Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014
State of Tennessee v. Kristopher Blake Kincer
E2013-01740-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

The Defendant, Kristopher Blake Kincer, pleaded guilty as a Range I offender to theft of property valued at $1000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. § 39-14-103 (Supp. 2013) (theft of property); 39-14-105(a)(3) (2010) (amended 2012) (grading of theft). The plea agreement called for a two-year sentence, and the trial court ordered that the sentence be served in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for the Defendant to be sentenced to community corrections.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/14
Ronald E. Boykin v. Jerry Lester, Warden
W2013-01699-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph H. Walker III

The petitioner, Ronald E. Boykin, appeals the Lauderdale County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that his judgments for sexual battery by an authority figure are void because he never agreed to a hybrid plea and was not informed that he would be subject to community supervision for life. He further argues that the condition of lifetime community supervision is in direct contravention of a statute and is, therefore, illegal. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas court denying the petition.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/08/14
Floyd Lee Perry Jr. v. State of Tennessee
W2013-00901-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge William B. Acree Jr.

The petitioner, Floyd Lee Perry, Jr., appeals the dismissal of his motion to re-open his original petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner is currently serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole for a murder he committed as a juvenile. On appeal, he claims that he is entitled to relief pursuant to the new precedent established in Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012), which held that it violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and inhuman punishment to sentence a juvenile to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole without individual consideration of mitigating circumstances. Following review of the applicable law and the record before us, we conclude that the motion was properly denied and affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Obion County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
John E. Lane v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01788-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge O. Duane Slone

Petitioner, John E. Lane, stands convicted of one count of first degree murder. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of life imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to object to two pictures of the deceased victim’s body and wounds that were displayed on a projector during the trial. Following our review of the parties’ arguments, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Grainger County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Demetrius Marcelle Smith
E2013-01796-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman

The Defendant, Demetrius Marcelle Smith, appeals the revocation of his probation by the Hamilton County Criminal Court. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred in revoking his probation and ordering his sentence into execution. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the Hamilton County Criminal Court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
Joseph Chi-Choi Wong v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01684-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl Blackburn

Following his convictions of promoting prostitution and money laundering, the petitioner, Joseph Chi-Choi Wong, filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition as untimely. On appeal, the petitioner challenges the summary dismissal of his petition. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
Jeffrey S. Nichols v. Stanton Heidle, Warden and State of Tennessee
E2013-02179-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Curtis Smith

The Petitioner, Jeffrey S. Nichols, pro se, appeals the Bledsoe County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus regarding his 2005 convictions for nine counts of aggravated sexual battery and five counts of rape of a child for which he received an effective seventeen-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the trial court erred by denying him habeas corpus relief because (1) the judgments in case numbers 02-530 through 02-538 for his aggravated sexual battery convictions do not contain the required community supervision for life provision and (2) the rape of a child convictions in case number 02-706, which required the victim to be under age thirteen, concerned a thirteen-year-old victim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bledsoe County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
Johnny L. McGowan, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
E2007-00598-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Eugene Eblen

The petitioner, Johnny L. McGowan, Jr., appeals as of right from the Morgan County Circuit Court’s orders denying his petitions for writs of habeas corpus and error coram nobis. The petitioner challenges his 1993 Rutherford County Criminal Court convictions of three counts of aggravated assault for which he received a total effective sentence of five years’ incarceration. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court’s denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Morgan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
Randall Turner v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01565-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Don W. Poole

Petitioner, Randall Turner, pleaded guilty to first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated robbery, for which he received agreed-upon sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and thirty years. The pro se petitioner filed the instant petition for post-conviction relief, in which he requested DNA analysis of his “clothing, pants, shoes and socks” as well as a witness’s “pajamas.” The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition, and this appeal follows. On appeal, petitioner argues that the post-conviction court should have: (1) recused itself from considering his case; (2) appointed counsel to represent petitioner; and (3) granted his petition for DNA testing. After our review of the parties’ briefs, the scant record before this court, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Izz-Aldin Ahmed Mustafa - concurring opinion
E2013-00960-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rex Henry Ogle

I am constrained to agree with the majority that the trial court’s decision in this case must be affirmed. I write separately for two reasons. First, I would point out that the facts of this case dramatically illustrate the results dictated by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s continuing restriction, if not effective evisceration, of the community caretaking doctrine in Tennessee. As the majority points out, this restrictive interpretation recently was reaffirmed, and arguably expanded, by the majority opinion of the our supreme court in State v. Moats, 403 S.W.3d 170 (Tenn. 2013).

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Izz-Aldin Ahmed Mustafa
E2013-00960-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Judge Rex Henry Ogle

In this appeal as of right, the State challenges the trial court’s grant of the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained during a traffic stop of the defendant, claiming that the trial court erred by concluding that the defendant had been seized without legal justification. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Kevin Lee Johnson
M2013-01842-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Franklin L. Russell

The defendant was convicted of being a habitual motor vehicle offender, driving under the influence, and failure to appear and was sentenced to an effective term of nine years and six months. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing the sentence because it is excessive and contrary to law. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14
Myron Jay Wilson v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01284-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge David M. Bragg

The petitioner, Myron Jay Wilson, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel and that his guilty pleas were knowing and voluntary. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/07/14