Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/14/2018
Format: 08/14/2018
Kenneth O. Williams v. Grady Perry, Warden
W2017-01713-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

The pro se Petitioner, Kenneth O. Williams, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Hardeman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
E. Louis Thomas v. Grady Perry, Warden
W2017-01587-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

The pro se Petitioner, E. Louis Thomas, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Hardeman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Katherine Taylor
W2016-01941-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

The Defendant, Katherine Taylor, was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and sentenced to 18 years as a Range I offender. On appeal, she argues that the trial court erred by excluding evidence of the victim’s history of drug use and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
Justin Daniel Loines v. State of Tennessee
E2017-02088-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Don R. Ash

The pro se Petitioner, Justin Daniel Loines, appeals the dismissal of his petition for postconviction relief as time-barred. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court summarily dismissing the petition on the basis that it was filed almost six years after the judgment became final and that the Petitioner failed to show any grounds to warrant that the statute of limitations be tolled.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Nicholas J. Alberts
E2018-00117-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The Defendant, Nicholas J. Alberts, appeals the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1, Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Ramey Michelle Long
W2016-02471-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Appellant, Ramey Michelle Long, was convicted by a jury of the Class A misdemeanors driving under the influence (DUI); DUI, second offense; possession of marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Appellant was also convicted of the Class C misdemeanors speeding and violating the open container law. The trial court merged the DUI convictions and imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days for each Class A misdemeanor and thirty days for each Class C misdemeanor. The court ordered the sentence for the DUI conviction to be served consecutively to the remaining sentences, which were to be served concurrently. The trial court further approved of the fines imposed by the jury, which were the maximum allowable for each offense, for a total of $8,600. On appeal, the Appellant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain her conviction of DUI, second offense; (2) the trial court erred by denying her motions to suppress; (3) the trial court erred by preventing her from introducing her pharmaceutical records, medical records, hardware taken from her back during surgery, and a hand-drawn chart concerning the therapeutic levels of her medication; (4) the trial court erred by admitting still photographs taken from a video; (5) the trial court failed to dismiss the speeding charge because it was not included in the indictment; (6) the trial court erred in sentencing; and (7) the trial court erred in revoking her bond pending appeal. Upon review, we conclude that the trial court erred by imposing a thirty-day sentence for violating the open container law; accordingly, the case must be remanded for correction of the judgment of conviction to reflect that the punishment is a $50 fine. Further, on remand the judgment of conviction for speeding must be vacated and dismissed. We affirm the trial court’s judgments in all other respects.

Henderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Jerome Edwin Lockridge
M2017-01646-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

The Appellant, Jerome Edwin Lockridge, was convicted in the Davidson County Criminal Court of attempted aggravated burglary, a Class D felony, and misdemeanor vandalism and received an effective four-year sentence to be served in confinement. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his attempted aggravated burglary conviction because the State failed to prove that he entered the habitation with the intent to commit theft. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Keith Austin
W2017-00927-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant, Keith Austin, for attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. After a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of the lesser included offense of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The Defendant was sentenced to twenty-six years’ incarceration as a Range II, multiple offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions of attempted second degree murder and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
Rashad Dewayne Seay, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
M2017-01128-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brody N. Kane

A Wilson County jury convicted Rashad Dewayne Seay, Jr. (“the Petitioner”) of two counts of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance. Following the voluntary dismissal of his direct appeal, the Petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction petition, which the postconviction court dismissed as time-barred. Upon review, we conclude that the petition was timely filed, and therefore, reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Wilson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Timothy Pate
E2016-02566-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stacy L. Street

The Defendant, Timothy Pate, was convicted by a jury of first degree premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-202, -16-503, -17-312. The trial court merged the two first degree murder convictions and imposed a total effective sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant contends that he was denied his right to a fair trial by an impartial jury because a written juror question demonstrated that one of the jurors had “a decided prejudice and bias” against the Defendant. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Carter County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/29/18
State of Tennessee v. Franklin James Howe
E2017-01838-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas C. Greenholtz

The Defendant, Franklin James Howe, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court’s order revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentence in confinement. The State has filed a motion to affirm the trial court’s order pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. Following our review, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken and affirm the order of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/28/18
State of Tennessee v. Denton Jones
E2017-00535-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Scott Green

