COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OPINIONS

State of Tennessee v. Alysha J. Barr
M2023-00581-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge James A. Turner

The Appellant, Alysha J. Barr, was convicted of vehicular assault, driving under the influence (“DUI”), and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.  On appeal, she argues that the trial court erred by denying her motion to suppress evidence resulting from a blood draw at the scene of the collision because: (1) it was obtained pursuant to an unconstitutional search; and (2) she did not sign the waiver form as statutorily required at the time of the offense.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-406 (2017) (amended 2019).  She also argues that the trial court erred by admitting expert testimony based on an untrustworthy experiment.  After review, we conclude that no reversible error occurred and affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Rutherford Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Christopher C. White
M2023-00964-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge David D. Wolfe

After a bench trial, Defendant, Christopher C. White, was found guilty of one count of theft valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000. The trial court imposed a four-year sentence, suspended to probation, and ordered Defendant to pay $10,228 in restitution. On appeal, Defendant argues (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s appeal; and (3) collateral estoppel required the trial court to dismiss the case. After review, we conclude the evidence is insufficient to support Defendant’s conviction for theft. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, vacate Defendant’s conviction, and dismiss the case.

Dickson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Tory Keith Mote
M2023-00959-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert T. Bateman

Tory Keith Mote, Defendant, appeals his convictions for aggravated assault, domestic
assault, and interference with a 911 call after a bench trial. On appeal, Defendant argues
that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for aggravated assault. Because
the evidence was sufficient, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Montgomery Court of Criminal Appeals

Charles Thomas Jonhson v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00049-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

The petitioner, Charles Thomas Johnson, appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition, arguing the post-conviction court erred in finding he received the effective assistance of counsel. Following a thorough review of the record, the briefs, and oral arguments of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Lincoln Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Tony Lamons Gooch, III, a.ka. Tony Lamons Gooch
M2022-01395-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, Tony Lamons Gooch, III, of two counts of aggravated robbery. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of twelve years in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant raises the following issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a judgment of acquittal; (2) whether the stop and seizure were adequately supported by probable cause or reasonable suspicion and whether the length of the stop exceeded the scope of the stop; (3) whether the preliminary hearing was improperly conducted; (4) whether trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance; (5) whether the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the City of Nashville are liable for implementing unconstitutional policies; and (6) whether the United States District Court committed plain error by holding that the Defendant’s federal false imprisonment claims were untimely. Upon our review, we hold that the evidence is legally sufficient to support his convictions. We also hold that we lack jurisdiction to entertain an original civil action or to review federal court proceedings. Finally, because the Defendant has waived plenary review of the remaining issues and has not requested plain error review, we respectfully affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Jeffrey Neal Olive v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00719-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

A Marshall County jury convicted the Petitioner, Jeffrey Neal Olive, of second degree murder, and he was sentenced to a term of twenty years. Thereafter, the Petitioner filed for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective and that he was denied his rights to a fair trial and due process of law. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the Petitioner appealed. On appeal, the Petitioner asserts that trial counsel was ineffective by (1) failing to thoroughly investigate the case and potential defenses; (2) failing to discuss with the Petitioner his right to testify and allow him to testify at trial; (3) failing to challenge various pieces of evidence; and (4) encouraging the jury to convict the Petitioner of the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter instead of the charged offense of second degree murder. The Petitioner also alleges that his rights to a fair trial and due process of law were violated in the taking of a pretrial statement and the faulty preservation of evidence. Finally, the Petitioner argues that the cumulative effect of the errors warrants post-conviction relief. Upon our review, we respectfully affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Marshall Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Gustavio Rousseau
M2023-01320-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

The Circuit Court for Montgomery County sentenced the Defendant, Gustavio Rousseau, as a Range I offender to twenty-four years at thirty percent in the Tennessee Department of Correction following his guilty-pleaded conviction for attempted first degree murder. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by sentencing him to one year less than the maximum sentence in the applicable range. The Defendant specifically argues that the trial court erred in applying the enhancement factor of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-114(2), finding that the Defendant was a leader in the commission of an offense involving two or more criminal actors. The Defendant also argues that the trial court erred in not giving due consideration to sentencing principles since the Defendant had accepted responsibility in entering an open plea and had no prior felonies. The State contends that the Defendant has failed to show that the trial court abused its discretion because the Defendant did not overcome the presumption of reasonableness accorded to the trial court’s sentencing decision. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Montgomery Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Richard Rand, Jr.
M2023-00845-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Bradley Sherman

