Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 07/22/2014
Format: 07/22/2014
State of Tennessee v. Shawn Thompson
M2013-01274-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Shawn Thompson, was convicted after a jury trial of three counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, a Class D felony; one count of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, a Class E felony; and one count of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, a Class C felony. The trial court ordered the defendant’s attempted voluntary manslaughter convictions to run concurrently with one another, but ordered the reckless endangerment conviction to run consecutively to the first three counts and the weapons conviction to run consecutively to all counts. On appeal, the defendant asserts error in the trial court’s failure to dismiss the weapons charge in light of what he asserts is a material variance; in the trial court’s failure to charge the jury on the issue of self-defense; in the State’s improper argument to the jury; and in the trial court’s allegedly erroneous consideration of non-statutory factors in imposing a consecutive sentence. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/11/14
State of Tennessee v. Jeffrey Wayne Rowe
M2013-02341-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Jeffrey Wayne Rowe, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated burglary, one count of attempted aggravated burglary, one count of vandalism, and two counts of misdemeanor theft, and the Marshall County Circuit Court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to a term of 10 years’ imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant challenges the manner of service of his sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/11/14
Jerry Beech v. John Doe
M2013-02496-COA-R3-CV

The plaintiff in this case brought suit to recover uninsured motorist benefits. The insurance company moved for summary judgment contending that the plaintiff was not entitled to coverage because he was not “upon” the insured vehicle so as to “occupy” it. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the insurance company and we affirm.

Maury County Court of Appeals 06/11/14
In Re: Conservatorship of Maurice M. Acree, Jr.
M2013-02588-COA-R3-CV

The trial court approved and affirmed the final accounting of a trust held in a conservatorship estate and closed the conservatorship following the death of the Ward. We affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/11/14
Cleveland Custom Stone, Et Al. v. Acuity Mutual Insurance Company
E2013-02132-COA-R3-CV

This case concerns Acuity’s refusal to pay insurance proceeds to Plaintiffs, who filed suit, alleging negligence, breach of contract, bad faith refusal to pay, and violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 47-18- 101, et. seq. The case proceeded to jury trial. The jury awarded Plaintiff compensatory damages and found that Acuity’s failure to pay was in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The jury declined to award punitive damages. Likewise, the trial court affirmed the verdict but did not treble the damages. Acuity appeals. We affirm.

Bradley County Court of Appeals 06/10/14
City of Athens v. Blair Strong Enterprises, LLC, d/b/a Open Door Cafe
E2013-02405-COA-R3-CV

This appeal challenges a citation for an alleged violation of a city ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of twenty-one. A municipal judge and the trial court found against the appellant restaurant. We affirm.

McMinn County Court of Appeals 06/10/14
In Re Hannah H., Et Al.
E2013-01211-COA-R3-PT

 

This is a termination of parental rights case. Following a hearing, the trial court found clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of the parental rights of both the mother and the father on the statutory grounds of abandonment based on failure to provide a suitable home, failure to substantially fulfill the requirements of the permanency plans, and persistence of conditions. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1)-(3), 36-1-102(1)(A)(ii), 37-2- 403(a)(2). The court further concluded that termination was in the best interest of the children. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(i). The mother and father appeal. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

Sevier County Court of Appeals 06/10/14
Larry W. Anderson v. State of Tennessee
W2013-02402-CCA-R3-HC

Petitioner, Larry W. Anderson, pled guilty to one count of aggravated burglary and one count of evading arrest in a motor vehicle with a risk of death or injury to others and was sentenced by the Davidson County trial court to serve ten years as a Range III, persistent offender. Subsequently, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus in Lauderdale County, alleging that his sentence was void because of the State’s failure to give notice of intent to seek enhanced punishment and because the original trial court did not enter judgment until more than forty-five days after Petitioner had entered his guilty plea. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Upon review of the record, we find that the Petitioner has failed to state a cognizable claim and affirm the decision of the habeas corpus court dismissing the petition.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
William H. Fleming v. Tejinder Saini, M.D. and Healthquest Clinic
W2013-01540-COA-R3-CV

This is an appeal from the denial of a post-judgment motion. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit. At the hearing on the motion, the plaintiff agreed to dismissal of his lawsuit. The trial court entered an order dismissing the lawsuit and assessing court costs against the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed a timely motion to alter or amend, asking the trial court to reconsider the award of court costs; this was denied. The plaintiff filed a second motion to alter or amend, again seeking reconsideration of the award of court costs; this request for reconsideration was denied as well. The plaintiff now appeals the trial court’s order on the second post-judgment motion. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 06/10/14
State of Tennessee v. Harold D. Doss, Jr. and Jonathan Lamar Hathway
M2012-02201-CCA-R3-CD

