Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/05/2020
Format: 08/05/2020
State of Tennessee v. Jessica M. Thompson
W2019-01007-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore, Jr.

Defendant, Jessica M. Thompson, appeals from the trial court’s revocation of her probation. Upon our review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/03/20
State of Tennessee v. Harvey Lee Webster
M2019-02182-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Petitioner, Harvey Lee Webster, appeals the trial court’s summary dismissal of his motion filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. He alleges that his sentences are illegal because his concurrent sentences had to run consecutively because he was on probation at the time of the offenses. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/31/20
State of Tennessee v. Kenneth D. Rudd, Sr.
W2019-00692-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Weber McCraw

A Fayette County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Kenneth D. Rudd Sr., of rape and incest. The Appellant was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to a total effective sentence of seventeen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence sustaining his convictions and the length of the sentences imposed by the trial court. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Fayette County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/31/20
State of Tennessee v. Jonathan Montgomery
M2020-00026-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David M. Bragg

A Rutherford County jury convicted Defendant, Jonathan Montgomery, of driving under the influence (“DUI”) per se, DUI with blood alcohol content over .08 percent, DUI, sixth offense, and driving on a revoked license. The trial court sentenced Defendant to three years with a thirty percent release eligibility for DUI and to a concurrent sentence of six months for driving on a revoked license. On appeal, Defendant contends the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions. Following a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/31/20
State of Tennessee v. Jamie Thomas
W2019-00787-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Glenn Ivy Wright

Defendant, Jamie Thomas, appeals as of right from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his motion under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 as amended to correct illegal sentences. Defendant contends that the trial court erred by concluding that relief was not available because his illegal sentence as to Case Nos. 06-09288 and 06-08706 had expired and thus was not subject to correction under Rule 36.1. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court as to Case Nos. 06-09288 and 06-08706, but as to allegations that concurrent sentencing in Case Nos. 06-02344 and 06-04638, which the trial court did not address, the amended motion is remanded to the trial court for disposition.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Mary Ann Scates
W2019-01274-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

A Henderson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant-Appellant, Mary Ann Scates, with alternating counts of driving under the influence and driving under the influence (second offense) (counts 1 and 2); following another vehicle too closely and speeding (counts 3 and 4); reckless aggravated assault by use of an automobile as a deadly weapon causing Faith Coleman, Cassandra Coleman, and Alexandria Springer to fear and suffer bodily injury (counts 5, 6, and 7); and vehicular assault of Grace Coleman by reckless operation of an automobile as a result of intoxication (count 8). See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 55-10-401; 55-8-124; 55-8-152; 39-13-102; 39-13-106. The Defendant entered an open guilty plea to the offenses as charged, with the trial court to determine sentencing. After a hearing, the trial court imposed a four-year consecutive term of imprisonment for the reckless aggravated assault in count 5 and the vehicular assault by intoxication in count 8, for an effective sentence of eight years’ confinement. The remaining counts were to be served concurrently. The sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Henderson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
Roosevelt Bigbee, Jr. v. Jonathan Lebo, Warden
W2020-00510-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe H. Walker, III

The Petitioner, Roosevelt Bigbee, Jr., appeals the denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion asking this Court to affirm pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. Said motion is hereby granted.

Lauderdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Edward Powell
W2019-01191-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

The defendant, Edward Powell, appeals his Dyer County Circuit Court jury conviction of the sale of cocaine, challenging the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
Larry Donnell Golden, Jr. v. State of Tennessee
W2019-01531-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald E. Parish

Petitioner, Larry Donnell Golden, Jr., appeals from the denial of his petition for postconviction relief from his 2016 convictions for second degree murder and reckless endangerment. Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on direct appeal. Following our review of the record, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Carroll County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Ricky Lee Womac - concurring and dissenting
E2019-00643-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew M. Freiberg

