Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/26/2014
Format: 07/26/2014
State of Tennessee v. Elmus Travis Gaylor
E2013-02649-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Shayne Sexton

Elmus Travis Gaylor (“the Defendant”) pleaded guilty to second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an effective sentence of twenty-five years. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the length of his sentence. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Campbell County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/14
State of Tennessee v. Lloyd Daniel Thompson
E2013-01850-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz

The defendant, Lloyd Daniel Thompson, pled guilty in the Knox County Criminal Court to theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, and was sentenced by the trial court as a Range I, standard offender to three years in the Department of Correction, suspended to supervised probation. The trial court also ordered that the defendant pay $40,000 in restitution to the victim. In a timely appeal to this court, the defendant argues that the evidence at the restitution hearing did not support the trial court’s determination of the victim’s losses and that the trial court erred in ordering him to pay $40,000 in restitution without considering his resources and future ability to pay. Following our review, we affirm the trial court’s finding that the victim suffered $40,000 in losses but remand for the trial court to determine the defendant’s current financial resources and future ability to pay restitution.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/14
State of Tennessee v. John Westin Massey
E2013-02305-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman

Pursuant to a plea agreement, the Defendant, John Westin Massey, pled guilty to vehicular homicide and to driving while under the influence (“DUI”), which was merged with the vehicular homicide. The sentence was eight years with the trial court to determine the manner of service of his sentence. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant asserts that the sentence is excessive and that the trial court’s denial of an alternative sentence was improper based upon the facts of the case. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/25/14
State of Tennessee v. Robert Kizer
M2013-01036-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry Wallace

Petitioner, Robert Kizer, appeals from the Stewart County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief after a 2009 guilty plea to the sale of cocaine. Petitioner argues he was deprived of due process because the court dismissed his post-conviction petition without a hearing or notice during his probation revocation hearing, and that the post-conviction court erred by concluding that the petition was untimely. We agree, and we remand this case for further post-conviction proceedings.
 

Houston County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/24/14
James Sellars v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02380-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Bragg

This matter is before the Court upon the State’s motion to dismiss or in the alternative to affirm the judgment of the trial court by memorandum opinion pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Petitioner, James Sellars, has appealed the lower court’s order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged that the trial court improperly sentenced him as a career offender. Upon a review of the record in this case, we are persuaded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the petition for post-conviction relief and that this case meets the criteria for affirmance pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Accordingly, the State’s motion is granted, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Patrick David McCollum
W2013-00378-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Senior Judge Walter C. Kurtz

The Defendant, Patrick David McCollum, pled guilty to one count of solicitation to commit aggravated assault, a Class E felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-12-102, -13-102. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to twenty months’ incarceration. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends (1) that the trial court erred in denying his request for alternative sentencing; (2) that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his request for judicial diversion; and (3) that the State abused its discretion in denying his request for pretrial diversion. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Larry David Taylor
M2013-02386-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Dee David Gay

On February 7, 2013, the Defendant, Larry David Taylor, pled guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class D felony; one count of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony; one count of assault, a Class A misdemeanor; and two counts of bigamy, a Class A misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-101, -14-403, -15-301, -17-1003. The trial court imposed an effective six-year sentence and ordered the Defendant to serve one year of the sentence in confinement with the remainder to be served on community corrections. On September 13, 2013, the trial court revoked the Defendant’s community corrections sentence and resentenced the Defendant to a total effective sentence of sixteen years, nine months, and eighty-seven days to be served in confinement. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends (1) that the trial court erred in ordering his sentences to be served in confinement; and (2) that the trial court erred by ordering his sentences to be served consecutively. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/23/14
Kelvin Dewayne King v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02505-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

The Petitioner, Kelvin Dewayne King, appeals as of right from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred by dismissing his petition as having been untimely filed. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/23/14
Antwon Cook v. State of Tennessee
E2014-00291-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Amy F. Reedy

The pro se petitioner, Antwon Cook, appeals as of right from the McMinn County Criminal Court’s order denying his petition for writ of error coram nobis. 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 Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken and affirm the judgment of the McMinn County Criminal Court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Amanda Hope McGill
E2013-02069--CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

The Defendant, Amanda Hope McGill, appeals as of right from the Sullivan County Circuit Court’s judgment concluding that it did not have jurisdiction over her motion to modify her sentence. Because the Defendant filed her motion well past the 120-day time limit imposed by Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35, and because the Defendant was housed in a facility under contract with the Tennessee Department of Correction, we agree with the trial court that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the Defendant’s request for concurrent sentencing or placement in the Community Corrections Program. Therefore, the judgment is affirmed.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL WARREN FULLER
M2013-01642-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark Fishburn

Michael Warren Fuller (“the Defendant”) was convicted by a jury of aggravated robbery. The trial court subsequently sentenced the Defendant to thirty years’ incarceration. Following a hearing on the Defendant’s motion for new trial, the trial court reduced the Defendant’s sentence to twenty-eight years. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction. He also contends that his sentence is improper. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the Defendant’s conviction. We remand, however, for the trial court to sentence the Defendant pursuant to the 2005 Amendments to the Tennessee sentencing statutes.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DARRELL RAY BEENE
M2013-02098-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl Blackburn

Darrell Ray Beene (“the Defendant”) was convicted by a jury of one count of robbery and one count of criminal attempt to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective term of forty-two years’ incarceration. In this direct appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and his consecutive sentences. Upon our thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Markreo Quintez Springer and William Mozell Coley
M2012-02046-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

A jury convicted the defendants, Markreo Quintez Springer and William Mozell Coley, of first degree (felony) murder; second degree murder, a Class A felony; and especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony. On appeal, the defendants launch challenges against: (1) the sufficiency of the evidence; (2) the admission of a witness’s recorded prior inconsistent statement; (3) the chain of custody for DNA evidence; (4) the admission into evidence of a recording of the defendants discussing the events in the back of a police vehicle; (5) the exclusion of a recorded statement from a deceased witness; (6) the admission of testimony regarding threats against a witness made by one of the defendants; and (7) the trial court’s refusal to grant a severance. After a thorough review of the record and issues raised, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/20/14