Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 02/26/2021
Format: 02/26/2021
State of Tennessee v. Quintavious Montez Patton and Donte R. Swanier
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

A Davidson County jury convicted Quintavious Montez Patton of first degree felony murder, voluntary manslaughter, attempted especially aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery. The jury convicted Donte Ricardo Swanier of first degree felony murder, attempted especially aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery. The trial court sentenced both Defendants to effective sentences of life in prison. On appeal, Defendant Patton: (1) challenges the trial court’s admission of video evidence; (2) claims his right to a speedy trial was violated; and (3) seeks relief based upon the cumulative effect of the trial court’s errors. Defendant Swanier appeals the trial court’s admission of: (1) rap music; (2) Facebook posts; and (3) prior bad acts. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/19/20
State of Tennessee v. Shandejah Andrea Stone
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

A Davidson County jury convicted Shandejah Andrea Stone of simple assault. The trial court sentenced Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days, with all suspended except ninety days to be served by incarceration. Following release from jail, Defendant is to be on two years of unsupervised probation. On appeal, Defendant argues that her sentence is excessive and that her alternative sentence should not include any period of incarceration. In addition, Defendant asserts as an issue that during the sentencing hearing, the trial court erroneously allowed admission into evidence a Facebook video over objection that the exhibit had not been properly authenticated. After review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/24/20
State of Tennessee v. Joseph L. Ware
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton

The Defendant-Appellant, Joseph L. Ware, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of first degree felony murder (count 4), second degree murder (count 5), attempted especially aggravated robbery (count 6), attempted aggravated robbery (counts 3, 7), reckless endangerment (counts 8, 9), aggravated assault (count 10), and theft under $500 (counts 2, 11, 12), for which he received an effective sentence of life plus 10 years imprisonment. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant raises the following issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court “committed reversible error by the failure to charge the jury in the law regarding accomplice testimony;” (2) whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence posts from the Defendant’s Facebook page; (3) whether the prosecutors engaged in prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument by “emotional displays . . . calculated to inflame and/or play to the sympathies of the jury” thereby denying the Defendant a fair trial; (4) whether the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction of first degree felony murder; and (5) whether the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentencing. Upon our review, we reverse and remand count eight for a new trial because felony reckless endangerment is not a lesser included offense of attempted first degree murder. In all other respects, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/07/19