Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 10/25/2014
Format: 10/25/2014
State of Tennessee v. Bobby Joe Croom
W2013-01863-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan Jr.

A Madison County Circuit Court jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Bobby Joe Croom, as charged of three counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and three counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony. See State v. Bobby Joe Croom, No. W2011-00461-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 1656718, at *1 Tenn. Crim. App. May 10, 2012). In his first direct appeal, Croom argued that the trial court erred in failing to require the State to elect the particular instances of rape and sexual battery on which it was relying for each conviction and that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. Id. at *1. In counts 1 through 4, which charged Croom with rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery during the period of July 1-4, 2009, and with rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery during the period of July 5-11, 2009, this court reversed Croom’s convictions, dismissed his charges, and vacated his sentences after concluding that there was no proof presented at trial that the offenses occurred within the time periods charged. Id. at *8. The court also reversed Croom’s convictions in counts 5 and 6, which charged Croom with rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery during the period of July 12-18, 2009, and remanded the case for a new trial on those counts. Id. Following a retrial on counts 5 and 6, Croom was again convicted as charged, and the trial court imposed consecutive sentences of thirty-five years for the rape of a child conviction and fifteen years for the aggravated sexual battery conviction. In this direct appeal, Croom argues that (1) the trial court erred in allowing a physician to testify about the statements made by the victim and the victim’s mother during a medical examination and erred in admitting the physician’s medical report containing those statements because the statements were not made for the purposes of medical diagnosis and treatment pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 803(4), and (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/11/14
Charles McHaney v. State of Tennessee
M2013-00290-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte Watkins

The petitioner, Charles McHaney, filed a petition in the Davidson County Criminal Court, seeking post-conviction relief.  The post-conviction court dismissed the petition as untimely. On appeal, the petitioner challenges the dismissal.  Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/10/14
State of Tennessee v. Angela M. Greene
E2013-00475-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Amy F. Reedy

The Defendant, Angela M. Greene, was convicted by a McMinn County Circuit Court jury of first degree felony murder in the perpetration of theft, a Class A felony; aggravated assault, a Class C felony; and theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-202(a)(2) (2010) (first degree murder), 39-13-102 (Supp. 2009) (amended 2010, 2011, 2013) (aggravated assault), 39-14-103 (2010) (theft of property); 39-14-105(3) (2010) (amended 2012) (grading of theft). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to life as a violent offender for the first degree murder conviction, six years as a Range I, standard offender for aggravated assault, and four years as a Range I, standard offender for theft. The aggravated assault and theft sentences were imposed consecutively to each other but concurrently with the life sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions and (2) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of the victim’s hearsay statements. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/10/14
State of Tennessee v. James Jones
W2013-01257-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey Jr.

Defendant, James Jones, was charged by indictment with the offense of aggravated robbery. A jury found him guilty of the lesser included offense of facilitation of aggravated robbery, a Class C felony. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court denied Defendant’s request to be placed on judicial diversion. Instead, the trial court sentenced Defendant to serve four years of incarceration. Defendant raises one issue on appeal. He argues that the trial court should have ordered judicial diversion. After a thorough review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/09/14
Reginald Fowler v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01554-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Walter C. Kurtz

Petitioner, Reginald Fowler, was convicted of aggravated arson following a bench trial, and he was sentenced to twenty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Following an unsuccessful direct appeal, he filed the instant petition for post-conviction relief raising the following issues: (1) whether he was denied a fair trial due to the alleged impairment of the trial judge; (2) whether ineffective assistance of trial counsel rendered his waiver of a jury trial involuntary; and (3) whether trial counsel’s assistance was ineffective by failing to present the testimony of a pharmacologist at trial. After an evidentiary hearing, the postconviction court denied relief. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/09/14
Jeffery Odom v. State of Tennessee
M2014-00470-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Bragg

Petitioner, Jeffery Odom, was convicted and sentenced for two felonies, with his sentences to be served concurrently.  He filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, contending that the concurrent sentences violated a statute that required consecutive sentencing under the circumstances.  The trial court dismissed his petition.  He filed a notice of appeal more than 30 days after the entry of the trial court’s order, in violation of Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b).  We dismiss this appeal because of the untimely filing.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/14
Antwan Yumata Hunter v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01142-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte Watkins

