Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/31/2014
Format: 07/31/2014
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
Bradley Wayne Adams v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01928-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carroll L. Ross

Bradley Wayne Adams (“the Petitioner”) pleaded guilty to one count each of second degree murder and aggravated assault. The Petitioner subsequently filed for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Following a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. The Petitioner now appeals. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
State of Tennessee v. Marvin Magay James Green
E2013-02425-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

Marvin Magay James Green (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to several offenses, including possession with intent to sell or deliver .5 grams or more of cocaine within 1000 feet of a school zone (“the cocaine conviction”). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to fifteen years of incarceration for the cocaine conviction, to be served at 100%. The Defendant subsequently filed motions, a petition for post-conviction relief, and a petition for writ of habeas corpus, all attacking the cocaine conviction and sentence. The trial court consistently denied relief, and the Defendant appealed. This Court consolidated the Defendant’s appeals. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the Defendant is entitled to no relief. We also have determined that the judgment order entered on the cocaine conviction contains a clerical error. Therefore, we remand this matter for the correction of that error. In all other respects, we affirm the trial court’s rulings and judgments.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/30/14
State of Tennessee v. Charles Hampton and DeAnthony Perry
W2012-02191-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The defendants, Charles Hampton and Deanthony Perry, were convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of first degree premeditated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In this consolidated appeal, Defendant Perry argues that the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct the jury that Ladarrius Borrum was an accomplice as a matter of law and that the evidence presented at trial is insufficient to sustain his conviction for first degree murder. Defendant Hampton argues that the trial court erred in denying his right to compulsory process and excluding relevant evidence, as well as challenges the sufficiency of the evidence convicting him of first degree murder. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/27/14
State of Tennessee v. Jacob Aaron Ervin
M2013-01921-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Russell

The defendant, Jacob Aaron Ervin, was convicted by a Marshall County jury of simple assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced by the trial court to eleven months, twenty-nine days in jail at 75%.  On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and argues that the trial court imposed an excessive sentence.  Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/27/14
State of Tennessee v. Jermaine Davis
W2013-01123-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Beasley Jr.

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Jermaine Davis, of nine counts of aggravated rape, and the trial court ordered him to serve an effective sentence of seventy-five years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court committed plain error when it included “recklessness” in the definition of aggravated rape in the jury instruction; (2) the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct the jury on voluntary intoxication; (3) the trial court committed plain error by failing to compel the State to elect facts to support three of the counts charged; (4) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; (5) the trial court erred when it sentenced the Defendant by ordering him to serve twenty-five years for each of the convictions and by imposing partial consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/27/14
Cortez Griffin v. State of Tennessee
W2013-01009-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett

The Petitioner, Cortez Griffin, appeals as of right from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. In his petition, the Petitioner attacked his convictions for felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and criminally negligent homicide, arguing, among other things, that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel due to counsel’s failure to file a motion to sever the robbery and murder offenses or pursue the trial court’s joinder of those offenses on direct appeal. On appeal, he challenges the denial of relief on the aforementioned bases and whether adequate findings were made by the post-conviction court. However, following our review of the record, we conclude that the petition is untimely. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/14
Marvin Green v. Jerry Lester, Warden
W2013-02525-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Walker III

Petitioner, Marvin Green, appeals the Lauderdale County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief in which he alleged that an insufficient indictment and an improper offense classification rendered his conviction void. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for habeas corpus relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/14
Michael Daniels v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01478-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rebecca J. Stern

The Petitioner, Michael Daniels, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his convictions for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/14
State of Tennessee v. Kenneth Krasovic
M2013-00607-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Graham

Appellant, Kenneth Krasovic, was charged with one count of vehicular homicide by reckless conduct and five counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon stemming from an automobile crash that occurred in Grundy County.  The jury found Appellant guilty on all counts and the trial court sentenced Appellant to a total effective sentence of twelve years and six months.  Appellant filed a motion for a new trial which was denied after a hearing.  Appellant then filed this appeal, arguing (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions, and (2) that the trial court improperly limited counsel’s closing argument as to the defense of “sudden emergency.”  Upon review of the record, we find that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support the convictions and that there was no improper limitation of defense counsel’s closing argument.  We affirm the decision of the trial court.

Grundy County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/14
Oscar T. Berry v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01927-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl Blackburn

Petitioner, Oscar Berry, was convicted of first degree murder in 1991 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  He filed a direct appeal of his conviction, which was dismissed by this Court in 1992.  State v. Oscar Thomas Berry, No. 01-C01-9201-CR-00033, 1992 WL 275402 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Oct. 8, 1992).  His petition for post-conviction relief, filed in 1997, was dismissed by the trial court as untimely.  In 2013, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen the post-conviction proceedings.  He contended that several recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court established constitutional rights in post-conviction proceedings that did not exist at the time of his conviction, thereby allowing his case to be re-opened under the authority of Tennessee Code Annotated §  40-30-117(a)(1).  The trial court rejected his theory and dismissed his motion.  After careful review of the controlling law, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/26/14