Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/19/2022
Format: 08/19/2022
State of Tennessee v. Michelle Bennington
E2021-01163-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas C. Greenholtz

The Defendant-Appellant, Michelle Bennington, appeals the dismissal of her second pro se Rule 36 motion to correct a clerical error on an order revoking her probation. See Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36. The sole issue presented is whether the trial court abused its discretion in not applying jail credits the Defendant-Appellant earned on a concurrent sentence in another jurisdiction to the order of revocation. We affirm the dismissal.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/27/22
Bryan Williams v. State of Tennessee
W2021-00823-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

Bryan Williams, Petitioner, was convicted of multiple sex offenses and a panel of this Court affirmed his convictions on direct appeal. State v. Bryan Williams, No. W2013-00418-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 280398, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 24, 2014), no perm. app. filed. Petitioner now appeals from the Gibson County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, in which he alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. After reviewing the record, oral argument, and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Gibson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/26/22
State of Tennessee v. Glenn Bohanan, Jr.
W2021-00242-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

Glenn Bohanan, Jr., Defendant, was charged with one count of rape of a child, three counts of rape, and four counts of incest, for events that took place over the span of several years. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of all counts of the indictment and sentenced to an effective sentence of 40 years. Defendant raises the following issues on appeal: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions for rape of a child in Count 1, rape in Counts 3 and 4, and incest in Counts 5-8 because the victim did not testify specifically that Defendant penetrated her on each occasion; and (2) the sentence is excessive. After a review of the evidence, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Henderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/26/22
Tondreon Bowles a/k/a Tondreon Merriweather v. State of Tennessee
W2021-00808-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

Petitioner, Tondreon Bowles, also known as Tondreon Merriweather, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief. Petitioner argues that his guilty plea to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, a Class C felony, was not knowingly and voluntarily entered and that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. Petitioner claims that he believed he was pleading guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, a Class E felony, and therefore, his sentence is illegal. Following a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court; however, we remand the case to the trial court for entry of judgment forms in counts two and four.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/25/22
Dustin Shawn Price v. State of Tennessee
M2021-00895-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton

In 2009, a Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner, Dustin Shawn Price, of first degree felony murder, first degree premeditated murder, two counts of reckless endangerment, and three counts of attempted first degree murder.  The trial court sentenced him to life plus forty years of incarceration.  The Petitioner appealed his convictions to this court, and we affirmed the judgments.  State v. Dustin Shawn Price, No. M2012-00117-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 4539034, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Aug. 26, 2013), no perm. app. filed.  Subsequently, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, claiming that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel, which the post-conviction court denied after a hearing.  After review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/25/22
State of Tennessee v. Hans Banks
W2021-01038-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

Defendant, Hans Banks, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for second degree murder. After a trial, Defendant was convicted of the lesser-included offense, voluntary manslaughter, and received a sentence of six years. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statements given to the police and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of voluntary manslaughter. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/22/22
State of Tennessee v. Garet Myers
E2021-00841-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Alex E. Pearson

A jury convicted the Defendant, Garet Myers, of evading arrest in a motor vehicle, a Class E felony; reckless endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor; speeding, a Class C misdemeanor; and driving without a license, a Class B misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of two years, with thirty days to be served in confinement and the remainder on probation. The Defendant appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, the court’s refusal to approve the Defendant’s request for a special jury instruction, the exclusion of evidence, and the trial court’s denial of judicial diversion. After a thorough review of the record, the parties’ briefs, oral argument, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Hawkins County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/22/22
Robert Glen Gray v. State of Tennessee
W2021-01533-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Weber McCraw

Petitioner, Robert Glen Gray, appeals as of right from the McNairy County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, wherein he challenged his convictions for two counts of delivery of more than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because counsel (1) told Petitioner that he could “beat the charges” and obtain convictions for simple possession/casual exchange of methamphetamine; (2) failed to file a motion to sever; (3) failed to review the entirety of the discovery materials with Petitioner, specifically the laboratory report on the methamphetamine and photographs of Petitioner exchanging money and drugs; and (4) failed to explain the State’s plea offer “in its entirety.” Following our review, we affirm.