The Defendant, Richard Rand, Jr., was convicted of the possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver. The trial court sentenced him to a term of four years on probation. Thereafter, the Defendant violated the terms of his probation by absconding from supervision. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked his suspended sentence in full and ordered the original sentence into execution. On appeal, the Defendant argues that his conduct amounted only to a technical failure to report rather than an absconsion. We respectfully disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sequatchie Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Camden A. Miller
M2023-01067-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

The Defendant, Camden A. Miller, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a victim under the age of thirteen and was sentenced to serve an effective sentence of twenty years. Thereafter, the Defendant filed a motion pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, seeking to have his aggregate sentence declared illegal because it contravenes his status as a Range I, standard offender. The trial court summarily dismissed the motion, and the Defendant appealed to this court. Upon our review, we respectfully affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Montgomery Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Mario Rogers
W2023-01310-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carolyn W. Blackett

Defendant, Mario Rogers, appeals his conviction for second degree murder, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the State failed to establish his identity as the perpetrator or that he acted with the requisite mental state. Upon review of the entire record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Vernice Darlene Farrar
M2023-01440-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge James A. Turner

A Rutherford County jury convicted the defendant, Vernice Darlene Farrar, of three counts of first-degree felony murder, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and three counts of fraudulent use of a debit card, for which she received an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus twenty-five years. On appeal, the defendant contends the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support her convictions for first-degree felony murder during the perpetration of a kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, and fraudulent use of a debit card. She also contends that the trial court erred in affirming her convictions as the thirteenth juror and that her sentence was excessive. After reviewing the record and considering the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Rutherford Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. James E. Johnson
M2023-01477-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Smith

The petitioner, James E. Johnson, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s summary dismissal of his pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Kireek Kaseem Steele
M2023-00695-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

A Montgomery County jury convicted the defendant, Kireek Kaseem Steele, of rape, sexual battery, rape of a child, and two counts of aggravated sexual battery for which he received an effective sentence of thirty years’ incarceration. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence on all five counts. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Montgomery Court of Criminal Appeals

Carlos Key v. State of Tennessee
W2023-01037-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Carlyn L. Addison

The Petitioner, Carlos Key, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his post-conviction petition, seeking relief from his convictions of first degree premeditated murder and two counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder and resulting effective sentence of life plus fifty years. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post conviction court erred by summarily dismissing his petition. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post conviction court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Gary Lee Emory v. State of Tennessee
E2023-01167-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The petitioner, Gary Lee Emory, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief, which petition challenged his multiple convictions of aggravated robbery, robbery,
aggravated burglary, and facilitation of aggravated burglary, alleging that he was deprived
of the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of postconviction
relief.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Demetrius A. Brooks
M2023-01135-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Smith

The defendant, Demetrius A. Brooks, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s order revoking his probation and ordering him to serve the balance of his eight-year sentence for his guilty-pleaded convictions of selling .5 grams or more of cocaine in confinement. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Brandon Marquell Brown v. State of Tennessee
M2023-01194-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert T. Bateman

The Petitioner, Brandon Marquell Brown, appeals the Robertson County Circuit Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, challenging his guilty-pleaded convictions for two counts of coercion of a witness and one count of aggravated assault. The Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in denying his petition for post-conviction relief. Specifically, the Petitioner alleges that (1) his guilty pleas were not knowing, intelligent, and voluntary and (2) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and prepare the Petitioner’s cases by interviewing pertinent witnesses and for failing to meet with the Petitioner and review discovery with him. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Robertson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Jarvis Miller
W2023-01128-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The Defendant, Jarvis Miller, appeals his twenty-five-year sentence at 100 percent in the Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”) for his second degree murder conviction. Specifically, he challenges the length and manner of his sentence as excessive because the trial court (1) failed to mitigate the Defendant’s sentence based on “mistakenly recollected” facts from trial; (2) misapplied and gave improper weight to two enhancement factors; and (3) failed to give meaningful consideration to imposing an alternative sentence. After review, we affirm.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Rickie Lumley
W2023-00622-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark L. Hayes

