Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/15/2019
Format: 07/15/2019
State of Tennessee v. Roger F. Johnson
M2018-01216-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Graham

Following a bench trial in the Grundy County Circuit Court, the Defendant, Roger F. Johnson, was convicted as charged of indecent exposure, a Class B misdemeanor. He was subsequently sentenced to a six-month sentence, with service of forty-five days in jail prior to serving the remainder of the sentence on supervised probation. On appeal, the Defendant argues: (1) the indictment fails to charge an offense because it does not include the correct mens rea; (2) the indictment is duplicitous; and (3) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Grundy County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/15/19
State of Tennessee v. Bobby D. Dewalt
W2018-01850-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

Defendant, Bobby D. Dewalt, pled guilty to three counts of delivery of .5 grams or more of cocaine as a Range II, Multiple Offender in case number 10598 and was sentenced by the trial court to twelve years for each conviction, to be served concurrently. The trial court denied Defendant’s request for an alternative sentence. At the same time, Defendant’s probation was revoked in case number 9783, for which Defendant was on probation at the time of his guilty plea. Defendant filed a timely notice of appeal. After a review, we determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying an alternative sentence.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
Brandon Churchman v. State of Tennessee
W2017-02338-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The Petitioner, Brandon Churchman, filed a post-conviction petition seeking relief from his convictions of reckless homicide, felony murder, and two counts of facilitation of attempted first degree murder and accompanying effective sentence of life plus ten years. The Petitioner alleged that his counsel was ineffective on appeal by failing to challenge the trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentencing. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the postconviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Willie Lee Wilson, Jr.
W2018-01671-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

The defendant, Willie Lee Wilson, Jr., appeals his Haywood County Circuit Court jury convictions of aggravated robbery, theft of property valued at $1,000 or less, and evading arrest, arguing that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to sustain his convictions. Because the evidence was insufficient to support the defendant’s conviction for theft of property valued at $1,000 or less relevant to a handgun, that conviction is vacated, and the charge is dismissed. The defendant’s other convictions are affirmed.

Haywood County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
Anthony Bayman v. State of Tennessee
W2018-01655-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Anthony Bayman, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2014 conviction for second degree murder and his sentence of thirty-two years. The Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that an amendment to the indictment violated principles of due process. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
Willie Lewis v. State of Tennessee
W2018-01016-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

A Shelby County jury convicted Willie Lewis, Petitioner, of second degree murder. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief and argued that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court denied relief, and Petitioner appealed. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that the post-conviction court made insufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law for this court to review its decision. Additionally, Petitioner argues that trial counsel’s representation during the sentencing phase was deficient for failing to ensure that Petitioner participated in the preparation of the presentence report. Petitioner contends that he was prejudiced by this deficiency because trial counsel did not present any mitigating circumstances to the trial court and Petitioner received the maximum sentence within the applicable range. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable case law, we affirm the
post-conviction court’s denial of relief.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Steven Michael Odom
W2018-01303-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

The Defendant, Steven Michael Odom, was convicted of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Defendant received an effective sentence of twelve years. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence for his convictions for aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Tipton County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
Eddie Medlock v. State of Tennessee
W2018-01693-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Glenn I. Wright

The Petitioner, Eddie Medlock, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001 (the Act), Tennessee Code Annotated sections 40-30-301 to -313 (2018). The postconviction DNA court denied relief on the basis that DNA analysis of evidentiary items requested by the Petitioner had been performed previously and that the Petitioner’s request regarding various forms of scientific analysis of other items was not cognizable under the Act. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the court erred in dismissing his petition. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction DNA court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Corderro Avant and Davario Fields aka Davario McNeary
W2018-01154-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carolyn W. Blackett

Defendants, Corderro Avant and Davario Fields, aka Devario McNeary, appeal from their convictions for one count of first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder resulting in seriously bodily injury, nine counts of attempted first degree murder, and eleven counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony after shots were fired at a house in Memphis. As a result of the resulting convictions, Defendants were sentenced to effective sentences of life plus twenty-one years. In their direct appeal, Defendants challenge: (1) the trial court’s limitation of cross-examination regarding activity at the home prior to the shooting; (2) the trial court’s decision to allow the alleged child victims to sit in the courtroom; (3) the trial court’s decision to allow the State to use cell phone location data obtained without a warrant; (4) the dismissal of a juror after he told the trial court that he recognized a person identified as an unavailable witness; (5) the trial court’s comments to the jury about deliberation; and (6) the sufficiency of the evidence.1 After hearing oral arguments and a full review, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Brandon Garrard
W2018-01026-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Charles C. McGinley