The petitioner, Antwan Yumata Hunter, pled guilty to one count of the sale of less than 0.5 grams of cocaine, a Class C felony.  On appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel that rendered his guilty plea involuntary.  Specifically, he contends that trial counsel were ineffective for failing to advise him of a mandatory fine that accompanied his guilty plea; for failing to file pretrial motions, including a motion to suppress; and for failing to fully investigate his case.  After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/14
Antwon Cook v. State of Tennessee
E2014-00214-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carroll L. Ross

The Petitioner, Antwon Cook, appeals the Bradley County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis regarding his convictions for possession of more than one-half gram of cocaine with the intent to sell and sale of more than one-half gram of cocaine, for which he is serving an effective eight-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the trial court erred by denying him relief. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/14
State of Tennessee v. David Wayne Felts
M2013-00939-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, David Wayne Felts, of six counts of rape of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.  The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to a total effective sentence of one hundred and fourteen years to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction.  On appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his rape of a child conviction in Count 2; (2) the trial court failed to compel the State to elect specific facts sufficient to distinguish Count 6 from Count 5; (3) the trial court erred when it admitted into evidence the victim’s statement to a nurse practitioner as a statement made for the purpose of medical diagnosis and treatment, pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 803(4); (4) the trial court erred when it admitted into evidence the victim’s statement as a prior consistent statement; and (5) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence.  After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/14
State of Tennessee v. Randy Sherrill
W2013-01306-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Lee Moore Jr.

A Lake County jury convicted the Defendant, Randy Sherrill, of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance in a drug-free zone. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to serve eight years as a multiple offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) “Markham Park” is not listed as a “park” by the State of Tennessee, the City of Tiptonville, or the Federal Government; (2) the State committed a Brady violation by not informing defense counsel of its confidential informant’s drug use during the time period of his transactions with the Defendant; (3) the State failed to prove chain of custody; and (4) the trial court, Tiptonville Police Chief England, and the State, engaged in improper conversations with the jury after jury deliberations had begun. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
Billy McIllwain v. State of Tennessee
W2013-02306-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

The Petitioner, Billy McIllwain, appeals the Gibson County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2009 convictions for first degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to employ it in the commission of the offense and his effective sentence of life plus six years. The Petitioner contends that the trial court erred by denying him relief because he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Gibson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Kenneth Hamm
W2013-01125-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The Defendant, Kenneth Hamm, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of attempt to commit rape of a child, a Class B felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-522 (2010) (rape of a child), 39-12-101 (criminal attempt), 39-12-107 (criminal attempt classification). The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to ten years and one month in confinement. On appeal, he contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence his uncorroborated statements to Officer Diffee; (3) the court erred in excluding evidence of the victim’s previous allegations of sexual abuse by others; and (4) the court erred by applying insufficient weight to the mitigating factors during sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Deon Lamont Cartmell
M2012-01925-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt

The Defendant, Deon Lamont Cartmell, was convicted by a Davidson County Criminal Court jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and received an eighteen-year sentence.  See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2010).  On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred (1) in admitting the victim’s statements into evidence, (2) in admitting evidence that the victim’s wedding ring was missing, (3) in admitting evidence that Megan Prisco had a flirtatious relationship with him before the victim’s death, (4) in admitting evidence that he boasted about his treating his wife poorly to Metro Police Field Training Officer Mackovis Peebles, (5) in admitting evidence that he carelessly left weapons around his house and used profanity when Antoya Brandon confronted him about it, (6) in admitting evidence of his conversation with Metro Police Chaplain James Duke, (7) in admitting proof of his relationships with other women after the victim’s death, (8) in allowing the State to question him about his contact with Paige Merriweather, (9) in allowing the State to question him about an incident three years before the victim’s death when he confronted her about having sex with other men, (10) in ordering redaction of a portion of the defense expert’s report, and (11) in enhancing his sentence.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14