Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014
State of Tennessee v. Justin Shelton
M2013-01812-CCA-R3-CD

Appellant, Justin Shelton, was indicted by the Lincoln County Grand Jury on two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of vandalism. Appellant pled guilty and was sentenced to two years on each count for a total effective sentence of eight years. The trial court suspended the sentences and ordered Appellant to probation. Subsequently, a probation violation warrant was filed which alleged that Appellant had not reported to his probation officer; failed to pay fines; and failed to provide proof of employment. Petitioner also pled guilty to another offense. At a hearing, Petitioner pled guilty to the probation violation. The trial court ordered Appellant to serve the balance of his sentence in incarceration. Appellant appeals. After a review of the record and authorities, we determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in revoking Appellant’s probation as there was evidence to support the conclusion of the trial court that a violation of the conditions of probation occurred. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Lincoln County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
Richard Thurmond v. Mid-Cumberland Infectious Disease Consultants, PLC et al.
M2012-02270-SC-R11-CV

Sixty days prior to filing his complaint, the plaintiff in this health care liability action sent written notice of his potential claim to each of the health care providers that would be named as defendants. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(1) (2012 & Supp. 2013). The plaintiff served the pre-suit notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, as permitted by statute.  Id. § 29-26-121(a)(3)(B). In his subsequent complaint, the plaintiff alleged that he had complied with the statutory requirement of pre-suit notice, id. § 29-26-121(b), but the plaintiff failed to file with the complaint “an affidavit of the party mailing the [pre-suit] notice establishing that the specified notice was timely mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested,” id. § 29-26-121(a)(4). The defendants moved for dismissal of the lawsuit, citing the plaintiff’s failure to file with the complaint an affidavit of the person who had sent the pre-suit notice by certified mail. The defendants did not allege that the lack of the affidavit resulted in prejudice. Instead, the defendants contended that the pre-suit notice statute demands strict compliance with all its requirements and that dismissal is the mandatory remedy for noncompliance. The trial court “reluctantly” agreed with the defendants and dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals affirmed but noted the “harsh results”  strict compliance produces in cases, such as this one, where no prejudice is alleged. We granted the plaintiff’s application for permission to appeal. We hold that the statutory requirement of an affidavit of the person who sent pre-suit notice by certified mail may be satisfied by substantial compliance. We also hold that the plaintiff substantially complied with the statute. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’sdismissal of the complaint is reversed; the complaint is reinstated; and this matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

Montgomery County Supreme Court 04/24/14
In Re: Kory W. A.
E2013-02282-COA-R3-PT

This is a termination of parental rights case in which the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Father to the Child. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of Father’s parental rights based upon his incarceration. The court likewise found that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the Child’s best interest. Father appeals. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Appeals 04/24/14
Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. v. William S. Lockett, Jr., et al.
E2013-02186-COA-R3-CV

This is a detainer action in which Mortgagors sought to rescind the foreclosure sale of their property. Wells Fargo filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that recision of the sale was not a remedy available under Tennessee law. The trial court agreed and upheld the sale. Mortgagors appeal. We reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.

Knox County Court of Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Travis Darnell Kendrick
M2013-01638-CCA-R3-CD

The defendant, Travis Darnell Kendrick, was found to be in violation of the terms and conditions of his probation agreement and was sentenced to serve the remainder of his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the remainder of his sentence to be served in incarceration. After review of the record, we find no abuse of discretion and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Robertson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. James H. Saint, Jr.
M2013-01511-CCA-R3-CD

The petitioner, James H. Saint, Jr., was convicted of six counts of aggravated sexual battery and was ordered to serve a sixty-six-year sentence. The petitioner brings this post-conviction action where he alleges that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel in that: (1) trial counsel failed to sufficiently inform the petitioner regarding the details of his settlement offer; (2) trial counsel failed to adequately prepare both himself and the petitioner for trial; and (3) trial counsel failed to adequately cross-examine the petitioner’s wife at trial. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the petitioner has not established that counsel performed deficiently or that any deficiency prejudiced the petitioner. We accordingly affirm the denial of his petition.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Alvin Brewer and Patrick Boyland
W2012-02281-CCA-R3-CD