After a 2022 bench trial, the trial court convicted the Defendant, Rickie Lumley, of felony evading arrest, and subsequently sentenced him as a Career Offender to twelve years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his Class D felony conviction for felony evading arrest because his flight did not create a risk of death or injury to innocent bystanders or other third parties. He contends that his conviction should have only been for a Class E felony. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Willis Holloway
W2023-00787-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Willis Holloway, of two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and one count of aggravated burglary, and the trial court sentenced him to 135 years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. After an unsuccessful appeal, post-conviction filing, and extraordinary relief filing, in December 2022, the Defendant filed a Rule 36.1 motion challenging an unconstitutional jury instruction. He then filed a supplemental motion claiming “actual innocence.” The trial court denied his Rule 36.1 motion. The Defendant filed a motion to reconsider, which the trial court denied, and the Petitioner now appeals. The State asserts that, pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a), the appeal is untimely. After review, we dismiss the appeal as untimely.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Gardtrella Marie Day-Knowles
M2023-00644-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Smith

The Appellant, Gardtrella Marie Day-Knowles, was convicted by a Davidson County jury of neglect of an impaired adult, for which she received a sentence of seven years’ supervised probation. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-6-117 (2017) (amended 2019, repealed 2020). On appeal, the Appellant argues that the trial court erred by: (1) allowing witnesses to describe conditions of animal neglect in her home; (2) refusing to redact an unfairly prejudicial comment from the victim’s medical records; and (3) allowing a witness to testify about her memory of the contents of a report under the public records hearsay exception. After review, we conclude there was no reversible error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Andre Terry v. State of Tennessee
E2023-00684-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Hector Sanchez

Petitioner, Andre Terry, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition
for post-conviction relief. Petitioner asserts on appeal that the post-conviction court erred
in concluding that he received the effective assistance of trial counsel, specifically as it
related to his failure to procure a plea offer from the State. The State counters that the postconviction
court properly denied relief. We ordered supplemental briefing as to whether
the post-conviction court had jurisdiction to consider this petition. We hold that the postconviction
court did not have jurisdiction to consider the petition because the pro se postconviction
petition was deficient, and thus a nullity, and the amended petition was filed
outside of the statute of limitations. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the postconviction
court and dismiss the petition.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Valerie Ann Dollar
E2023-00531-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lisa N. Rice

The Defendant, Valerie Ann Dollar, was convicted by a Johnson County Criminal Court
jury of first degree felony murder in perpetration of kidnapping, especially aggravated
kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping. See T.C.A. §§
39-13-202 (2018) (subsequently amended) (first degree murder), 39-13-305 (2018)
(especially aggravated kidnapping), 39-12-103 (2018) (conspiracy). The trial court
imposed an effective life plus twenty-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends
(1) that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions and (2) that the trial court
erred by excluding evidence of the State’s pretrial offer to dismiss the murder charge. We
affirm the judgments of the criminal court.

Johnson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Renardo Dixon
W2023-00823-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

The Defendant, Renardo Dixon, pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court to aggravated assault and kidnapping, both Class C felonies, in exchange for concurrent sentences of eight years at 30% release eligibility, with the service left to the trial court’s determination. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, the trial court denied the Defendant’s request for probation and ordered that he serve his sentences in the Tennessee Department of Correction consecutively to his sentence in a prior case in which his probation had been violated. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred by denying his request for probation. Based on our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Keedrin Coppage
W2023-00205-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

Defendant, Keedrin Coppage, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of first degree premeditated murder and tampering with evidence. The trial court imposed a life sentence for count one, and a consecutive sentence of six years for count two. Defendant raises twelve issues on appeal: (1) sufficiency of the evidence to support his first degree premeditated murder conviction; (2) admission of the Defendant’s prior bad acts against the victim under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); (3) admission of the victim’s statements under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 804(b)(6); (4) denial of his motion for a continuance of the trial date; (5) denial of his motion to admit recordings and photographs; (6) exclusion of portions of body camera footage; (7) denial of Defendant’s motion for mistrial; (8) exclusion of the victim’s family’s civil law suit; (9) allowing the jury to use transcripts of audio recordings; (10) not allowing defense counsel to question an officer regarding explicit recordings sent to him by Defendant; (11) not allowing defense counsel to question whether Defendant was charged for the prior bad acts admitted under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); and (12) that he is entitled to relief under the cumulative error doctrine. After a thorough review of the entire record, the briefs, oral arguments of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals