Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 10/24/2014
Format: 10/24/2014
State of Tennessee v. Walter George Glenn
E2013-01852-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rebecca J. Stern

A Hamilton County jury convicted the Defendant, Walter George Glenn, of second degree murder, and the trial court imposed a Range II sentence of thirty-five years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in allowing a medical examiner to testify as to the cause of the death in violation of his right to confrontation; and (3) the trial court erred when it sentenced him by improperly applying enhancement factors and failing to apply mitigating factors. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Tarrants Chandler
M2013-00279-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

The defendant, Tarrants Chandler, was indicted by a grand jury for ten counts of rape by coercion, Class B felonies, and two counts of criminal exposure to HIV, Class C felonies.  After a trial, the jury convicted the defendant of nine counts of rape by coercion and one count of criminal exposure to HIV.  The trial court declared a mistrial as to Count 2, rape by coercion, and Count 12, criminal exposure to HIV.  The conviction in Count 1 was dismissed by the trial court after the motion for a new trial.  The defendant now appeals the remaining convictions, arguing that the evidence was not sufficient to find the defendant guilty of eight counts of rape by coercion, that the trial court erred by ruling that consent was not a defense to rape by coercion, that the trial court erred by failing to find prosecutorial misconduct based on aspects of the State’s closing argument, and that the trial court erred by imposing an effective fifty-year sentence on the defendant.  After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand for: (1) entry of corrected judgments that reflect the dismissal of Count 1; and (2) to correct clerical errors in the judgments on both Count 6, because the judgment in Count 6 orders the sentence to be served concurrently  with the sentence from Count 2, which was declared a mistrial, and the judgment in Count 8, which states that the sentence is to be served concurrently, rather than consecutively to the sentence in Count 11.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
Gary Carr v. State of Tennessee
W2014-00579-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker III

The Petitioner, Gary Carr, appeals the Circuit Court for Lauderdale County’s denial of his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we grant the State’s motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/03/14
State of Tennessee v. Robert King Vaughn, Jr.
M2013-02099-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Bragg

Appellant, Robert King Vaughn, Jr., pled guilty to aggravated burglary and theft in case number F-64238 and aggravated burglary in case number F-68086 in Rutherford County Circuit Court.  As a result, in case number F-64238, Appellant was ordered to serve 90 days in incarceration and the remainder of a four-year sentence on probation.  In case number F-68086, Appellant was sentenced to thirteen years.  The sentence was suspended and Appellant was ordered to serve the term on Community Corrections.  A warrant was filed against Appellant for a violation of the terms of the Community Corrections sentence and probation.  After a hearing, the trial court ordered Appellant to serve the remainder of the four-year sentence and thirteen-year sentence in incarceration.  Appellant appeals.  After a review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand the matter to the trial court for correction of the order revoking Appellant’s Community Corrections sentence in case number F-68086 to reflect a violation of Community Corrections rather than probation.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/03/14
State of Tennessee v. Kenneth Moore
M2013-02022-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Leon C. Burns, Jr.

The defendant, Kenneth Moore, appeals his DeKalb County Criminal Court jury conviction of aggravated sexual battery, claiming that the trial court erred by denying his motions to introduce certain evidence, including evidence offered pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Evidence 412, and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction.  Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

DeKalb County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/02/14
State of Tennessee v. Aaron Guilliams
E2013-01405-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald Ray Elledge

Aaron Guilliams (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated assault. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the Defendant was sentenced to two years, suspended to supervised probation, and reserved the right to have a hearing to determine his eligibility for judicial diversion. After a hearing, the trial court denied the Defendant’s request for judicial diversion. The Defendant timely appealed the trial court’s ruling. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Anderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/02/14
Chivous S. Robinson v. State of Tennessee
W2013-02622-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph H. Walker III

The petitioner, Chivous S. Robinson, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in the Hardeman County Circuit Court challenging his 2000 convictions of second degree murder and solicitation of first degree murder. Because the petition fails to present a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we affirm the habeas corpus court’s summary dismissal of the petition.

Hardeman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
State of Tennessee v. Donald Wayne McCall
W2013-01501-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

The Defendant, Donald Wayne McCall, was convicted by a Crockett County Circuit Court jury of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and two counts of aggravated sexual battery, Class B felonies. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-522, 39-13-504(a)(4) (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to forty years for child rape at 100% service and to twenty years for each aggravated sexual battery conviction at 100% service. The trial court ordered consecutive sentences, for an effective eighty-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) the trial court erred by failing to exclude evidence related to one victim’s credibility, and (3) the trial court erred by permitting the State to impeach him with his previous convictions. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Crockett County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
Tyrone Chalmers v. State of Tennessee
W2013-02317-CCA-R3-PD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Special Judge Don R. Ash

The petitioner, Tyrone Chalmers, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis in which he challenged his death sentence resulting from his 1997 conviction for first degree felony murder. On appeal, the petitioner contends that he is entitled to coram nobis relief because he is intellectually disabled and, therefore, ineligible for the death penalty. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
State of Tennessee v. Romilus Caraway
W2013-00438-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Beasley Jr.

The defendant, Romilus Caraway, appeals his Shelby County Criminal Court jury convictions of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, claiming that the trial court erred by denying his motions to exclude certain evidence at trial and by permitting the jury to deliberate a second day. In addition, the defendant claims that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
Ronald L. Allen v. State of Tennessee
W2014-00041-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore Jr.

The petitioner, Ronald L. Allen, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in the Lake County Circuit Court challenging his 2003 conviction of rape of a child. Because the petition fails to present a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief, we affirm the habeas corpus court’s summary dismissal of the petition.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
Marvin Bobby Parker v. State of Tennessee
M2012-02740-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Frankin L. Russell

The petitioner, Marvin Bobby Parker, was convicted of reckless aggravated assault, two counts of assault, and one count of reckless endangerment after a violent confrontation at a racetrack.  He appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.  On appeal, the petitioner asserts that the post-conviction court erred in rejecting his argument that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel when: (1) trial counsel did not allow him to testify at the grand jury proceedings; (2) trial counsel did not request an instruction on self-defense during trial; (3) trial counsel failed to call certain witnesses at trial and at the preliminary hearing; (4) trial counsel failed to prepare him to testify; (5) trial counsel failed to pursue or advise him regarding pretrial diversion; (6) trial counsel did not introduce a videotape into evidence; and (7) trial counsel’s cumulative errors deprived him of a fair trial.  After a review of the record, we conclude that the petition was properly dismissed, and we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
Robert Jason Burgess v. Stanton Heidle, Warden
M2012-02745-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard

Petitioner, Robert Jason Burgess, pled guilty to two counts of the sale of a controlled substance and two counts of rape in Marshall County.  As a result, he was sentenced to an effective sentence of twenty-six years.  After the denial of post-conviction relief, Petitioner sought habeas corpus relief in which he argued that his guilty plea was unknowingly or involuntarily entered because he was not informed that his sentence carried a community supervision for life provision.  After a review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court which dismissed the petition for relief.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14