In this consolidated appeal, the defendants, Alvin Brewer and Patrick Boyland, stand convicted of multiple crimes in two separate cases. In case number 11-02360, defendant Brewer was convicted by a jury of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of assault. Defendant Boyland was convicted of two counts of false imprisonment, one count of robbery, one count of facilitation of robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of assault. Each received effective twenty-eight year sentences as Range II multiple offenders. In this case, both have raised the following issues for review on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred by failing to charge criminal attempt to the jury when the proof of a completed robbery was controverted and not overwhelming; (2) whether the trial court erred by improperly commenting on the evidence by referring to the home residents as “victims” in the jury charge; (3) whether there is sufficient evidence to support the convictions; and (4) whether the trial court erred in failing to force the State to make an election as to the aggravated assault charge when the proof presented showed two separate assaults. Following review, we have concluded that no reversible error has been established and affirm the judgments and resulting sentences. However, the judgment for facilitation of robbery in Count 4 for defendant Boyland incorrectly indicates that he was convicted of a Class C felony. In actuality, it should reflect conviction of a D felony, and we remand for entry of a corrected judgment form. In case number 11-02361, the defendants incurred multiple convictions. Defendant Boyland was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and three counts of facilitation of aggravated assault. During the motion for new trial hearing, the trial court granted a motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction. Following a sentencing hearing, defendant Boyland was sentenced to an effective forty-eight year sentence. Defendant Brewer was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and three counts of aggravated assault. As with defendant Boyland, the trial court granted a motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction, and defendant Brewer was sentenced to an effective forty-eight year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendants argue: (1) that the employing a firearm offense is void for failure to allege a predicate felony; (2) alternatively, that the firearm conviction should be reversed because the trial court improperly instructed the jury and provided improper verdict forms; (3) that the trial court erred in allowing a witness to testify in violation of rule 404(b); (4) that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (5) that the trial court erred in refusing to merge the conviction for aggravated robbery with the convictions for aggravated assault and facilitation of aggravated assault, respective to each defendant, in violation of double jeopardy protections; (6) alternatively, that if merger is not applicable, then the trial court erred in failing to compel an election for the aggravated assault and facilitation of aggravated assault; and (7) that the trial court erred in allowing Mr. Clarence Mann to testify when his name was not endorsed on the indictment. Additionally, the State raises an issue for appeal, that being that the trial court erred in granting the motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions of both defendants. Following review, the convictions for each defendant for employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony are reversed. Moreover, we have determined that the court did erroneously refuse to merge defendant Boyland’s conviction for facilitation of aggravated assault and defendant Brewer’s conviction for aggravated assault into their respective aggravated robbery convictions. Moreover, the judgment of conviction form for defendant Brewer’s aggravated assault conviction in Count 8 fails to specify a release eligibility. Additionally, the trial court’s granting of motions for judgment of acquittal as to the charge of especially aggravated kidnapping for both defendants is reversed, and the judgments should be re-instated. As such, the case is remanded for sentencing on the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions and for further proceedings and actions necessary in accordance with this opinion. The convictions and sentences are affirmed in all other respects.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Alvin Brewer and Patrick Boyland
W2012-02282-CCA-R3-CD