A Davidson County jury convicted Harold D. Doss, Jr., of first degree felony murder, second degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated kidnapping. The jury convicted Johnathan Lamar Hathaway of first degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated kidnapping. The trial court merged Defendant Doss’s convictions for first degree felony murder and second degree murder and ordered Defendant Doss to serve an effective sentence of life plus thirty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The trial court ordered Defendant Hathaway to serve an effective sentence of life in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant Doss asserts that: (1) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to sever; (2) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; (3) the trial court erred when it admitted hearsay evidence; (4) the trial court erred when it permitted the State to amend the indictment during the trial; (5) his dual convictions for especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated robbery violate his right to due process; and (6) the trial court improperly imposed consecutive sentences. Defendant Hathaway asserts that: (1) there is insufficient evidence to support his convictions; (2) the trial court improperly allowed the State to present “unreliable evidence” of cellular telephone tower technology through a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent; (3) the trial court erred when it permitted the State to amend the indictment during the trial; (4) there was juror misconduct; and (5) the trial court applied the incorrect law governing circumstantial evidence. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.
 

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
Michael Martez Rhodes v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01168-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Michael Martez Rhodes, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. In a best interest plea agreement, the petitioner pled guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery, Class C felonies, and received two four-year sentences. The trial court subsequently ordered that the sentences be served consecutively in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the petitioner contends that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered due to the ineffectiveness of trial counsel. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel was ineffective because he “pushed” the petitioner to accept the guilty plea even though the petitioner maintained that he did not commit the acts for sexual gratification, an element of the offense. Following review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
James Richard Blue, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02251-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, James Richard Blue, Jr., appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner pled guilty to sale of a Schedule II controlled substance over .5 grams and received an agreed-to sentence of twenty years in confinement as a Range III persistent offender. On appeal, he contends that his guilty plea was not entered knowingly and voluntarily due to the ineffective assistance of counsel. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel was ineffective for allowing him to plead as a Range III offender when, because of a failure to enter corrected judgments following a remand, he was in fact only a Range II offender. Following review of the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
State of Tennessee v. Kevin Harding
M2013-01637-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Kevin Harding, was convicted of one count of facilitation of possession of marijuana, a Schedule VI drug, with the intent to sell, a Class A misdemeanor, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to sell, a Class B felony, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, a Class D felony. The trial court sentenced the defendant to a four-year sentence for facilitation of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, a seventeen-year sentence for possession of cocaine for resale, a sentence of 11 months and 29 days for possession of drug paraphernalia, and an eight-year sentence for possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The court ordered the possession of cocaine for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia sentences to be served concurrently, and the sentence for possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony to run consecutively to the sentence for possession of cocaine for resale, for an effective sentence of twenty-five years. On appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court erred when it failed to define the charge of simple possession of cocaine for the jury; that the trial court committed plain error in sentencing the defendant to serve four years for facilitation of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell; and that the trial court committed plain error in failing to require the State to elect the felony to serve as the underlying felony for possession of a firearm and failing to define “dangerous felony” for the jury. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court for possession with the intent to sell cocaine, reverse the judgment for facilitation because the sentence was outside the appropriate class range, and reverse the judgment for possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The case is remanded for resentencing on the facilitation conviction and for a new trial on the possession of a firearm charge.

Giles County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
Mitchell Ford v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01471-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Mitchell Ford, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. At trial, the petitioner was convicted of arson and aggravated burglary, Class C felonies, and was sentenced to two fifteen-year terms to be served concurrently. On appeal, he argues that he was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to challenge the identification of the petitioner by the State’s witnesses and failed to challenge a juror who knew the victim and the petitioner and his family. Following a review of the record, we conclude that the petition was properly denied and affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
Andre Kimbrough v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02536-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Andre Kimbrough, was convicted of second degree murder, a Class A felony. He now appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, he argues that the statute of limitations for filing a petition for post-conviction relief should be tolled because trial counsel did not give the petitioner adequate notice that his direct appeal was denied or notice that trial counsel did not apply for permission to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court. After reviewing the record, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/10/14
Sheila Cameron v. Memorial Health Care Systems,Inc., et al.
E2013-01225-WC-R3-WC

A registered nurse sustained a compensable injury to her neck. The trial court found that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result of the injury. Her employer has appealed, contending that the trial court erred by failing to cap the award at oneand- one-half times the impairment rating pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-241(d)(1)(A). In the alternative, the employer asserts that the trial court erred by awarding permanent total disability benefits. The appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bradley County Workers Compensation Panel 06/10/14
State of Tennessee v. Victoria Wellington
M2013-01271-CCA-R3-CD

