013-01326-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Following a jury trial Defendant, Ronald Bernard Anderson, II, was found guilty as charged of four counts of the Class C felony offense of sexual battery by an authority figure. The trial court imposed a sentence of thee years for each conviction. A combination of concurrent and consecutive sentencing resulted in an effective sentence of six years. As to the manner of service of the sentences, the trial court ordered split confinement: three months incarceration and the balance of the six-year sentence suspended, with supervised probation for twelve years. In this appeal Defendant presents two issues for review. He claims the trial court erred by granting the State’s motion to amend each of the four counts of the indictment over Defendant’s objection because the indictment was defective, and he asserts the evidence was legally insufficient to support the convictions. After review of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/22/14
Thomas Paul Gagne Jr. v. Michael Donahue, Warden
W2013-02403-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph H. Walker III

The Petitioner, Thomas Paul Gagne, Jr., appeals the Hardeman County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his 1998 convictions for two counts of felony murder, aggravated burglary, and two counts of theft of property valued at $500 or less and his effective life sentence. The Petitioner contends that the trial court erred by dismissing his petition without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hardeman County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/21/14