In this consolidated appeal, the defendants, Alvin Brewer and Patrick Boyland, stand convicted of multiple crimes in two separate cases. In case number 11-02360, defendant Brewer was convicted by a jury of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of assault. Defendant Boyland was convicted of two counts of false imprisonment, one count of robbery, one count of facilitation of robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of assault. Each received effective twenty-eight year sentences as Range II multiple offenders. In this case, both have raised the following issues for review on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred by failing to charge criminal attempt to the jury when the proof of a completed robbery was controverted and not overwhelming; (2) whether the trial court erred by improperly commenting on the evidence by referring to the home residents as “victims” in the jury charge; (3) whether there is sufficient evidence to support the convictions; and (4) whether the trial court erred in failing to force the State to make an election as to the aggravated assault charge when the proof presented showed two separate assaults. Following review, we have concluded that no reversible error has been established and affirm the judgments and resulting sentences. However, the judgment for facilitation of robbery in Count 4 for defendant Boyland incorrectly indicates that he was convicted of a Class C felony. In actuality, it should reflect conviction of a D felony, and we remand for entry of a corrected judgment form. In case number 11-02361, the defendants incurred multiple convictions. Defendant Boyland was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and three counts of facilitation of aggravated assault. During the motion for new trial hearing, the trial court granted a motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction. Following a sentencing hearing, defendant Boyland was sentenced to an effective forty-eight year sentence. Defendant Brewer was convicted of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and three counts of aggravated assault. As with defendant Boyland, the trial court granted a motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping conviction, and defendant Brewer was sentenced to an effective forty-eight year sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendants argue: (1) that the employing a firearm offense is void for failure to allege a predicate felony; (2) alternatively, that the firearm conviction should be reversed because the trial court improperly instructed the jury and provided improper verdict forms; (3) that the trial court erred in allowing a witness to testify in violation of rule 404(b); (4) that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (5) that the trial court erred in refusing to merge the conviction for aggravated robbery with the convictions for aggravated assault and facilitation of aggravated assault, respective to each defendant, in violation of double jeopardy protections; (6) alternatively, that if merger is not applicable, then the trial court erred in failing to compel an election for the aggravated assault and facilitation of aggravated assault; and (7) that the trial court erred in allowing Mr. Clarence Mann to testify when his name was not endorsed on the indictment. Additionally, the State raises an issue for appeal, that being that the trial court erred in granting the motion for judgment of acquittal with regard to the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions of both defendants. Following review, the convictions for each defendant for employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony are reversed. Moreover, we have determined that the court did erroneously refuse to merge defendant Boyland’s conviction for facilitation of aggravated assault and defendant Brewer’s conviction for aggravated assault into their respective aggravated robbery convictions. Moreover, the judgment of conviction form for defendant Brewer’s aggravated assault conviction in Count 8 fails to specify a release eligibility. Additionally, the trial court’s granting of motions for judgment of acquittal as to the charge of especially aggravated kidnapping for both defendants is reversed, and the judgments should be re-instated. As such, the case is remanded for sentencing on the especially aggravated kidnapping convictions and for further proceedings and actions necessary in accordance with this opinion. The convictions and sentences are affirmed in all other respects.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Michael Presson
W2012-00023-CCA-R3-CD

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Michael Presson, of ten counts of attempted aggravated sexual battery, one count of aggravated sexual battery, and eleven counts of rape of a child. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of thirty-five years of confinement. On direct appeal from his convictions, the Defendant contends that: (1) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the trial court erred when it refused to admit into evidence the medical record for one of the victims; (3) the trial court violated Tennessee Rule of Evidence 615 by allowing the State’s designated witness to be present during the victims’ testimony, without requiring the designated witness to testify first; (4) the State improperly used an exhibit and commented on a jury questionnaire during closing arguments, violating the Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial; (5) the trial court improperly instructed the jury as to the mens rea elements of the crimes; (6) the trial court erred when it imposed consecutive sentences; and (7) the trial court erred when it placed the victim’s medical records under seal and denied the Defendant the opportunity to review the records. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
State of Tennessee v. Danny R. Mays
W2013-01052-CCA-R3-CD

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Danny R. Mays, of felony evading arrest, reckless driving, driving on a cancelled, suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the registration law, criminal trespass, vandalism, and possession of marijuana. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of eight years. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions for felony evading arrest, reckless driving, driving on a cancelled, suspended or revoked license, and possession of marijuana. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
Tim Smith v. State of Tennessee
W2013-00432-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, Tim Smith, challenges his conviction for aggravated kidnapping, alleging that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered because he did not understand the ramifications of his plea, noting that trial counsel erroneously advised him that he would be eligible for release after he had served eighty-five percent of his sentence. Upon consideration of the record and the applicable authorities, we conclude that the Petitioner failed to prove that his plea was unknowingly and involuntarily entered and affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/14
Ramsey Harris v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01770-CCA-R3-PC

Petitioner, Ramsey Harris, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, false reporting to a law enforcement officer, and two counts of felony theft of property. He received an effective sentence of twenty years as a Range III offender. As part of the plea agreement, several other charges were dismissed. In his post-conviction proceedings, petitioner asserts that numerous errors with respect to trial counsel’s advice to him regarding the guilty plea to false reporting amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
In the Matter of Ryan K.M., et al.
W2013-02201-COA-R3-PT

Mother’s parental rights to her three sons were terminated after she pled guilty to the second degree murder of a fourth son. On appeal, Mother concedes that termination grounds were proven by clear and convincing evidence; she challenges only the trial court’s finding that termination of her parental rights is in the children’s best interest. We affirm the trial court’s best interest finding, and thus, its termination of Mother’s parental rights.