In a bench trial, the Defendant, Victoria Wellington, was convicted of one count of DUI, first offense, and one count of felony evading arrest. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months, twenty-nine days for the DUI conviction and to two years for the felony evading arrest conviction. The trial court ordered that the sentences be served concurrently and be suspended after nine months, with the remainder to be served on probation. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied her motion to suppress her statements to police. She further contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain her conviction for felony evading arrest After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/09/14
State of Tennessee v. Ronnie Lawrence Corral
M2013-00764-CCA-R3-CD

Defendant, Ronnie Corral, was indicted in a 16-count indictment for five counts of attempted first degree murder; five counts of aggravated assault; three counts of facilitation of attempted aggravated robbery; one count of aggravated robbery; one count of attempted aggravated robbery; and one count of aggravated burglary. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of five counts of facilitation of attempted first degree murder; four counts of aggravated assault; one count of facilitation of aggravated assault; four counts of facilitation of attempted aggravated robbery; one count of aggravated robbery; and one count of aggravated burglary. Defendant’s four convictions for facilitation of attempted aggravated robbery were merged with three of his aggravated assault convictions and his conviction for facilitation of aggravated assault, and his remaining aggravated assault conviction was merged with his aggravated robbery conviction. For his convictions, Defendant received a total effective sentence of ten years. Defendant appeals his convictions and sentences and asserts: 1) the trial court abused its discretion by declining to grant a mistrial after the trial court allowed inadmissible hearsay to be admitted; 2) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated robbery and facilitation to commit first degree premeditated murder; and 3) the trial court erred in sentencing Defendant to more than the minimum sentence in the applicable sentencing range. After a thorough review of the record, we find no error and affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Robertson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/09/14
State of Tennessee v. Wendell Todd Duberry
M2013-02121-CCA-R3-CD

Appellant, Wendell Todd Duberry, was convicted of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $10,000 and criminal trespassing. The trial court sentenced him as a multiple offender to eight years for the theft conviction and to thirty days for the criminal trespassing conviction. On appeal, appellant contends that (1) the trial court erred by allowing the State to present evidence of victims not named in the indictment; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (3) his sentence was excessive; and (4) the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
 

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/09/14
Jamar Ed-Wae Scott v. State of Tennessee
M2013--1723-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Jamar Ed-Wae Scott, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his Davidson County Criminal Court jury convictions of first degree murder and attempted robbery. Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of relief.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/09/14
Darius Jones v. State of Tennessee
W2013-01004-CCA-R3-PC

Petitioner, Darius Jones, appeals from the trial court’s judgment which denied postconviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner argues on appeal that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel but only argues one factual allegation of ineffective assistance. Petitioner asserts that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because trial counsel failed to include in his motion for new trial the ground that the trial court erroneously denied the motion to suppress Petitioner’s statement to police. After a thorough review of the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/09/14
In The Matter of: Shayla H.
M2013-00567-COA-R3-JV

Mother and Father were divorced and Mother was designated as the primary residential parent of their child in 2003. Father filed a petition several years later seeking to have the designation of primary residential parent changed from Mother to himself. The trial court granted Father’s petition after determining Father had proved a material change in circumstances and it was in the child’s best interest for Father to become the primary residential parent. Mother appealed, and we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
 

Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/09/14
Deborah Evans Wilhoit v. Gary Dennis Wilhoit
M2013-01499-COA-R3-CV

Husband filed a petition to terminate his alimony obligation, asserting that he sold his dental practice following the entry of the final divorce decree for health reasons,as a result of which he was unable to pay alimony because his only income was social security benefits. The trial court found that husband’s retirement constituted a material and substantial change of circumstances, but declined to modify his obligation. Husband appeals the denial of his petition and wife appeals the denial of her request for attorney fees. We affirm the decision in part, reverse in part and remand for further consideration.

Sumner County Court of Appeals 06/09/14
Kenneth L. Peachman v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02171-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Kenneth L. Peachman, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his 2007 Montgomery County Circuit Court guilty-pleaded convictions of second degree murder and solicitation of first degree murder, claiming that the ineffective assistance of his trial counsel rendered his guilty pleas unknowing and involuntary.  Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court. 

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/06/14
State of Tennessee v. Nathaniel Maclin
W2013-00967-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Nathaniel Maclin, appeals his Shelby County Criminal Court jury conviction of sexual battery by an authority figure, challenging the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/06/14