The defendant, Denton Jones, appeals his Knox County Criminal Court jury conviction of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more, arguing that the State should not have been permitted to aggregate into a single count of theft the value of property taken on five separate occasions from two different locations; that the trial court erred by permitting testimony concerning evidence that suggested the defendant had committed other offenses; that the trial court erred by denying his motions for mistrial, including one based upon an alleged violation of Brady v. Maryland; that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; and that the cumulative effect of the errors at trial entitle him to a new trial. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/28/18
Chris Jones v. State of Tennessee
W2017-00405-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Chris Jones, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief upon the post-conviction court’s determination that it was filed outside the statute of limitations and that the Petitioner failed to prove that his mental incompetence required its tolling. After review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/27/18
State of Tennessee v. Quincy D. Scott
E2017-01416-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

Defendant, Quincy D. Scott, appeals his conviction for aggravated robbery for which he was sentenced to seventeen years as a Range II, multiple offender at 85%. On appeal, Defendant contends that the cumulative effect of various errors at trial entitled him to a new trial. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/27/18
Christopher Clifton v. State of Tennessee
E2017-02231-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Bobby R. McGee

The Petitioner, Christopher Clifton, appeals the post-conviction court’s dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, wherein the Petitioner argued that he entered an involuntary and unknowing guilty plea to aggravated assault. After thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
Richard Earl Madkins, Jr. v. Blair Leiback, Warden
M2017-01154-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. Wootten, Jr.

The Petitioner, Richard Earl Madkins, Jr., filed a petition in the Trousdale County Circuit Court seeking habeas corpus relief from his conviction of especially aggravated robbery and resulting twenty-five-year sentence, alleging that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to convict or sentence him because he was arrested for the offense without a warrant. The habeas corpus court denied relief without a hearing, and the Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
State of Tennessee v. Nehad Sobhi Abdelnabi
E2017-00237-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The Knox County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant, Nehad Sobhi Abdelnabi, on two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of aggravated burglary. The Defendant’s first trial resulted in a mistrial. At the Defendant’s second trial, the jury convicted him of aggravated kidnapping in count one, especially aggravated kidnapping in count two, and aggravated assault in counts three and four. The jury acquitted the Defendant of aggravated burglary in count five. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to serve twelve years for count one, seventeen years for count two, and six years for counts three and four, respectively. The trial court merged the Defendant’s conviction in count one into count two and merged count four into count three and ordered that he serve the sentences concurrently, for a total effective sentence of seventeen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) at 100% release eligibility. On appeal, the Defendant argues the following: (1) the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment because the State violated the rule against double jeopardy by intentionally eliciting objectionable testimony from a State witness in the Defendant’s first trial; (2) the trial court erred by denying the Defendant’s motion for mistrial when the victim told the Defendant to “[b]e a man” and “[t]ake the stand” during the victim’s cross-examination; (3) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct by allowing the victim’s objectionable testimony, which violated the Defendant’s right to not testify; (4) the victim’s objectionable testimony and “the subsequent denial of the motion for mistrial[] violated his constitutional right to a fair trial”; (5) the trial court erred by limiting the Defendant’s cross-examination of the co-defendant, Lowi Akila, which violated the Defendant’s right to confrontation; (6) the trial court erred by excluding testimony regarding the victim’s alleged bias; (7) the trial court erred under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 604 and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 42 in denying the Defendant’s request to require witnesses to testify in the language that the testimony was originally given in; (8) the trial court violated the Defendant’s right to due process by allowing witnesses to testify in English about conversations that occurred in Arabic; (9) the trial court erred by admitting the victim’s medical records; (10) the State violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) by failing to disclose that the victim received compensation from the State of Tennessee; (11) the evidence was insufficient for a rational juror to have found the Defendant guilty of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated assault beyond a reasonable doubt; (12) the trial court erred in its application of enhancement factors to the Defendant’s sentence; (13) the Defendant’s sentence contravenes the principles and purposes of the Tennessee Sentencing Act; and (14) the Defendant is entitled to cumulative error relief. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable case law, we affirm.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
James M. Meese v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00909-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brody N. Kane

The Petitioner, James M. Meese, entered guilty pleas to aggravated statutory rape, aggravated assault, simple possession of marijuana, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, with a negotiated Range I seven-year sentence to be served on probation. The Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition, asserting that his trial counsel failed to properly investigate his charges and inaccurately advised him regarding his cumulative exposure. We conclude that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to accurately advise the Petitioner of his range of punishment and that as a result, the Petitioner did not knowingly enter into the plea agreement. Accordingly, we reverse the post-conviction court’s judgment, and we remand for a new trial on all charges.

