Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 10/19/2017
Format: 10/19/2017
State of Tennessee v. Francisco G. Parvin
E2016-01196-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge John F. Dugger, Jr.

Defendant, Francisco G. Parvin, was indicted by the Greene County Grand Jury for aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Count 1 and aggravated assault by the use of a deadly weapon in Count 2. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted in Count 2 of the lesser-included offense of assault and sentenced to 11 months and 29 days, with 120 days to be served in jail and the remainder to be suspended on probation. The record does not contain a judgment form in Count 1, but the record indicates that only Count 2 was submitted for trial. Presumably, Count 1 was dismissed. The offenses in both counts were against the same victim. In this appeal as of right, Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction in Count 2. After a careful review of the entire record and the parties’ briefs, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to sustain Defendant’s conviction. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Greene County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/10/17
State of Tennessee v. Roy Allen Carey
E2016-01125-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

Defendant, Roy Allen Carey, was convicted of hindering a secured creditor. He received an alternative sentence of two years’ probation after serving ten days in incarceration. On appeal, he argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the amended indictment was void; (3) the bill of particulars was insufficient; (4) the trial court committed error by not providing the requested jury instructions; and (5) the lack of notice as to the prohibited conduct violated his due process rights. After review, we find that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for hindering a secured creditor and that the trial court erred by not providing a jury instruction on the creation of a security interest. The judgment of the trial court is reversed and vacated.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/09/17
Barry N. Waddell v. State of Tennessee
M2016-02509-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl Blackburn

The pro se Petitioner, Barry N. Waddell, appeals the denial of his second motion to reopen his petition for post-conviction relief.  Following our review, we dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the Petitioner failed to comply with the statutory requirements governing an appeal from the denial of a motion to reopen post-conviction proceedings.    

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/09/17
James Edward Bostic, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00087-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The Petitioner, James Edward Bostic, Jr., appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief from his guilty plea conviction of possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell less than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class C felony, for which he is serving a twelve-year sentence as a Range III, persistent offender. Because the post-conviction court erred in summarily dismissing his petition as untimely, we reverse its judgment and remand the case for further proceedings.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/09/17
State of Tennessee v. Jimmy Newell
E2015-01913-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew M. Freiberg

Defendant, Jimmy Newell, appeals from the trial court’s denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas in multiple cases. Petitioner entered guilty pleas in several cases at a single hearing as part of a “global plea deal” and received a total effective sentence of four years’ incarceration. Defendant filed a pro se motion to withdraw his pleas. Counsel was appointed to represent him. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied Defendant’s motion. Defendant appeals the trial court’s ruling, asserting that his pleas were entered unknowingly and involuntarily and that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. Having reviewed the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/08/17
State of Tennessee v. Comer Thomas Vance
M2017-00204-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge F. Lee Russell

The defendant, Comer Thomas Vance, appeals his Bedford County Circuit Court jury conviction of felony theft, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and that the prosecutor’s closing argument was improper. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/08/17
Joey Godwin v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00267-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. Wootten, Jr.

The Petitioner, Joey Godwin, appeals the Trousdale County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his 2007 convictions for three counts of possession with the intent to sell 0.5 gram or more of cocaine and his effective ten-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred by summarily denying relief because his concurrent sentences were in direct contravention of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-20-111(b) (2014). We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/08/17
State of Tennessee v. Kendall J. Summers
M2016-02175-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

The Defendant, Kendall J. Summers, appeals from the Giles County Circuit Court’s revocation of his probation for his convictions for possession with the intent to sell 0.5 gram or more of methamphetamine, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia and its order that he serve the remainder of his effective eight-year sentence in confinement. The Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by revoking his probation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Giles County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/08/17
State of Tennessee v. Anthony Dowlen
M2016-01830-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David M. Bragg

The Defendant, Anthony Dowlen, appeals the Rutherford County Circuit Court’s order revoking his community corrections sentence for his convictions for robbery, possession of a weapon, and evading arrest, and ordering him to serve the remainder of his effective twenty-five-year sentence in confinement. The Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by revoking his community corrections sentence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/08/17
Christopher A. Williams v. State of Tennessee
W2017-00137-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula Skahan

After three trials, the Petitioner was convicted of attempted aggravated robbery and felony first degree murder, and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison. The Petitioner appealed his convictions, filed a petition for post-conviction relief, and filed multiple petitions for writs of habeas corpus relief. No relief was granted. In 2015, the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, alleging an anonymous informant’s statement was newly discovered evidence. The Petitioner conceded that his petition was untimely but asked the coram nobis court to toll the statute of limitations because, he asserted, the State withheld the statement. The coram nobis court declined to toll the statute of limitations, and it dismissed the petition as time-barred. We affirm the coram nobis court’s judgment.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
State of Tennessee v. Lawrence A. Gray
W2016-02186-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Defendant, Lawrence A. Gray, entered a guilty plea to three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery with the trial court to determine sentencing. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed an effective sentence of twelve years. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court improperly imposed a twelve-year sentence. We affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
Kenneth Kirkwood v. State of Tennessee
W2016-00948-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Kenneth Kirkwood, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in denying him a full hearing and concluding that he waived all his ineffective assistance of counsel claims by raising an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel in his motion for new trial and on direct appeal. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition on the basis that the Petitioner has already been afforded an opportunity to litigate his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
State of Tennessee v. Bart Leo Tucker - Dissent
M2016-01960-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

