Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 02/07/2016
Format: 02/07/2016
Mindy Dodd v. State of Tennessee
M2015-00272-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge David M. Bragg

The Petitioner, Mindy Dodd, appeals the Rutherford County Circuit Court’s denial of her petition to reopen her petition for post-conviction relief, seeking DNA analysis of evidence pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001.  Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/15/15
State of Tennessee v. Darryl Weems
E2015-00006-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

The Defendant, Darryl L. Weems, pleaded guilty to attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, forgery, and identity theft, in exchange for an effective six-year sentence with the trial court to determine the manner of service. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying his request for alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/14/15
James Davis, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00160-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey, Jr.

The Petitioner, James Davis, Jr., appeals as of right from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Petitioner contends that, due to his mental condition at that time, he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea because it was not entered voluntarily. The Petitioner also contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel due to counsel’s failure to request a mental evaluation. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/11/15
Gregory Hill v. State of Tennessee
E2014-01686-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz

The Petitioner, Gregory Hill, appeals from the Knox County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, wherein he challenged his jury convictions for two counts of aggravated assault and resulting sixteen-year sentence. In this appeal as of right, the Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel in the following ways: (1) because trial counsel advised him to reject a favorable guilty plea with a six-year sentence and for which he could apply for probation, opining to the Petitioner that there was a strong chance of acquittal if he proceeded to trial; (2) because trial counsel advised him against testifying on his own behalf, and his decision to do so, based upon that advice, severely limited the evidence put forth to the jury supporting his claim of self-defense; and (3) because, following the trial court's ruling excluding the Petitioner's brother's testimony about a similar act of violence by one of the victims, trial counsel failed to make an offer of proof of said testimony. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/10/15
State of Tennessee v. Freddie Lee Johnson
M2014-01494-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

The Defendant, Freddie Lee Johnson, appeals his conviction for first degree felony murder, arguing:  (1) the State failed to establish a sufficient chain of custody for a latent fingerprint lifted from the crime scene; (2) the Defendant’s right to confrontation was violated when the trial court allowed testimony that the Defendant’s fingerprint was lifted from an area in the crime scene that “raised a red flag”; (3) the Defendant’s right to present a defense was violated when the trial court prohibited trial counsel from arguing an alternative location for the Defendant’s fingerprint; (4) the trial court erred by failing to grant a mistrial when a witness testified that the latent print was lifted from a cup; (5) the trial court erred by refusing to dismiss the indictment pursuant to State v. Ferguson; (6) the trial court erred by allowing the victim’s daughter to testify about comments made by the victim about the Defendant; (7) the trial court violated the Defendant’s right to present a defense by refusing to allow the defense to introduce a prior statement from an unavailable witness; (8) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct in closing argument; (9) the trial court erred in its instruction to the jury on flight; (10) the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce into evidence portions of the Defendant’s police interview; and (11) the trial court erred by ruling that the State could use the Defendant’s prior theft convictions for impeachment.  Following a careful review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the Defendant’s convictions but remand for correction of the judgments.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/10/15
State of Tennessee v. Benjamin Foust
E2014-00277-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz
The Defendant, Benjamin Foust, was indicted and, following a jury trial, convicted of ten counts of felony first degree murder, two counts of premeditated first degree murder, four counts of especially aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated arson, and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-202, -13-403, -14-302, -17-1307(b). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to a total effective sentence of two consecutive life sentences plus 105 years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends (1) that the trial court erred by allowing the State to admit, as substantive evidence, the prior statement of a co-defendant in violation of Tennessee Rules of Evidence 613 and 803(26); (2) that the trial court erred by failing to merge all of the Defendant‘s convictions for aggravated arson; (3) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the Defendant‘s convictions; (4) that the trial court erred by not allowing the Defendant to stipulate that he had been convicted of prior felonies without disclosing that the convictions were for crimes of force and violence; (5) that the trial court erred by admitting an autopsy photograph of the charred body of one of the victims; (6) that the State improperly vouched for the credibility of a co-defendant who testified against the Defendant at trial; (7) that the trial court erred in instructing the jury regarding the inferences that could be drawn from the possession of recently stolen property; and (8) that the trial court erred by imposing partial consecutive sentences.1 Following our review, we conclude that the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce, as substantive evidence, the prior statement of a co-defendant in its entirety, and that this error was not harmless. Accordingly, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and remand this case for a new trial. We also conclude that the evidence was insufficient to sustain one of the Defendant‘s convictions for aggravated arson. With respect to that conviction, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and dismiss the charge. We will address the remainder of the Defendant‘s arguments so as not to pretermit his remaining issues. See State v. Parris, 236 S.W.3d 173, 189 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2007) (following a similar procedure)
 
Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/09/15
State of Tennessee v. Louis Still
W2014-01584-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Glenn Wright

A Shelby County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Louis Still, of operating a motor vehicle after having been declared a motor vehicle habitual offender, a Class E felony, and the trial court sentenced him to four years to be served as one month in confinement and the remainder on supervised probation. On appeal, the appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction because the State's key witness, the arresting officer, was not credible. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/09/15
State of Tennessee v. Dung Tran
W2014-02518-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

Appellant, Dung Tran, was convicted of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony; vandalism valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony; burglary, a Class D felony; and unlawful possession of burglary tools, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced appellant to eight years as a Range II, multiple offender for each conviction of theft, vandalism, and burglary and to eleven months, twenty-nine days for the possession of burglary tools conviction. The sentences were aligned concurrently for an effective sentence of eight years. On appeal, appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his theft and vandalism convictions. Following our thorough review of the record, the parties' arguments, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/09/15
State of Tennessee v. Christopher Anderson (In Re: David W. Camp)
W2014-02219-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

Appellant, David W. Camp, appeals from the Madison County Circuit Court’s finding of criminal contempt for his failure to appear at a scheduled court appearance for Mr. Camp’s client, Christopher Anderson, the defendant in this case. The trial court summarily convicted Appellant under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 42(a), finding that Appellant was in direct contempt of court and that Appellant’s conduct was in the presence of the court. The trial court relied upon text messages received from Appellant explaining his whereabouts at the time of the scheduled court appearance. We conclude that the trial court’s finding that Appellant’s conduct was in the presence of the court is error, and therefore, we remand this case for a hearing in accordance with Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 42(b).

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/09/15
State of Tennessee v. Michael Brooks
W2014-01391-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

A Shelby County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Defendant, Michael Brooks, charging him with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, and employing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Two co-defendants were also indicted with Defendant, but Defendant was tried by himself. After the jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of facilitation of aggravated robbery, one count of assault, and aggravated burglary. He was acquitted of the other charges. The trial court imposed a sentence of eighteen years for especially aggravated kidnapping, four years for each count of facilitation of aggravated robbery, eleven months and twenty-nine days for assault, and four years for aggravated burglary. The trial court ordered the sentences to be served concurrently for an effective eighteen-year sentence. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for especially aggravated kidnapping and that his sentence is excessive. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/09/15
State of Tennessee v. Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III
E2014-01864-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood

The Defendant-Appellant, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, was indicted by the McMinn County Grand Jury for harassment, aggravated perjury, stalking, and extortion. The trial court granted the defense's motion for judgment of acquittal as to the stalking charge after the close of the State's proof at trial, and it was dismissed. The jury convicted Fitzpatrick of aggravated perjury and extortion, Class D felonies, but found Fitzpatrick not guilty of harassment, a Class A misdemeanor. T.C.A. §§ 39-16-703; 39-14-112; 39-17-308. The trial court sentenced Fitzpatrick to concurrent sentences of three years with a release eligibility of thirty percent for his aggravated perjury and extortion convictions and ordered these sentences to be served consecutively to his misdemeanor convictions in Monroe County for disrupting a meeting and resisting arrest in case number 10-213, resisting arrest in case number 11-018, and tampering with government records in case number 12-108.1 On appeal, Fitzpatrick argues: (1) the trial court lacked jurisdiction over his case because a grand jury member voting to indict him was disqualified by reason of interest, and (2) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. Tracy Lynn Carman-Thacker
M2014-01859-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Vanessa Jackson

The Defendant, Tracy Lynn Carman-Thacker, was convicted in a bench trial in the Coffee County Circuit Court of twelve counts of unlawful possession of a firearm while subject to an order of protection and twelve counts of violating an order of protection by possessing a firearm, all Class A misdemeanors. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-113 (2014) (violation of an order of protection or restraining order), 39-17-1307 (Supp. 2012) (amended 2014) (unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress the evidence found during a search of her house and that the evidence is insufficient to support her convictions. We vacate the Defendant’s convictions and dismiss the charges.

Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
Adrian Wilkerson v. State of Tennessee
M2015-00420-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The petitioner, Adrian Wilkerson, appeals pro se from the summary dismissal of his 2014 petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his 1996 convictions of first degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10,000. Because the petition was filed more than a decade beyond the applicable statute of limitations, because this is the petitioner’s second successive petition for post-conviction relief, and because the petitioner failed to either allege or prove a statutory exception to the timely filing or a due process tolling of the statute of limitations, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. Vernon Elliott Lockhart
M2013-01275-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the appellant, Vernon Elliott Lockhart, of one count of conspiracy to sell 300 pounds or more of marijuana within a drug-free school zone, a Class A felony; one count of possession of 300 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to deliver within a drug-free school zone, a Class A felony; ten counts of money laundering, a Class B felony; one count of possession of ten pounds or more of marijuana with intent to deliver within a drug-free school zone, a Class C felony; and one count of facilitation of possession of ten pounds or more of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class E felony. After a sentencing hearing, the appellant received an effective ninety-four-year sentence. On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress evidence obtained from the wiretaps of various cellular telephones; that the trial court erred by denying his motions to suppress evidence based upon the unlawful attachment of GPS tracking devices on two vehicles and the unlawful GPS tracking of a co-defendant’s cellular telephone; that the trial court erred by denying his motions to suppress evidence seized pursuant to an unlawful search warrant for his home; that the trial court incorrectly ruled that a detective could testify as an expert in the identification and interpretation of drug ledgers; that the trial court improperly limited his cross-examination of a State witness; that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; that his effective sentence is excessive; and that cumulative error warrants a new trial. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support the appellant’s money laundering convictions in counts 14, 16, and 31. Therefore, those convictions are reversed, and the charges are dismissed. We also conclude that the trial court mistakenly sentenced the appellant in count 36 to the charged offense of possession of ten pounds or more of marijuana with intent to deliver rather than the convicted offense of facilitation, modify the appellant’s sentence for the conviction from four to two years, and remand the case to the trial court for correction of the judgment. The appellant’s remaining convictions and effective ninety-four-year sentence are affirmed.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. Jerry Lewis Tuttle - dissenting in part and concurring in part
M2014-00566-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

I concur with the majority’s opinion in its affirmation of the trial court’s forfeiture order.  I respectfully disagree with the majority’s conclusion that the affidavit supporting the search warrant was insufficient to establish probable cause.  Instead, I would affirm the trial court’s denial of appellant’s motion to suppress and would conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support appellant’s convictions.

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. Jerry Lewis Tuttle
M2014-00566-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Following the execution of a search warrant for his property and residence, the Defendant-Appellant, Jerry Lewis Tuttle, was indicted by the Maury County Grand Jury in case number 21695 for possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of not less than one-half ounce nor more than ten pounds of marijuana with intent to sell, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  He was also indicted by the Maury County Grand Jury in case number 22091 for conspiracy to possess marijuana in an amount over 300 pounds with intent to sell or deliver within 1000 feet of a school, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony, and acquiring or receiving property subject to judicial forfeiture pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-703.  The Defendant-Appellant filed motions to suppress the evidence seized and to dismiss the forfeiture count, which were denied by the trial court following a hearing. At trial, the Defendant-Appellant was convicted in case number 21695 of the lesser included offense of simple possession of cocaine and the charged offense of possession of marijuana with intent to sell; the count charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm was dismissed.  In case number 22091, the Defendant-Appellant was convicted of the lesser included offense of conspiracy to possess marijuana in an amount over 300 pounds with intent to sell or deliver as well as the charged offenses of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony.  Following a bench trial on the judicial forfeiture count, the trial court denied the forfeiture of several items seized but ordered the forfeiture of other items, including the $1,098,050 that is at issue on appeal.  After a sentencing hearing on the other counts, the trial court imposed an effective sentence of fifty years with a release eligibility of thirty-five percent.  On appeal, the Defendant-Appellant argues:  (1) that the search of his property violated his constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures because the affidavit in support of the search warrant did not provide probable cause for the issuing judge to believe that evidence of a crime would be found on his property and in his home; (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conspiracy convictions; and (3) he is entitled to the return of the $1,098,050 because the cash seized was obtained by him more than five years prior to the seizure and because the seizing agent failed to deliver a notice of seizure to him at the time the cash was seized.  Upon review, we reverse the Defendant-Appellant’s convictions.  However, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in regard to the forfeiture proceedings.

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. David Leon Graves
M2014-01547-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Earl Durham

The defendant, David Leon Graves, was convicted by a Wilson County Criminal Court jury of two counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder, a Class A felony; one count of assault, a Class B misdemeanor; and one count of reckless endangerment, a Class E felony.   He was sentenced by the trial court as a Range I, standard offender to twenty-five years and twenty years, respectively, for the attempted murder convictions, six months for the assault conviction, and two years for the reckless endangerment conviction.  The trial court ordered the twenty-year sentence served consecutively to the twenty-five-year sentence, for an effective term of forty-five years in the Department of Correction. The defendant raises six issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the convictions; (2) whether the trial court erred by allowing evidence of statements the defendant made while hospitalized; (3) whether the trial court erred by admitting a photograph of the victim’s injuries; (4) whether the trial court erred by not allowing evidence about a prior frivolous 9-1-1 call made by the defendant’s girlfriend; (5) whether the defendant’s convictions and sentences violate principles of double jeopardy; and (6) whether the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentencing.  Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Wilson County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/08/15
State of Tennessee v. Anthony B. Whitaker
E2014-02330-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.

Following a jury trial, Anthony B. Whitaker (“the Defendant”) was convicted of aggravated statutory rape. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred when it did not give the jury a missing witness instruction. Additionally, the Defendant claims that the language in the presentment was deficient because the presentment did not include “recklessly” as a culpable mental state. After review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/04/15
State of Tennessee v. Patrick James O'Brien, Jr.
E2014-02248-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge John F. Dugger, Jr.

Patrick James O'Brien, Jr., (“the Appellant”) pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and possession of a schedule II drug. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the Appellant was sentenced to concurrent, four-year sentences. The trial court denied alternative sentencing. The Appellant filed an appeal alleging that the trial court erred in denying him alternative sentencing. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Hamblen County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/04/15
State of Tennessee v. Anesha McKinnon
W2014-01514-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge John W. Campbell

The Petitioner, Anesha McKinnon, filed a petition for post-conviction relief in the Shelby County Criminal Court, alleging that her trial counsel was ineffective and that her guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/04/15
Howard Lavelle Tate v. State of Tennessee
M2014-2438-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The petitioner, Howard Lavelle Tate, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.  After review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/04/15
Kevin Lewis v. State of Tennessee
E2014-02070-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman

The Petitioner, Kevin Lewis, appeals as of right from the Hamilton County Criminal Court’s partial denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to argue to the jury that the State did not prove the element of “sexual contact” accompanying his conviction for aggravated sexual battery and for failing to impeach a witness. In response, the State asserts that the post-conviction court erred when it vacated and dismissed the Petitioner’s conviction for aggravated kidnapping after concluding that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to mount a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence on direct appeal. The State also responds that the post-conviction court did not err when it denied the Petitioner’s remaining claims. Following our review, we reverse the post-conviction court’s ruling dismissing the aggravated kidnapping charge against the Petitioner because we conclude that the court should have vacated the judgment without dismissing the charge in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-111. In all other respects, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/03/15
State of Tennessee v. Joseph John Volpe
E2014-00655-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman
The Defendant, Joseph John Volpe, was found guilty by a Hamilton County Criminal Court jury of attempt to commit second degree murder, a Class B felony, aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and reckless endangerment, a Class E felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-210 (2014) (second degree murder), 39-12-101 (2014) (criminal attempt), 39-13-102 (2010) (amended 2011, 2013) (aggravated assault), 39-13-103 (2010) (amended 2011, 2012, 2013) (reckless endangerment). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to concurrent sentences of ten years for attempted second degree murder, three years for aggravated assault, and one year for reckless endangerment. The court ordered the Defendant to serve eleven months, twenty-nine days in confinement and suspended the remainder of his sentence to probation. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions, (2) the trial court erred by denying his motions to suppress evidence, (3) the trial court erred by admitting inadmissible hearsay in evidence at the trial, (4) the trial court erred by admitting photographs at the trial, and (5) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct during closing argument. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 
Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/03/15
State of Tennessee v. Anthony Phillip James, Sr.
M2015-00305-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael R. Jones

Anthony Phillip James, Sr. (“the Appellant”) was convicted by a Montgomery County jury of aggravated child abuse.  On appeal the Appellant alleges that the evidence presented at his trial was insufficient to prove that he knowingly injured the child.  Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/03/15
Roderick D. Tate v. State of Tennessee
E2014-02153-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve W. Sword

The Petitioner, Roderick D. Tate, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief by the Criminal Court for Knox County. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the Petitioner entered guilty pleas to six drug-related offenses, for which he received an effective twenty-one-year sentence. On appeal, he argues that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel in relation to his guilty pleas because counsel misinformed him regarding the applicable range of punishment. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/03/15