On April 2, 2018, the Defendant, Brandon Garrard, was found guilty of delivery of more than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a park and conspiring to introduce contraband into a penal facility. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range III, career offender to concurrent terms of 60 years for the delivery charge and 12 years for the conspiracy charge. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the delivery charge based on the jury verdict form and that the trial court erred in imposing a 60-year sentence. The State concedes that the Defendant was improperly sentenced. After thorough review, we remand for resentencing and affirm the trial court’s judgments in all other aspects.

Hardin County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Quadarious Devonta Bufford
W2018-00548-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

The Defendant, Quadarious Devonta Bufford, was convicted by a Gibson County Circuit Court jury of first degree felony murder during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse and sentenced by the trial court to life imprisonment. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction, and the State committed reversible error by failing to make an election of offenses. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Gibson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Ricky Jordan
W2018-01190-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer S. Nichols

Defendant, Ricky Jordan, was convicted after a jury trial of aggravated sexual battery of a victim less than thirteen years of age and was sentenced to serve eleven years at 100 percent. On appeal, Defendant claims that the trial court committed plain error when it did not exclude evidence of other incidents of sexual contact between Defendant and the victim that occurred during the time period set forth in the indictment and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
Maurice McAllister v. State of Tennessee
M2018-01430-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

The petitioner, Maurice McAllister, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which petition challenged his 2013 conviction of rape, alleging that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

Giles County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Eddie Readus
M2017-02339-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Defendant, Eddie Readus, appeals the length of his effective sentence following a resentencing hearing that was granted by the trial court in response to Defendant’s motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 36.1). The State responds that Defendant failed to state a colorable claim for relief in his Rule 36.1 motion, and therefore, the trial court should have dismissed the motion, rather than granting a new sentencing hearing. We agree with the State. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court granting relief pursuant to Rule 36.1, vacate the amended judgment as to the Class C felony conviction, and reinstate the original judgment.

Bedford County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Christopher Colligan
M2018-01443-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Seth W. Norman

Defendant, Christopher Colligan, appeals following the trial court’s revocation of his eight-year community corrections sentence. Defendant contends that the trial court erred by failing to award sentencing credit for his time served in the community corrections program from June 27, 2014, to March 29, 2017, and from October 4, 2017, to April 27, 2018. Following a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court, as modified, and remand for entry of an amended judgment awarding sentencing credits from October 4, 2017, to April 27, 2018.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. David Keith Walker
E2018-00795-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz

The Defendant, David Keith Walker, pled guilty to aggravated burglary, theft of property valued at $500 or less, burglary, vandalism, and two counts of theft of property valued at $1,000 or more. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of fifteen years’ incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that he is a suitable candidate for alternative sentencing pursuant to the statutory considerations outlined in Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-103. Following our review, we affirm the trial court’s denial of alternative sentencing.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Jerry Reginald Burkes
E2018-01713-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Alex E. Pearson

Jerry Reginald Burkes, Defendant, appeals from the order of the trial court that was entered after the case was remanded for resentencing. Following the resentencing hearing, the trial court denied Defendant’s request to serve his sentence on community corrections and ordered Defendant to serve his eighteen-year sentence in incarceration. Defendant claims the trial court erred by not allowing him to introduce proof at the resentencing hearing concerning certain out-of-state convictions used by the trial court at the first sentencing hearing to establish that Defendant was a Range II offender. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Greene County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Emmanuel Deshawn Bowley
M2018-00234-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers

A Montgomery County jury convicted the Defendant, Emmanuel Deshawn Bowley, of conspiracy to distribute more than 300 grams of cocaine, possession of more than 300 grams of cocaine with the intent to sell, simple possession of marijuana, attempted possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony, and attempted possession of illegal drug paraphernalia. The trial court ordered that the Defendant serve an effective sentence of sixteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that: (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to sever; (2) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress based on an invalid wiretap; (3) the trial court erred when it admitted evidence seized from a co-defendant; and (4) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/12/19
State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Mullinicks, Jr.
M2018-00233-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Suzanne Lockert-Mash