I dissent from the majority’s conclusion that the evidence is sufficient to support the Defendant’s conviction in Count Two of attempted first degree murder of Deputy Presswood. In my view, the evidence does not show that the Defendant took a substantial step toward killing Deputy Presswood. See T.C.A. § 39-12-101(a)(3) (2018) (criminal attempt). Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence shows that while standing in a Walmart checkout aisle, the Defendant looked over his left shoulder and saw Deputies Presswood and Redrup, who were in uniform, approaching him. Deputy Redrup, who was wearing a body camera, stepped to the Defendant’s right side and advised him that he was being arrested, and Deputy Presswood stood behind the Defendant. After some discussion with Deputy Redrup about the Defendant’s desire to purchase a drink, the Defendant put money that was in his hand into his pocket, produced a loaded gun with his left hand, and pointed the gun at Deputy Redrup. By the time the Defendant pointed the gun at Deputy Redrup, the hammer was cocked, and the Defendant had his finger on the trigger. The struggle for the gun and to take the Defendant into custody ensued, during which Deputy Redrup forced the web of his left hand into the gun’s breach in order to thwart any attempt by the Defendant to pull the trigger and fire the gun. The gun’s hammer was released, catching and injuring Deputy Redrup’s hand but preventing the gun from discharging. During the struggle, Deputy Redrup was the first officer to engage with the Defendant, who had turned to his right toward Deputy Redrup during the initial struggle for the gun. Deputy Presswood first attempted to assist in restraining and disarming the Defendant while standing behind Deputy Redrup and later moved to the Defendant’s side. The Defendant fought against the deputies’ efforts to restrain him and held onto the gun while Deputy Redrup kept his hand in the gun’s breach until a third deputy, who was in civilian clothing, joined the struggle and struck the Defendant.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Ricky Lee Womac
E2019-00643CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew M. Freiberg

A McMinn County jury convicted the Defendant, Ricky Lee Womac, of two counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder and one count of reckless endangerment. In a separate proceeding, the Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. For these convictions, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to serve an effective sentence of eighty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions for attempted first degree premeditated murder and that his trial counsel was ineffective. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Kurk Mitchell Slater
M2019-01019-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Defendant, Kurk Mitchell Slater, was indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury on eight counts: Count 1, attempted aggravated kidnapping; Count 2, attempted rape; Count 3, aggravated assault; Count 4, assault; Count 5, aggravated burglary; Count 6, vandalism under $1000; Count 7, reckless endangerment; and Count 8, assault. Defendant pled guilty to Counts 1, 3, and 5. The remaining counts were nolled pursuant to the plea agreement. Defendant agreed that he would be sentenced as a Range I, standard offender, at a separate sentencing hearing. The trial court sentenced Defendant to five years for each count, with partial consecutive alignment, for a total effective sentence of ten years incarceration. Defendant timely appeals the consecutive sentencing and the trial court’s denial of alternative sentencing. After a review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
Jerome Perkins v. Tennessee Department of Correction, et al.
M2019-00959-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge John D. Wootten, Jr.

The Petitioner, Jerome Perkins, appeals the Trousdale County Circuit Court’s summary denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking relief from his conviction of possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver and resulting fifteen-year sentence. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/30/20
State of Tennessee v. Amanda Faye Layne
M2019-01180-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Graham

Defendant, Amanda Faye Layne, was convicted by a jury of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in limiting cross-examination of the arresting officer regarding a pretrial statement, that the State committed improper prosecutorial argument in closing argument, and cumulative error. After a thorough review of the record and applicable case law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Grundy County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Carroll Dean Yocum
M2019-01174-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Carroll Dean Yocum (“Defendant”) appeals the trial court’s full revocation of his probationary sentence and the imposition of his sentence in confinement. Defendant claims the trial court abused its discretion and argues his probation should be reinstated. Following a thorough review, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Mark Steven Treuchet
E2019-00663-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge. D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

The Defendant, Mark Steven Treuchet, was convicted after a jury trial of second degree murder, a Class A felony, and sentenced to seventeen years, six months’ incarceration. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-210. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the trial court erred by denying his motion to disqualify the district attorney’s office; (2) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; (3) the court erred by excluding police testimony regarding the victim’s state of mind; (4) the court erred by admitting a portion of the Defendant’s police statement referring to a prior bad act; and (5) the court erred by giving a jury instruction on transferred intent and by declining to give jury instructions on private arrest and defense of a business. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Yancey Lee Williams, II
M2019-00091-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David L. Allen