Because I believe the appellate record is incomplete for our review, I respectfully dissent. While I am certainly a proponent of records containing only what is essential for a meaningful review on appeal, when an appellant raises the issue of sufficiency of the evidence, as is the case here, all of the evidence presented at trial is needed. Here, Defendant has picked and chosen parts of only one of the State’s witnesses for inclusion in the record, leaving us to speculate whether other evidence or witness testimony may have fulfilled the State’s burden. Thus, the record does not convey a fair, accurate, and complete account of what transpired with respect to the issue of sufficiency of evidence. The record is not in keeping with Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 24(b). I would grant Defendant’s “(Conditional) Motion To Supplement The Record” and then proceed with an unabridged record.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
State of Tennessee v. Bart Leo Tucker
M2016-01960-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

The Defendant, Bart Leo Tucker, was convicted by a Williamson County jury of one count of issuing a worthless check. See T.C.A. § 39-14-121. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion for judgment of acquittal. Following our review, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
Christopher M. Heath v. State of Tennessee
M2016-01906-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

Petitioner, Christopher M. Heath, was convicted of driving under the influence (“DUI”), fifth offense, and second offense driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked driver’s license. He received an effective sentence of fifteen months. There was no direct appeal. Petitioner sought post-conviction relief. After a hearing at which Petitioner did not appear and did not present any proof, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. Petitioner appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief. After a review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
Donnell V. Booker v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00251-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Petitioner, Donnell V. Booker, appeals the denial of his second petition for habeas corpus relief in which he argues that his guilty plea to an “out of range” sentence was illegal. Because Petitioner’s claim has been previously determined and he fails to state a cognizable claim, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/07/17
Phillip M. Mullins v. Cherry Lindamood, Warden
M2017-00139-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Jones

The Petitioner, Phillip M. Mullins, appeals the Wayne County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus from his 2001 convictions and his effective sentence of life without the possibility of parole plus twenty-five years. He contends that his convictions violate double jeopardy principles on several grounds. We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Wayne County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/04/17
Charles Phillip Maxwell v. State of Tennessee
M2016-02380-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The Petitioner, Charles Phillip Maxwell, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis from his driving with a suspended license conviction and his thirty-day sentence, which was suspended to probation after twenty-four hours in confinement. The Petitioner contends that the court erred by denying relief and improperly ordered him to pay court costs associated with his petition. We affirm the judgment of the coram nobis court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/04/17
State of Tennessee v. Javonta Marquis Perkins
M2015-02423-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

Defendant, Javonta Marquis Perkins, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for aggravated robbery, carjacking, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony. Defendant was convicted as charged by a jury and sentenced by the trial court to ten years each for his aggravated robbery and carjacking convictions and six years for the possession of a weapon conviction. By operation of law, the trial court ordered Defendant’s six-year sentence consecutive to his concurrent ten-year sentences, for an effective sentence of 16 years. In this appeal as of right, Defendant contends that: 1) the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress the victim’s pretrial identification; 2) the trial court erred by instructing the jury on criminal responsibility; 3) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; and 4) his sentences are excessive. Having reviewed the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we find no error and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/03/17
David Dwight Hester v. State of Tennessee
M2016-01351-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Franklin L. Russell

Petitioner, David Dwight Hester, pleaded guilty to initiation of methamphetamine manufacture, and two counts of aggravated child neglect. He received an agreed effective sentence of twenty-five years at thirty percent as a Range I offender. Petitioner subsequently filed a post-conviction petition that was denied by the post-conviction court. On appeal, Petitioner argues that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the indictments charging him with aggravated child abuse or neglect because each indictment charged him with “two distinct offenses.” He also argues that trial counsel told him that he was required to receive the same sentence as his co-defendant and that Petitioner risked serving his sentence at one-hundred percent eligibility if the case went to trial. After thoroughly reviewing the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/03/17
State of Tennessee v. Latoya Britton
M2016-01139-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Dee David Gay

Defendant, Latoya Britton, appeals the trial court’s revocation of her community corrections sentence and the imposition of additional consecutive sentencing and confinement upon resentencing. Following our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/03/17
Alexander R. Carino v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00345-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. Wootten, Jr.

The Petitioner, Alexander R. Carino, appeals the Trousdale County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief from his 2010 convictions for two counts of second degree murder and his effective forty-three-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred by summarily denying relief. We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/03/17
Christopher D. Hodge v. Debra Johnson, Warden
M2016-00819-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph Woodruff

Petitioner, Christopher D. Hodge, appeals from the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that the trial court was without jurisdiction to convict him because the grand jurors were not picked from more than one county in the district; and that the trial court illegally amended his judgment 60 days after entry of the judgment to change his release eligibility from 35 percent to 100 percent. Upon review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition.

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/02/17
State of Tennessee v. Antonio Braden
M2016-00992-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

Petitioner, Antonio Braden, appeals from the denial of his Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 motion alleging that his sentence is illegal because the trial court erred by applying enhancement factors and sentencing him four years “beyond the statutory minimum.” Following our review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/02/17
Jose Holmes v. State of Tennessee
M2017-00268-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. Wootten, Jr.

The Petitioner, Jose Holmes, appeals the habeas corpus court’s denial of his petition for habeas corpus relief in which he challenged his conviction for especially aggravated robbery and his sixty-year sentence as a career offender. Because the Petitioner filed an untimely notice of appeal and the interest of justice does not support waiver of the timely filing requirement in this case, this appeal is dismissed.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/02/17