Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 05/01/2016
Format: 05/01/2016
State of Tennessee v. Ronnie Lee Johnson
M2015-00974-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge David A. Patterson

The Appellant, Ronnie Lee Johnson, is appealing the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence filed pursuant to Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 36.1  The State has filed a motion asking this Court to affirm pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20.  Said motion is hereby granted.

Putnam County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
Eddie Lee Murphy, Sr. v. State of Tennessee
M2015-01258-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Thompson

The Petitioner, Eddie Lee Murphy, Sr., appeals the Sumner County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for first degree felony murder and his life sentence.  The Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred by denying his request for DNA testing pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act.  We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
Charles Joiner v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00810-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The petitioner, Charles Joiner, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief from his 2013 Shelby County Criminal Court guilty-pleaded convictions of possession with intent to sell and deliver 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to sell and deliver 4,356 grams or more of marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, for which he received an effective sentence of 16 years. In this appeal, the petitioner contends that his guilty pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered and that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
Ledarius Maxwell v. State of Tennessee
W2015-01012-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The petitioner, LeDarius D. Maxwell, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief from his 2012 Madison County Criminal Court jury convictions of aggravated assault and attempted second degree murder, for which he received a sentence of 24 years. In this appeal, the petitioner contends only that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
State of Tennessee v. Tevin Dominique Lumpkin
W2014-01064-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald E. Parish

Following a jury trial, Defendant, Tevin Dominique Lumpkin, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder. He received a sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Henry County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
State of Tennessee v. Garner S. Gordon
M2015-02123-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark Fishburn

The defendant, Garner S. Gordon, appeals the revocation of the probationary sentence imposed for his Davidson County Criminal Court conviction of aggravated assault.  Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
Timothy Lamont Thompson v. State of Tennessee
M2015-00846-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

Petitioner, Timothy Lamont Thompson, was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault after a jury trial.  The trial court sentenced him as a repeat violent offender to life in prison without the possibility of parole and fifteen years, respectively. After an unsuccessful direct appeal process, petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief.  The post-conviction court held an evidentiary hearing and denied relief thereafter.  Appealing the denial of relief, petitioner raises the following allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel:  (1) failure to request a second preliminary hearing or to explain why this was not possible; (2) failure to schedule a polygraph examination for petitioner; (3) failure to coordinate a physical line-up; (4) questioning petitioner’s religious beliefs; and (5) failure to withdraw from petitioner’s case upon request.  We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
State of Tennessee v. John Eugene Grigsby
M2015-01376-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr.

Appellant, John Eugene Grigsby, was convicted of attempted second degree murder and reckless endangerment.  Appellant later filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, which the trial court summarily dismissed, holding that appellant had failed to state a colorable claim.  On appeal, appellant argues that the trial court erred in summarily dismissing his motion.  Following our review of the parties’ briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
State of Tennessee v. Raymond A. Klein
M2014-02340-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael R. Jones

Raymond A. Klein (“the Defendant”) proceeded to trial on one count of aggravated sexual battery and was convicted as charged.  On appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction.  Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/09/16
State of Tennessee v. Eddie Minter
W2015-00540-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge John W. Campbell

The defendant, Eddie Minter, was convicted of two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and sentenced to consecutive terms of fourteen years and eighteen years. On appeal, he argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/08/16
State of Tennessee v. Deangelo T. Collins
W2015-00781-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

In 2000, the defendant pled guilty to aggravated robbery and, apparently, a lesser-included offense of possession with intent to sell less than one-half gram of cocaine, receiving concurrent sentences of eight years and three years. In 2014, apparently now in federal custody, he filed a Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 motion, claiming that the second offense was committed while he was free on bond for the first, thus requiring the sentences to be served consecutively. He asked, in his pro se motion, that the convictions be vacated and the indictments set for trial. However, at an evidentiary hearing, after counsel had been appointed, the defendant asked that he be resentenced in the two cases to consecutive terms. The trial court found that the manner of service of the sentences had not been a material component to the guilty pleas and resentenced the defendant, as requested, to consecutive terms for his two state convictions. The defendant then appealed, asserting that the trial court had erred in concluding that the manner of service of the sentences was not a material part of the guilty pleas and arguing that he was entitled to a new hearing on his motion. Following our review, we reverse the trial court’s order that the sentences be served consecutively and reinstate the original judgments for concurrent sentences.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/08/16
State of Tennessee v. Roy Cherry
W2015-01084-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula Skahan

The defendant, Roy Cherry, appeals the termination of his judicial diversion, arguing that he was denied his fundamental due process right to confront the witnesses against him and that the trial court did not make required findings of fact regarding the evidence it relied on in its decision. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court terminating the defendant's diversion.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/08/16
Mike Settle v. State of Tennessee
W2015-01629-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle Atkins

The Petitioner, Mike Settle, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the trial court's judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we grant the State's motion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/05/16
State of Tennessee v. Jeremy Dewayne Cooper
W2015-00914-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr

The defendant appeals the revocation of his community corrections sentence and the trial court's order that he serve the remainder of his sentence in prison. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable law, we discern no abuse of discretion, and we affirm the trial court's judgment.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/05/16
Alvin George Rye v. State of Tennessee
M2015-01294-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Ross H. Hicks

Petitioner, Alvin George Rye, sought post-conviction relief in Montgomery County following his no contest plea to one count of attempted rape of a child.  The petition for relief was dismissed after a hearing.  Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/05/16
Kenneth Thompson Anderson v. State of Tennessee
M2014-01812-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte Watkins

Kenneth Thompson Anderson (“the Petitioner”) filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, alleging that he was denied pretrial and post-judgment jail credits.  After a hearing, the habeas corpus court denied relief.  Upon review, we conclude that habeas corpus relief is not available in this case.  The judgment of the habeas corpus court is affirmed.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/05/16
Dwayne Williams v. State of Tennessee
W2014-02415-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

Petitioner, Dwayne Williams, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery and was sentenced to eight years in confinement. Petitioner filed the instant petition for post-conviction relief, and following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, petitioner argues that: (1) his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered; (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to file a motion to suppress and failed to investigate a potential plea offer; and (3) he was denied a full and fair hearing on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims against his first counsel. After our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/03/16
Andra Taylor v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00744-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Petitioner, Andra Taylor, appeals the Madison County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2012 convictions for aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon, for which he is serving an effective fourteen-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred by denying him relief due to the ineffective assistance of counsel in the conviction proceedings. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/03/16
State of Tennessee v. Mario Thomas
W2015-00533-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Beasley, Jr.

The defendant, Mario Thomas, appeals the sentences imposed for his guilty pleas to the offenses of aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, employing a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony, and possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony involving the use or attempted use of violence. The defendant's sole allegation of error is that the trial court should not have ordered his convictions for aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery to run consecutively. After a thorough review of the record, we discern no error and affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/03/16
Danny Blankenship Bonding Company v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00614-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

Appellant, Danny Blankenship Bonding Company, appeals the judgment of the Henderson County Circuit Court forfeiting a $3,000 bail bond in the case of criminal defendant Edward Hunt. On appeal, appellant argues that he was entitled to relief pursuant to Tennessee Code sections 40-11-139(c) and 40-11-203(a). Following our review of the parties’ briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

Henderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/03/16
State of Tennessee v. Louis Orlando Harmon
M2015-00691-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Walter C. Kurtz

Appellant, Louis Orlando Harmon, stands convicted of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000; possession of tools used to interfere with anti-theft security devices; and driving while his license was suspended.  He was sentenced to six years for the theft of property offense, to a consecutive term of eleven months, twenty-nine days for the possession of tools offense, and to a concurrent term of six months for the driving offense.  On appeal, he argues that the trial court committed plain error by allowing an Academy Sports and Outdoors loss prevention officer to testify about the identification of appellant and his vehicle by other employees of the store.  Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/03/16
State of Tennessee v. Katarina R. Long
M2015-01057-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry J. Wallace

The appellant, Katarina R. Long, pled guilty in the Dickson County Circuit Court to theft of property valued $10,000 or more but less than $60,000 and was granted judicial diversion with the requirement that she complete three years of probation and pay $20,000 restitution.  On appeal, the appellant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the amount of restitution when it was clear that she did not have the ability to pay it.  Because we lack jurisdiction to consider her appeal, we must dismiss it.

Dickson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/02/16
State of Tennesee v. Stacy Green
M2015-00323-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Graham

The Defendant, Stacey Green, appeals from his convictions for aggravated robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, and three counts of facilitation of aggravated robbery.  The Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence relating to a victim’s pretrial identification of the Defendant in a photographic lineup and that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions.  Following a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.  However, we remand the matter to the trial court for the entry of a corrected judgment in Count 2.

Marion County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/01/16
Frederick D. Deberry v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00951-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Weber McCraw

The Petitioner, Frederick D. Deberry, appeals as of right from the Fayette County Circuit Court's summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the statute of limitations should be tolled (1) because he was in federal custody until 2014 and lacked access to Tennessee legal materials and (2) because his trial counsel and the trial court clerk failed to advise him about post-conviciton procedures after he inquired about such information. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Fayette County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/29/16
State of Tennessee v. Phillip Serpas
E2015-00693-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Jerry Beck

Appellant, Phillip Serpas, entered guilty pleas to two counts of unlawfully obtaining a prescription for controlled substances by fraud, Class D felonies, and one count of conspiracy to obtain or attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud, a Class E felony. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to concurrent terms of two years each for the Class D felonies and one year for the Class E felony. The trial court held a hearing on the issue of alternative sentencing and ordered appellant to serve his effective two-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Appellant appeals the denial of alternative sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/29/16