Wilson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
State of Tennessee v. Frederick D. Curll
M2017-00090-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Deanna B. Johnson

A Williamson County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Frederick D. Curll, of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a Class E felony, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range II, multiple offender to four years in confinement. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court erred in its jury instruction of “sadism,” that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction, and that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to call a veterinary expert to testify on his behalf and failed to file a motion to suppress the officer’s search of his back yard and seizure of the animal’s body without a warrant. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
Rhyunia Lamont Barnes v. State of Tennessee
M2017-02033-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The Petitioner, Rhyunia Lamont Barnes, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. In his appeal, the Petitioner argues that the trial court erred in summarily dismissing his petition for writ of error coram nobis. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the coram nobis court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
Charles Owens v. Kevin Genovese, Warden
M2017-01251-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

Pro se Petitioner, Charles Owens, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus by the Hickman County Circuit Court. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that his convictions for aggravated sexual battery are void because (1) the trial court announced his sentence through written order, without the Petitioner present, in violation of Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 43(a)(3); and (2) the trial court ordered partial consecutive sentencing in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-20-111(a). Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition, pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
State of Tennessee v. Dexter Octavius Parker
M2017-00477-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge L. Craig Johnson

Defendant, Dexter Octavius Parker, was indicted for attempted first degree murder in Count One, “aggravated domestic assault” in Count Two, and especially aggravated kidnapping in Count Three. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of attempted second degree murder in Count One, aggravated assault in Count Two, and especially aggravated kidnapping in Count Three. He received a total effective sentence of forty-six years. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court improperly excluded the conclusion of one expert witness while allowing the conclusion of another expert witness regarding Defendant’s mental state. Defendant also argues that the trial court erred by reinstating and amending Count Two of the indictment after dismissing it during the trial. Concluding that the trial court committed structural constitutional error by reinstating Count Two of the indictment, we reverse and vacate the judgment in Count Two and affirm the judgments in Counts One and Three.

Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/18
State of Tennessee v. Maria Deleta Flowers, AKA Maria Palmer
M2017-00425-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The Appellant, Maria Deleta Flowers, was convicted in the Davidson County Criminal Court of reckless aggravated assault, a Class D felony, and was sentenced to four years in confinement. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction and that the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/18
State of Tennessee v. Eric James Lewis Bogle
M2016-02284-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Franklin Lee Russell

A Marshall County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Eric James Lewis Bogle, of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and the trial court sentenced him to thirty-five years in confinement to be served at 100%. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress his statement to police because he invoked his right to counsel and that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction without his statement. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/18
State of Tennessee v. Alisha Lynn Alsup
M2017-01669-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Russell Parkes

In this appeal, the State challenges the trial court’s dismissal of a DUI by impairment charge as an impermissible “broadening and/or substantial amendment” to the original charge of DUI per se. The Defendant, Alisha Lynn Alsup, was initially indicted by the Lawrence County Grand Jury for driving while the alcohol concentration in her blood or breath was 0.08% or more (DUI per se), T.C.A. § 55-10-401(2); driving without her eyeglasses, id. § 55-50-331; and driving with inoperable headlights, id. § 55-9-402. Alsup filed a motion to suppress the results of the field sobriety tests, the blood sample, and the blood test results, and, shortly thereafter, the grand jury issued a superseding indictment, charging her with driving under the influence (DUI by impairment), id. § 55- 10-401(1), in addition to the previously charged offenses. Thereafter, Alsup filed a brief in the trial court asking that the superseding indictment be dismissed. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the motion to suppress the blood alcohol results and stated that “in light of the . . . suppression of the blood sample in this case, the Court finds it unnecessary to address the dismissal of the superseding indictment in that Count II of said indictment is premised on [Alsup’s] blood alcohol content being 0.08[%] or more.” The trial court then held that the State would only be allowed to proceed on the original indictment, which the court mistakenly believed charged Alsup with DUI by impairment. Thereafter, the trial court entered a second order, the subject of the State’s appeal, correcting some errors in the previous order, reiterating its suppression of the blood test results, dismissing the DUI per se counts in the original and superseding indictments based on the suppression of the blood test results, and dismissing the DUI by impairment charge in the superseding indictment as time-barred after determining thatthis charge was “a broadening and/or substantial amendment” to the DUI per se charge in the original indictment. In response, Alsup argues that the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction by entering the second order amending its first order pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36, that the State failed to timely appeal from the first order entered, and that the trial court properly determined that the DUI by impairment charge was barred by the statute of limitations. Although this was a very close case, we conclude that the DUI by impairment charge in the superseding indictment broadened and substantially amended the charge of DUI per se in the original indictment. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/18