Chester County Court of Appeals 04/23/14
State of Tennessee v. William G. Barnett, Jr.
M2013-01176-CCA-R3-CD

The petitioner, William G. Barnett, Jr., pled guilty to four counts of aggravated statutory rape, Class D felonies, and one count of attempted solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class A misdemeanor. Based upon the imposition of consecutive sentencing, the petitioner was sentenced to serve three years in the Department of Correction, followed by three years of probation. At the guilty plea hearing, the State noted that the petitioner asked to be allowed to reserve a certified question of law to appeal. The State read the petitioner’s question on the record, and the handwritten and signed statement was included in the record. It stated, “I would like to reserve my right to appeal the decision on the motion to dismiss.” The petitioner filed notice of direct appeal. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus, which the trial court summarily dismissed based upon the pending direct appeal. The petitioner appealed that dismissal. This court has now consolidated those two issues into a single case. Thus, the issues presently before us are: (1) whether the defendant’s direct appeal of his certified question is properly before this court; and (2) whether the trial court properly dismissed the petition for the writ of habeas corpus. Upon review, we conclude that the certified question is not properly before this court and dismiss that portion of the appeal. However, with regard to habeas corpus relief, the petitioner has established what may be an illegal sentence. Remand to the trial court is necessary for further factual findings and actions taken in accordance with this opinion.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Howard Brackson Carrier
E2013-00247-CCA-R3-CD

A Sullivan County jury convicted appellant, Howard Brackson Carrier, of first degree premeditated murder, felony murder committed during the perpetration of a burglary, attempted first degree murder, and aggravated burglary, for which he received a sentence of life for the merged murder convictions, fifteen years, and three years, respectively. After the trial but before the hearing on the motion for a new trial, defense counsel discovered new evidence indicating that one of the State’s witnesses had falsely testified that a knife sharpener found at the murder scene belonged to appellant. At the motion for a new trial hearing, appellant argued that the testimony was crucial because it formed the basis for premeditation and intent. The trial court denied the motion, and this appeal follows. Herein, appellant raises one issue for our review: whether the witness’s false testimony necessitates a new trial. Following our review, we affirm the judgments for attempted first degree murder and aggravated burglary. We affirm the convictions for first degree premeditated murder and felony murder but vacate the judgments and remand the case to the trial court for entry of a single judgment for first degree murder noting merger of the two convictions.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
George Scott Mason v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01170-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, George Scott Mason, appeals the post-conviction court’s denial of relief for his conviction of possession of a Schedule II substance for resale. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in failing to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
Steven Aaron Page v. State of Tennessee
M2013-01267-CCA-R3-PC

Petitioner, Steven Aaron Page, pled guilty in Davidson County to one count of aggravated child abuse. Pursuant to the plea, Petitioner was sentenced to fifteen years to be served at 100 percent. Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief arguing that he was afforded ineffective assistance of counsel and that he entered his guilty plea unknowingly and involuntarily. The post-conviction court denied the petition. Petitioner appealed. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the post-conviction court did not err in denying the petition. Therefore, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
Kristopher Smith v. State of Tennessee
W2013-01135-CCA-R3-PC

The petitioner, Kristopher Smith, appeals the denial of his bid for post-conviction relief from his 2009 Shelby County Criminal Court jury convictions of aggravated kidnapping and rape, claiming that the ruling in State v. White, 362 S.W.3d 559 (Tenn. 2012), requires dismissal of his aggravated kidnapping conviction and that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Joseph Leon Knowles
M2013-01653-CCA-R3-CD

The Defendant, Joseph Leon Knowles, pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to attempt to commit aggravated child abuse of a child under six years old, a Class B felony, with the sentence to be determined by the trial court. See T.C.A. § 39-15-402 (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to twelve years’ confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred during sentencing by failing to apply certain mitigating factors relative to remorse, assisting the police, and his not having a substantial intent to violate the law and by denying him alternative sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Giles County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
Jarrod Phillips v. State of Tennessee
M2013-02026-CCA-R3-HC

Petitioner, Jarrod Phillips, was charged with first degree murder in Davidson County. He pled guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to thirty-two years as a Range II, violent offender. Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in Hickman County. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the habeas corpus court’s dismissal of the petition.

