Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/11/2014
Format: 07/11/2014
State of Tennessee v. Deaundra Brooks
M2013-02670-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge David M. Bragg

Appellant, Deaundra Brooks, entered guilty pleas to two counts of robbery and received the agreed-upon sentence of five years on each count. The parties requested a sentencing hearing for determination of sentence alignment and alternative sentencing. Following the hearing, the trial court aligned the sentences concurrently but denied alternative sentencing and ordered appellant to serve the sentences in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Appellant now appeals the denial of alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Edward Lephanna Kilcrease
M2013-00515-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Vanessa A. Jackson

In 2011, the Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Appellant, Edward Kilcrease, for aggravated burglary, employment of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony, possession of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony, aggravated assault, and vandalism. Prior to trial, the State dismissed the charges of employment of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony and possession of a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony and amended the aggravated assault charge to simple assault. A jury convicted Appellant of attempted aggravated burglary and vandalism. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence presented by the State at trial is insufficient to support his conviction for attempted aggravated burglary. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support Appellant’s conviction for attempted aggravated burglary because proof that Appellant actually completed the criminal offense does not render the evidence insufficient to sustain a conviction for an attempt of the same offense. Consequently, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
 

Coffee County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Ryan Sosa
E2013-02108-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rex Henry Ogle

In this appeal, the Defendant, Ryan Sosa, contends that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his probation and ordering his original sentences for the sale of cocaine into execution because he showed a willingness to abide by the rules of probation and had not had any issues on probation prior to the violations currently at issue. Upon consideration of the foregoing and the record as a whole, we affirm the trial court’s sentencing decision.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/19/14
State of Tennessee v. Brandon Harris
W2012-02574-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The defendant, Brandon Harris, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony; reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor; and three counts of assault, Class A misdemeanors. He was sentenced to twenty-five years for the especially aggravated robbery conviction and eleven months and twenty-nine days for the reckless endangerment and each of the three assault convictions. All of the sentences were ordered to be served consecutively for an effective term of twenty eight years, eleven months, and twenty-five days in the Tennessee department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred in allowing a voice recognition “expert” to testify; (2) the trial court erred in denying his request for a jury instruction regarding mere presence; (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; and (4) the trial court erred in imposing excessive and consecutive sentences. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/19/14
Charles Orlando Fields v. Debra Johnson, Warden
M2013-02484-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

The pro se petitioner, Charles Orlando Fields, appeals the Hickman County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the sentence he received for his conviction for the sale of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school zone is illegal. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal on the grounds that the petitioner failed to state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief.

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/18/14
Timothy Barbee v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02123-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

Petitioner, Timothy Barbee, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, with intent to sell, and the trial court sentenced petitioner to the agreed-upon term of eight years at thirty percent release eligibility. In his timely petition for post-conviction relief, petitioner asserts that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/18/14
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDALL GRAINGER
M2012-02545-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Following a bench trial Defendant, Randall Grainger, was convicted of three counts of knowingly violating a condition of community supervision for life, with each condition violated not in itself constituting a criminal offense, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-526 (a),(b)(1). Each conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days for each conviction and ordered the sentences to be served concurrently with each other. The trial court suspended all of the effective sentence of eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days except for ten (10) days’ incarceration, followed by eleven (11) months and nineteen (19) days of probation. In his appeal Defendant presents two issues for this Court’s review. First, Defendant asserts that the convictions should be reversed and the charges dismissed because Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-524(d)(1) violates Article II, section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution. Second, Defendant argues that the conviction based upon his failure to successfully complete sex offender treatment violates his right to due process guaranteed by both the United States Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution. After a thorough review of the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/18/14
State of Tennessee v. Darren Eugene Fleshman, Alias
E2013-00557-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bvins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven W. Sword

Darren Eugene Fleshman, alias (“the Defendant”), was convicted of theft 1 of property of at least $10,000 but less than $60,000. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to four years, suspended to supervised probation, and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $42,815.93. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the following: the trial court’s interpretation of the definition of “owner” under Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-106(a)(26) (2006); the sufficiency of the evidence at trial; and the amount of restitution imposed by the trial court. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the Defendant’s conviction. We, however, vacate the trial court’s order of restitution and remand this matter for a new hearing as to the amount and manner of restitution.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/18/14
State of Tennessee v. William Creggar Snodgrass
E2013-01741-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz

Appellant, William Creggar Snodgrass, was convicted of attempted rape, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced appellant to eight years to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, appellant argues that: (1) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury regarding flight; (2) the trial court erred in allowing testimony from an unsequestered witness; and (3) the evidence at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. Following our review of the parties’ briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/17/14
State of Tennessee v. Jonathan T. Deal
E2013-02623-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carroll L. Ross

Jonathan T. Deal (“the Defendant”) filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. The trial court summarily denied the Defendant’s motion, and this appeal followed. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we conclude that the Defendant set forth a colorable claim. Accordingly, we remand this matter to the trial court for further proceedings pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1.

Polk County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/17/14
Tavares D. Braden v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01340-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

Following a jury trial, petitioner, Tavares D. Braden, was convicted of the sale of less than 0.5 grams of cocaine, possession with intent to sell 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, promoting prostitution, possession of marijuana, and evading arrest, for which he received an effective eighteen-year sentence. Following an unsuccessful direct appeal, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief claiming two instances of ineffective assistance of counsel: (1) failure to advise him of his potential sentence exposure and (2) failure to adequately prepare for trial and prepare a defense. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/17/14
Charles Calhoun v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01942-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Seth Norman

Petitioner, Charles Deon Calhoun, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery. He then filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition for failing to state a colorable claim for relief. Petitioner appealed, arguing that the court erred in dismissing his petition without holding an evidentiary hearing and without appointing counsel to assist in presenting his claim. Upon review of the record, we affirm the decision of the post-conviction court dismissing the petition.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/17/14
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JACQUELINE M. HIYAMA
M2013-01838-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

The appellant, Jacqueline M. Hiyama, was indicted on alternative counts of driving under the influence (DUI) pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-401(a)(1) and (a)(2). She filed a pretrial motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of her arrest, asserting that the arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop her vehicle. The trial court denied the appellant’s motion. The appellant pled guilty to the indicted offense reserving a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2) concerning whether the stop of the appellant’s vehicle by law enforcement was lawful. After review, we conclude that the trial court did not err in denying the appellant’s motion to suppress and affirm the judgment of the trial court.
 

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/17/14