McNairy County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/21/22
Garric Dorsey v. State of Tennessee
W2021-01135-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

The Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Petitioner, Garric Dorsey, for one count of Class B aggravated sexual battery, one count of Class C solicitation of a minor, and one count of Class B felony sexual exploitation of a minor. Although Petitioner’s criminal history was that of a Range II offender, Petitioner entered a guilty plea as a Range III offender to one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery and one count of solicitation of a minor, both Class C felonies. The State dismissed the count of sexual exploitation of a minor. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to eleven years’ incarceration on both counts and ran the sentences concurrently. Petitioner filed a post-conviction petition, which the post-conviction court denied following a hearing. On appeal, Petitioner argues that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and that his due process rights were violated. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/21/22
Raymond-Bernard Bailey v. State of Tennessee
W2021-01535-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The pro se Petitioner, Raymond-Bernard Bailey, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis, arguing that the error coram court erred in dismissing his petition without a hearing because he has newly discovered evidence to show his innocence of the crimes. Based on our review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
Joseph Thomas v. State of Tennessee
W2021-00851-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Joseph Thomas, appeals the dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis, arguing that the coram nobis court erred in concluding that he was not entitled to error coram nobis relief from his Alford guilty pleas. Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the coram nobis court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
State of Tennessee v. Andre Anthony
W2021-00668-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Defendant, Andre Anthony, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his pro se Motion to Correct Judgment Order. After review, we conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
Breyon Bates v. State of Tennessee
W2021-01293-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

The Petitioner, Breyon Bates, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of trial counsel. Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
Montez Davis v. State of Tennessee
E2021-00874-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman

Petitioner, Montez Davis, was convicted of second degree murder, reckless endangerment, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a Hamilton County jury. State v. Montez Davis, No. E2011-02066-CCA-R3CD, 2012 WL 6213520, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 13, 2012), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 10, 2013). The post-conviction court denied several of Petitioner’s claims but ultimately granted post-conviction relief and vacated Petitioner’s second degree murder conviction. The State appealed and Petitioner filed a cross-appeal. After a thorough review, we reverse the post-conviction court’s grant of post-conviction relief and reinstate Petitioner’s second degree murder conviction.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
State of Tennessee v. Milton Keith Perkins
M2021-01112-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton

On May 24, 2021, the Defendant, Milton Keith Perkins, filed a motion pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 36.1 seeking to correct an illegal sentence. He alleged that his negotiated Tennessee sentence was illegal because the judgment indicated it should be served “consecutively to any present sentence including Texas parole,” but his Texas sentence was adjudicated after the Tennessee conviction. The trial court summarily denied the Defendant’s motion for failure to state a colorable claim. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
State of Tennessee v. Michael Mimms
M2021-00383-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

In 2020, a Montgomery County jury convicted the Defendant, Michael Mimms, of facilitation of first degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first degree premeditated murder.  The trial court imposed concurrent fifteen-year sentences in confinement.  On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions.  After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments. 

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/20/22
State of Tennessee v. Ronnie Lee Clayborn
M2021-00656-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Shayne Sexton

Defendant, Ronnie Lee Clayborn, was convicted by a Fentress County jury of rape of a child and incest, for which he received a sentence of twenty-seven years’ incarceration.  On appeal, Defendant contends that: (1) the State failed to present sufficient evidence to support his convictions beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court committed plain error by the admission of prior uncharged sex crimes to bolster the victim’s testimony; (3) rebuttal testimony from the lead detective infringed upon Defendant’s right to remain silent; (4) the trial court erred when it excluded testimony from Defendant’s father about text messages sent from Defendant to the victim’s mother on the night of the offense; (5) the prosecutor engaged in improper prosecutorial argument; (6) the trial court committed plain error by allowing the use of a facility dog during the testimony of two minor witnesses; (7) he is entitled to plain error relief based on the prosecutors’ and the lead detective’s repeated use of the term “victim” to refer to the complaining witness; and (8) cumulative error necessitates a new trial.  Following a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of conviction.