The Defendant, Yancey Lee Williams II, was convicted by a jury of first degree premeditated murder, for which he received a sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction, specifically, challenging the element of premeditation; (2) the trial court erred by finding that he was engaged in unlawful activity and thereby omitting the “no duty to retreat” language from the self-defense instruction; (3) the prosecutor made improper and inflammatory comments regarding religion and race during closing arguments; and (4) plain error occurred when the State failed to provide pretrial documentation of a witness’s statement to law enforcement despite an order being in place directing such disclosure. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Josiah Nixon
M2019-00912-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Suzanne M. Lockert-Mash

The Defendant, Josiah Nixon, was convicted by a Houston County Circuit Court jury of sale of methamphetamine, a Class C felony. See T.C.A. § 39-17-434 (2018). He received a sentence of six years’ confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence does not support his conviction, (2) the trial court erred in allowing a “still-frame” image from a video recording into evidence, and (3) the trial court erred by sentencing the Defendant to six years’ confinement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Houston County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Warren Smith
W2019-01882-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell

The Defendant, Warren Smith, was convicted by a jury of sexual battery, for which he received a three-year sentence as a Range II, multiple offender. On appeal, the Defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction because the victim’s testimony was incredible and the State failed to establish that the touching was intentional and committed for a sexual purpose. After review, we conclude that the trial court committed reversible error in constructively amending the indictment in its charge to the jury and that the Defendant’s conviction must be reversed and the case remanded for a new trial.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
State of Tennessee v. Joseph Jason Qualls
W2019-01083-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Weber McCraw

A McNairy County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Joseph Jason Qualls, of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of violating the sex offender registry, for which he received an effective sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment. On appeal, the sole issue presented for our review is whether the evidence is sufficient to support his conviction of aggravated sexual battery. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

McNairy County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
State of Tennessee v. Gary Campbell
W2019-00626-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Johnson Mitchell

The State appeals as of right from the trial court’s order dismissing the indictment against the Defendant, Gary Campbell. See Tenn. R. App. P. 3(c)(1); State v. Meeks, 262 S.W.3d 710, 721 (Tenn. 2008). Campbell was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1003. Campbell filed a motion to suppress, claiming that the search warrant affidavit failed to establish probable cause for the search of his residence. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the motion to suppress and dismissed Campbell’s indictment. On appeal, the State argues that the trial court erred in granting the suppression motion and in dismissing the indictment because (1) the affidavit in support of the search warrant for Campbell’s property was sufficient to establish probable cause and (2) exigent circumstances supported the search. After carefully reviewing the record and the applicable law, we reverse the order of the trial court granting the motion to suppress, vacate the order dismissing the indictment, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
State of Tennessee v. John Kelly Gross
M2019-01449-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Smith

John Kelly Gross, Defendant, was convicted following a bench trial of one count of aggravated burglary and one count of vandalism. As a result, Defendant was sentenced to an effective sentence of six years. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for aggravated burglary. After a review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
Demarkus Taylor v. State of Tennessee
M2019-02020-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

Petitioner, Demarkus Taylor, appeals from the post-conviction court’s summary dismissal of his post-conviction petition as untimely. After reviewing the record and applicable case law, the judgment of the post-conviction court is affirmed.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
State of Tennessee v. Jeremy Ward
M2019-00852-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn

A jury convicted the Defendant, Jeremy Ward, of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, employment of a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit aggravated burglary, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the evidence regarding identity was insufficient to support the conclusion that he was the culprit, that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the victim’s show-up identification, and that the trial court erred in denying relief when the State produced discovery mid-trial. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/20
State of Tennessee v. Jamarcus Miller
W2019-01701-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

Defendant, Jamarcus Miller, was indicted by a Shelby County grand jury for first-degree premeditated murder (Count 1) and
first-degree felony murder for a killing in the perpetration of attempted robbery (Count 2). A jury convicted Defendant of the
lesser-included offense of second-degree murder in Count 1, and convicted Defendant as charged in Count 2. On appeal, Defendant argues the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction in Count 2. Having reviewed the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/27/20