Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 02/10/2016
Format: 02/10/2016
Eddie Lee Murphy, Sr. v. State of Tennessee
M2015-01258-CCA-R3-PC

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
Rhyunia Lamont Barnes v. State of Tennessee
M2015-01061-CCA-R3-ECN

A Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner, Rhyunia Lamont Barnes, of first degree premeditated murder, and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison.  The Petitioner appealed, arguing that there was newly discovered evidence.  This Court affirmed the Petitioner’s conviction.  State v. Rhyunia Lamont Barnes, No M2010-00631-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1358717, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, June 24, 2008), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Dec. 2, 2002).  In 2009, the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, which the coram nobis court summarily dismissed on the basis of it being untimely filed.  This Court affirmed that judgment.  In 2015, the Petitioner filed this, his second petition for a writ of error coram nobis, alleging that he had newly discovered evidence in the form of an ATF report that exonerated him as well as some emails between his attorney and the prosecutor that indicated his innocence.  The coram nobis court summarily dismissed the petition, finding that it was untimely filed and that the allegations contained therein, even taken as true, did not prove his innocence or that the result of his trial would have been different.  On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the coram nobis erred when it summarily dismissed his petition and that he is entitled to coram nobis relief.  After a thorough review of the record and applicable authority, we affirm the coram nobis court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Melody Danielle Corum
M2015-01140-CCA-R3-CD

Appellant, Melody Danielle Corum, entered guilty pleas to seven counts of aggravated burglary, seven counts of theft of property, one count of tampering with evidence, and one count of vandalism, for which she received the agreed-upon effective sentence of twelve years, suspended after time served.  Appellant’s probation was revoked after she was convicted of an additional theft of property offense; the trial court reinstated her probation and added a consecutive four-year sentence, suspended to probation, to her probationary term, for an effective sixteen-year term of probation.  The State obtained the instant probation of violation warrant alleging that appellant was found to be in possession of controlled substances, that she admitted using controlled substances, and that she had failed to pay restitution as required.  Following a hearing, the trial court revoked appellant’s probation and ordered her sentence into execution.  Appellant appeals the revocation, alleging that the trial court abused its discretion.  We affirm.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Ronnie Lee Johnson
M2015-00974-CCA-R3-CD

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
State of Tennessee v. James Edward Church
M2014-01306-CCA-R3-CD

Defendant, James Edward Church, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for three counts of rape of a child in Counts 1-3, five counts of aggravated sexual battery in Counts 4-8, and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure in Counts 9-10.  Upon motion by the State, Counts 9 and 10 were stricken from the indictment.  Upon the State’s election of offenses, Count 3 was amended to allege aggravated sexual battery.  A jury found Defendant guilty as charged on all counts.  Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed an effective sentence of 60 years to be served at 100 percent.  Defendant appeals his convictions and sentences.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Jodi N. Teets
M2015-00777-CCA-R3-CD

Defendant, Jodi N. Teets, appeals her Robertson County conviction for assault.  Her single issue on appeal is a claim of insufficient evidence of bodily injury to sustain a conviction for an assault.  Upon our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Robertson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Jacob A. Wright
M2015-01517-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Jacob A. Wright, appeals the revocation of the probationary sentence imposed for his Davidson County Criminal Court conviction of kidnapping.  Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Calvin Rogers
W2014-01715-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Calvin Rogers, was convicted of first degree felony murder, two counts of attempted second degree murder, aggravated robbery, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and felon in possession of a handgun. He was ordered to serve an effective sentence of life without parole plus fifty years. On appeal, he argues the unconstitutionality of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-203 and that the trial court erred in denying his motion to declare him ineligible for the death penalty, that the State should not have been allowed to present proof of a prior consistent statement of one of the victims, and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Cassidy Johnson
W2014-02314-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Cassidy Johnson, was convicted of one count of rape of a child, a Class A felony. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; that the trial court erred in admitting the forensic interviews of the victim and another witness; and that the trial court improperly excluded evidence. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
Darrell Kennedy v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00148-CCA-R3-PC