Fentress County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/19/22
Andre Anthony v. State of Tennessee
M2021-00665-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Wayne Collins

The Petitioner, Andre Anthony, appeals the Trousdale County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus. After review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/19/22
Randy Champion v. State of Tennessee
W2021-00767-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

Petitioner, Randy Champion, appeals as of right from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, wherein he challenged his convictions for especially aggravated robbery, attempted second degree murder, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, attempted aggravated robbery, and attempted especially aggravated robbery. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because counsel (1) failed to use a peremptory challenge to remove a prospective juror who was an active Tipton County prosecutor and (2) failed to object to the State’s inconsistent theories, thereby waiving this court’s plenary review of the issue on direct appeal. Following our review, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/18/22
State of Tennessee v. Jamee White-McCray
E2020-01735-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge William K. Rogers

The Defendant, Jamee White-McCray, was convicted in the Sullivan County Criminal Court of facilitation of attempted first degree premeditated murder and facilitation of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and received an effective ten-year sentence to be served in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by not imposing a sentence of split confinement. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/18/22
State of Tennessee v. Jamie L. Tice
M2021-00495-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Dee David Gay

A Sumner County jury convicted the Defendant, Jamie L. Tice, of two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and three counts of aggravated statutory rape, for which the trial court imposed an effective sentence of twenty-four years with release eligibility after service of thirty percent of the sentence in confinement.  On appeal, the Defendant argues (1) the evidence is insufficient to sustain her two convictions for statutory rape by an authority figure; (2) the State committed a Brady violation by failing to disclose payments made to a testifying witness and her husband; (3) the trial court erred in failing to provide a modified unanimity instruction in Count 4, and the evidence is insufficient to sustain her conviction for aggravated statutory rape in that count; (4) the trial court committed plain error in improperly admitting hearsay statements of the Defendant’s husband, as well as the argument thereof, which violated the Defendant’s right to due process and confrontation; (5) the trial court erroneously deprived her of the right of cross-examination on certain topics; (6) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence; and (7) cumulative error deprived her of a fair trial.  After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.  

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/18/22
William Carl Godfrey v. State of Tennessee
M2021-00768-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Dee David Gay

Petitioner, William Carl Godfrey, initially agreed to plead guilty to domestic aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and vandalism under $1000.  During the plea submission hearing, Petitioner stated that he was not guilty.  The State then offered to accept a plea of “no contest,” and after discussion with trial counsel and the trial court, Petitioner accepted the no contest plea.  The trial court imposed an effective sentence of six years’ probation.  On appeal, Petitioner argues that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and that his plea was unknowing and involuntary.  After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Sumner County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/18/22
State of Tennessee v. Henry Dwayne Autrey
M2021-01046-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Wesley Thomas Bray

Following a traffic stop of his vehicle that yielded five packages of methamphetamine hidden inside the spare tire, the Defendant, Henry Dwayne Autrey, was indicted by the Putnam County Grand Jury for possession of more than 300 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to sell and with the intent to deliver. He filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the search of the spare tire was unconstitutional because it was conducted after the initial search of the vehicle had been completed and without sufficient probable cause. The trial court granted his motion to suppress and subsequently dismissed the indictment upon the request of the State. The State now appeals, arguing that the officers had probable cause for the search of the spare tire and did not unreasonably detain the Defendant to complete the search. We agree with the State. Accordingly, we reverse the order of the trial court granting the motion to suppress and remand for reinstatement of the indictment.

Putnam County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/18/22
Trendell Brady v. State of Tennessee
E2021-00917-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The Petitioner, Trendell Brady, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court’s denial of his post-conviction petition, seeking relief from his convictions for two counts of rape of a child and resulting effective fifty-year sentence. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel because trial counsel should have expressly advised him not to testify at trial. After review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/15/22
Donte Green v. State of Tennessee
W2021-00442-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Petitioner, Donte Green, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions relating to the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia resulting from law enforcement’s seizure of illegal substances from the Petitioner’s motel room pursuant to a search warrant. He claims that appellate counsel was ineffective due to her failure to challenge the validity of the search warrant on direct appeal. See State v. Donte Lavon Green, No. W2018-00092-CCA-R3-CD, 2019 WL 1595684 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 15, 2019), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug. 16, 2019). He also claims that his convictions are voidable due to the abridgement of his Fourth Amendment rights and article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution because the search conducted by law enforcement was illegal and that the evidence seized should have been suppressed as a result. After review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/15/22