Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 04/21/2014
Format: 04/21/2014
State of Tennessee v. Leonard Giles, Jr.
M2013-01037-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael W. Binkley

The Defendant-Appellant, Leonard Giles, Jr., appeals the Williamson County Circuit Court’s revocation of his probation. On appeal, Giles argues (1) the special condition of his probation prohibiting him from driving or possessing a vehicle is invalid; (2) the trial court erred in failing to consider the invalidity of this special condition during his revocation hearing; (3) the admission of witness statements at the revocation hearing violated his right of confrontation; and (4) the cumulative effect of the aforementioned errors deprived him of his right to a fair trial. Upon review, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Danny Owens
M2012-02717-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Lee Holloway, Jr.

The Defendant-Appellant, Danny Owens, was indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury for the first degree premeditated murder of his wife. At trial, Owens was convicted of second degree murder. The trial court sentenced Owens as a Range I, standard offender to a sentence of twenty years at one hundred percent release eligibility. On appeal, Owens argues: (1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence that he had threatened to kill the victim shortly before her death; (2) the trial court erred in admitting statements from the victim; (3) the trial court erred in allowing the State to exceed the scope of redirect examination in its questioning of a witness; (4) the trial court erred in admitting witnesses’ observations of the victim’s bruises; (5) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction; (6) he is entitled to relief based on cumulative error; and (7) the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Dwayne Wright
W2013-00433-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The defendant, Dwayne Wright, was convicted of one count of aggravated rape, a Class A felony, and sentenced to twenty-four years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he raises five issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction; (2) whether the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion for the jury to visit the crime scene; (3) whether the trial court properly allowed the victim to testify regarding prior sexual abuse; (4) whether the trial court properly ruled that the victim’s statements were admissible under the excited utterance hearsay exception; and (5) whether the sentence imposed is proper. Following review of the record, we affirm the judgment and sentence as imposed.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/21/14
State of Tennessee v. Alvin Waller Jr.
W2012-02591-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The defendant, Alvin “A.J.” Waller, Jr., was convicted after a jury trial of especially aggravated kidnapping, a Class A felony, aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Class D felony. The trial court merged the attempted voluntary manslaughter conviction into the aggravated assault conviction and sentenced the defendant to ten years as a multiple offender on that count. The trial court sentenced the defendant to thirty years as a multiple offender at one hundred percent for the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction and ordered the two sentences to be served concurrently. The defendant appeals, challenging only the sufficiency of the evidence. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support the defendant’s conviction for attempted voluntary manslaughter. In all other respects, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/21/14
State of Tennessee v. Timothy Neal Stiles
W2013-01164-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph H. Walker III

The defendant, Timothy Neal Stiles, was convicted by a jury of theft of property valued over $1,000 but under $10,000, a Class D felony. After trial, defense counsel investigated the ownership of the stolen vehicle, along with other discrepancies at trial, and introduced this evidence at the sentencing hearing and the hearing on the motion for a new trial. The trial court denied his motion for a new trial, and the defendant appeals. He asserts as error that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict; (2) a variance exists between the crime charged in the indictment and the proof at trial; (3) the State knowingly presented false testimony or withheld exculpatory material; and (4) the trial court refused to authorize the court reporter to transcribe the sentencing hearing. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude there was no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Tipton County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/21/14
State of Tennessee v. Terry Mcree
W2013-00194-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett

A jury convicted the defendant of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, and he was sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment. The defendant appeals, alleging that the trial court erred in: (1) denying his motion to suppress and admitting an incriminating statement he made to police; (2) refusing to allow him to introduce the contents of a learned treatise during the cross-examination of a witness; (3) limiting closing argument; (4) excluding  character evidence; (5) denying his motions for judgment of acquittal and for a new trial on the basis of insufficient evidence; and (6) improperly applying the enhancing and mitigating factors during sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that there was no error, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/21/14
Marcus Johnson v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01464-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven W. Sword

The Petitioner, Marcus Johnson, appeals as of right from the Knox 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.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Russell Victor McCollum
M2012-00941-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

The defendant, Russell Victor McCollum, was convicted by a Davidson County Criminal Court jury of three counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, and one count of failure to appear, a Class E felony, and was sentenced to an effective term of twenty-two years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence convicting him of aggravated sexual battery and the trial court’s consolidating the aggravated sexual battery and failure to appear indictments for trial. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Michael Goodrum
M2012-02066-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Jones

A Maury County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Michael Goodrum, of one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a park, a Class B felony, and one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a public school, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-17-417, -432 (2008). The trial court merged the two counts into one conviction and sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to fifteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court improperly excused a prospective juror; (3) the trial court erred in submitting his case to the jury for deliberation; and (4) application of the Drug-Free School Zone Act violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/20/14
State of Tennessee v. Timothy Davale Martin
M2013-00569-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Timothy Davale Martin, of attempted especially aggravated robbery, attempted second degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, and aggravated assault. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to an effective sentence of thirteen years in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the trial court committed plain error in failing to merge the convictions for attempted aggravated robbery and aggravated assault; and (3) the trial court erred in imposing a sentence of confinement. Upon review, we conclude that the evidence is sufficient to support the convictions. However, the Defendant’s dual convictions for attempted aggravated robbery and aggravated assault violate double jeopardy protections. Accordingly, we vacate his aggravated assault conviction in count four and remand the matter to the trial court for entry of an amended judgment reflecting the merger of the Defendant’s aggravated assault conviction into his attempted aggravated robbery conviction in count two. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed in all other respects.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/20/14
Anton Mayhew v. State of Tennessee
W2013-00973-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The Petitioner, Anton Mayhew, filed a petition for post-conviction relief attacking his two jury convictions for aggravated robbery and resulting twelve-year sentence. The post-conviction court denied relief following an evidentiary hearing, finding that the Petitioner had failed to prove his allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel by clear and convincing evidence. In this appeal as of right, the Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request a severance of the Petitioner’s trial from that of his co-defendant. After our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/19/14
State of Tennessee v. Ramone Lawson
W2013-00324-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert C. Carter Jr.

The Defendant, Ramone Lawson, was convicted by a jury of one count of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder, and two counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The Defendant was sentenced to an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus six years. In this direct appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions and that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury about the possible sentences and release eligibility dates for first degree murder. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/19/14
Antonio Hampton v. State of Tennessee
W2013-00320-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The Petitioner, Antonio Hampton, appeals the post-conviction court’s denial of relief from his convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty pleas were not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/19/14