The Appellant, John Thomas Mullinicks, Jr., pled no contest in the Dickson County Circuit Court to four counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and received a total effective sentence of twelve years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the presentment failed to allege all of the essential elements of the charged offense of statutory rape by an authority figure, which renders his convictions void. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dickson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/11/19
State of Tennessee v. Katrina Lynette Brown
M2017-02229-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Franklin Lee Russell

After a bench trial, the Appellant, Katrina Lynette Brown, was found guilty of driving under the influence, violating the implied consent law, possessing .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell, possessing .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to deliver, and a brake light violation. The trial court merged the cocaine possession counts and imposed a total effective sentence of ten years, which was suspended to probation. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is not sufficient to sustain her conviction of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Marshall County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/10/19
Richard Williams v. Tony Mays, Warden
M2018-01980-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton

The Petitioner, Richard Williams, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus from his 2004 conviction for second degree murder and his twenty-five-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred by dismissing his petition. We affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/10/19
State of Tennessee v. Quentin Love
E2017-02431-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

Defendant, Quentin Love, was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury for felony murder during the attempt to perpetrate burglary, felony murder during the attempt to perpetrate theft, felony murder during the attempt to perpetrate robbery, especially aggravated burglary, especially aggravated robbery, employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony, unlawful possession of a weapon by a person having been convicted of a felony involving the use of force, and unlawful possession of a weapon after having been convicted of a felony drug offense. Defendant proceeded to a jury trial. At the close of the State’s proof, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal as to especially aggravated robbery and reduced the charge to attempted especially aggravated robbery. The jury convicted Defendant as charged. The trial court merged the felony murder convictions into a single count of felony murder during the attempt to perpetrate burglary. The trial court also merged the unlawful possession of a weapon convictions into a single count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. The trial court sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment for his felony murder conviction. Defendant received concurrent sentences of 20 years each for his especially aggravated burglary and attempted especially aggravated robbery convictions, to be served concurrently with his life sentence. Defendant was also sentenced to ten years for his unlawful possession of a weapon conviction and ten years for his employment of a firearm conviction, to be served consecutively to each other and consecutively to his life sentence, for a total effective sentence of life plus 20 years’ imprisonment. In this appeal as of right, Defendant contends: 1) that the trial court erred in denying his motion for mistrial; 2) that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on flight; and 3) that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Having reviewed the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. However, we remand this case to the trial court for entry of judgments in counts 2, 3, and 8, pursuant to State v. Berry, 503 S.W. 360 (Tenn. 2015), as well as entry of an amended judgment in count 6 to accurately reflect the offense for which Defendant was convicted. 

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Roger Clayton Davis
E2018-01518-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew M. Freiberg

The Appellant, Roger Clayton Davis, filed a pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, and the trial court summarily denied the motion. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court erroneously imposed consecutive sentencing and that the sentences imposed by the trial court are illegal because the trial court enhanced his sentences based upon facts not determined by a jury in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). Upon review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Daron Hall
E2018-00699-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

After a bifurcated jury trial, Defendant, Daron Hall, was found guilty of three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of aggravated assault, one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, and two counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Defendant received an effective sentence of twentyfive years. After the denial of a motion for new trial, Defendant appeals to this Court arguing: (1) that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on attempted voluntary manslaughter; (2) the trial court erred by admitting the 911 tapes into evidence; and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for attempted voluntary manslaughter. After a review, we determine the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the 911 tapes into evidence, and the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction for attempted voluntary manslaughter. However, we remand the matter to the trial court for correction of the judgment forms to reflect the sentences as imposed by the trial court at the sentencing hearing.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/19
State of Tennessee v. Kevin Todd Parton
E2018-01209-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

A jury convicted the Defendant, Kevin Todd Parton, of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more (“DUI per se”) and driving under the influence of an intoxicant (“DUI”). The trial court merged the convictions and sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days, with ten days to be served in confinement. The Defendant appeals, asserting that the trial court erred in denying a motion for a mistrial, that the trial court erred in admitting the results of the blood alcohol test, and that the arrest warrant was defective. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/08/19