Petitioner, Darrell Kennedy, was convicted of one count of aggravated rape and two counts of theft of property, for which he received an effective sentence of forty-one years in confinement. He filed a request pursuant to The Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001 seeking retesting of various swabs that were analyzed in 1993. The post-conviction court denied relief, and this appeal follows. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/10/16
William Goetz v. Donel Autin, et al.
W2015-00063-COA-R3-CV

This is an appeal from the trial court‘s grant of a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02(6) motion to dismiss. In the proceedings below, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint alleging that false and defamatory statements made about him by the defendants, along with the defendants‘ subsequent lawsuit against him, caused him to suffer severe physical and emotional distress and incur $150,000 in attorney‘s fees. The trial court dismissed the amended complaint after determining that it fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Having reviewed the amended complaint and thoroughly considered the arguments raised on appeal, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/10/16
David Hughes v. Meridian Property Management LLC
W2015-01369-COA-R3-CV

Appellant rented property managed by Appellee. Appellee filed a forcible entry and detainer action in the Shelby County General Sessions Court and was awarded possession of the rental property and past due rents. Appellant did not appeal this judgment. Rather, Appellant filed a separate civil warrant in general sessions court, seeking to be restored to possession of the property. Appellee filed a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02(6) motion to dismiss on the ground that the question of possession of the property was res judicata based on the general sessions court‘s prior adjudication. The general sessions court granted Appellee‘s motion, and Appellant, relying on the civil warrant filed in the second general sessions‘ case, appealed to the Shelby County Circuit Court. Again, Appellee moved for dismissal. The trial court granted Appellee‘s motion, finding that it did not have jurisdiction to address the question of possession of the rental property as this question was res judicata. Appellant appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm and remand.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/10/16
Brenda Osunde, et al. v. Delta Medical Center
W2015-01005-COA-R9-CV

This interlocutory appeal concerns the trial court‟s partial dismissal of a case concerning alleged negligence committed against Plaintiff/Appellee Brenda Osunde (“Mrs. Osunde”). Mrs. Osunde filed a complaint in the trial court alleging a medical malpractice claim against DMC-Memphis, Inc. (“DMC”), as well as a claim for common law negligence, after she sustained a fall while at DMC‟s hospital, Delta Medical Center. When Mrs. Osunde failed to disclose any experts pursuant to the trial court‟s scheduling order, DMC moved for summary judgment. In adjudicating DMC‟s motion, the trial court drew a distinction between Mrs. Osunde‟s “health care liability action,” which it dismissed for her failure to produce an expert, and Mrs. Osunde‟s common law negligence claim, which it ruled should proceed to trial. After ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the trial court stayed further proceedings and granted DMC leave to pursue interlocutory review in this Court. Although we agree with DMC that all of Mrs. Osunde‟s asserted claims give rise to a “health care liability action” within the meaning of the Tennessee Code, we disagree with DMC‟s assertion that expert testimony is required to prove Mrs. Osunde‟s allegations of negligence. As such, we affirm the trial court‟s decision to allow this case to proceed to trial.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/10/16
State of Tennessee v. Raymond A. Klein
M2014-02340-CCA-R3-CD

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. John Eugene Grigsby
M2015-01376-CCA-R3-CD

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
Timothy Lamont Thompson v. State of Tennessee
M2015-00846-CCA-R3-PC

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. Garner S. Gordon
M2015-02123-CCA-R3-CD

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
State of Tennessee v. Tevin Dominique Lumpkin
W2014-01064-CCA-R3-CD

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
Ledarius Maxwell v. State of Tennessee
W2015-01012-CCA-R3-PC

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
Charles Joiner v. State of Tennessee
W2015-00810-CCA-R3-PC

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
State of Tennessee v. Eddie Minter
W2015-00540-CCA-R3-CD

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. Roy Cherry
W2015-01084-CCA-R3-CD

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
State of Tennessee v. Deangelo T. Collins
W2015-00781-CCA-R3-CD

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
Kenneth Thompson Anderson v. State of Tennessee
M2014-01812-CCA-R3-HC

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
Alvin George Rye v. State of Tennessee
M2015-01294-CCA-R3-PC

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