Hickman County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Kiara Tashawn King
M2012-00236-SC-R11-CD

The defendant pled guilty to aggravated burglary and theft of property over five hundred dollars. The trial court imposed concurrent, Range I sentences of five years and one year and six months, respectively, all to be served on probation. On appeal, the defendant contended that the trial court erred by imposing excessive sentences and by denying her application for judicial diversion. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. We granted the application for permission to appeal in order to clarify the appropriate standard of appellate review for the grant or denial of judicial diversion. We hold that when the trial court places on the record its considerations for the grant or denial of judicial diversion, the determination should be given a presumption of reasonableness on appeal and reviewed for an abuse of discretion.  In the absence of appropriate considerations on the record, the appellate court should either remand for reconsideration or perform a de novo review. After our own de novo review of this record, we hold that the defendant is not entitled to judicial diversion.

Marshall County 04/23/14
Johnny Coffey v. State of Tennessee
E2013-01659-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, Johnny Coffey, appeals the Bradley County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief. The Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment. On appeal, he argues that trial counsel was ineffective by failing to properly petition the trial court for a State-funded psychiatric expert to assist the defense. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
State of Tennessee v. Steve Duclair
E2012-02580-CCA-R3-CD

Appellant, Steve Duclair, was named in a presentment by the Sullivan County Grand Jury in September of 2008 for two counts of the sale of one-half a gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and two counts of the delivery of one-half a gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. The grand jury later named Appellant in a second presentment charging Appellant for one count of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and one count of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of two counts of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine, two counts of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine, one count of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, and one count of delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. The trial court merged the convictions for the sale of cocaine with the convictions for the delivery of cocaine. Appellant was sentenced to an effective sentence of fifteen years at 100 percent. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Appellant presents the following issues for our review on appeal: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) whether the trial court committed error while dismissing the alternate juror at the conclusion of the trial; (3) whether the trial court committed error by asking Appellant where he was from during voir dire; (4) whether the trial court properly instructed the jury; (5) whether Appellant’s sentences constitute cruel and unusual punishment; (6) whether the assistant district attorney committed prosecutorial misconduct; and (7) whether the Drug-Free School Zone Act is unconstitutional. After a review of the record and the applicable authorities, we determine that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; the trial court properly instructed the jury; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant; the Drug-Free School Zone Act is not unconstitutional; the trial court did not violate Appellant’s right from self-incrimination during voir dire; the trial court did not err in dismissing the alternate juror; and the prosecutor did not commit misconduct during closing argument. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/14
Carroll Marie Stovall, et al. v. UHS of Lakeside, LLC, et al.
W2013-01504-COA-R9-CV

Appellant medical providers appeal the trial court’s denial of their motions to dismiss a medical malpractice complaint for failure to strictly comply with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-122(d)(4). Because we conclude that the trial court had good cause to grant an extension, within which to file a certificate of good faith, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 04/22/14
Norma Simpson, Ind. and next of kin of J. W. Simpson v. Faye Fowler
W2013-02109-COA-R3-CV

This is the second appeal of this case, involving the application of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 31-1-105 to set aside certain transfers by decedent to his long-term companion, which transfers were allegedly made with intent to deny his surviving spouse of her share of his estate. From the totality of the circumstances, and applying the factors outlined by this Court in Finley v. Finley, 726 S.W.2d 923 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986), we conclude that the evidence preponderates in favor of the trial court’s award of $8,500.00 in insurance proceeds to the surviving spouse for decedent’s funeral costs, but that the evidence preponderates against the trial court’s award of a $28,000.00 bank account to the surviving spouse. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

Obion County Court of Appeals 04/22/14