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State of Tennessee v. Jeffrey Michael Davis
E2021-01321-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Shayne Sexton

A Campbell County jury convicted the Defendant, Jeffrey Michael Davis, of one count of
attempted aggravated burglary and two counts of aggravated assault. The trial court
sentenced the Defendant to serve twelve years in the Tennessee Department of Correction.
On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court improperly allowed irrelevant
testimony; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for attempted
aggravated burglary and one count of aggravated assault; and (3) the trial court improperly
instructed the jury on the elements of aggravated assault. After review, we affirm the trial
court’s judgments.

Campbell Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Clara A.
E2022-00552-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Timothy E. Irwin

Mother appeals the trial court’s termination of her parental rights on the ground of severe
child abuse. Mother also appeals the trial court’s determination that termination of her
rights was in the best interest of the child. Concluding that clear and convincing evidence
was presented of both the ground for termination and that termination was in the child’s
best interest, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in all respects.

Court of Appeals

Jeffrey Robinson, Et Al. v. City of Clarksville, Tennessee
M2019-02053-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph P. Binkley, Jr

The owners of a restaurant in downtown Clarksville sued the City of Clarksville for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, interference with business relationship, diminution of value of land, and a takings claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the City’s failure to construct an alleyway on property Plaintiffs sold the City. Plaintiffs also filed a claim for inverse condemnation alleging that the City’s construction of a sewer line encroached on their land. The trial court dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract, interference with business relationship, diminution of value of land, and section 1983 claim for failure to state a claim under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) and dismissed Plaintiffs’ promissory estoppel claim on summary judgment. After a jury trial on the inverse condemnation claim, the jury awarded Plaintiffs $8,335 for the value of land on which the sewer was built, and the trial court awarded Plaintiffs $30,000 in attorneys’ and paralegals’ fees. Plaintiffs appeal each of the dismissals, the measure of damages from the jury trial, and the award of attorneys’ and paralegals’ fees, among other things. We affirm the decisions of the trial court and decline to award Plaintiffs their attorneys’ fees on appeal.

Montgomery Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. David Chad Moss
M2021-00043-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Following the trial court’s revocation of his probation, Defendant, David Chad Moss, appeals arguing that the trial court failed to award him jail credit while incarcerated in Kentucky for an unrelated offense.  Upon our review, we conclude that Defendant has failed to prepare a sufficient brief in compliance with Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27(a)(7) and Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 10(b).  Accordingly, the issue is waived and the appeal is dismissed.

Maury Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Isabella G.
M2022-00246-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Kristi M. Davis
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Taylor M. (“Mother”) and Caleb G. (“Father”) are the biological parents of Isabella G. (the “Child”). Mother and her current husband, David M. (“Stepfather”) petitioned the Chancery Court for Giles County (the “trial court”) for termination of Father’s parental rights in April of 2021, and for Stepfather to adopt the Child. As grounds for termination, Mother and Stepfather alleged abandonment by failure to visit, abandonment by failure to support, and failure to manifest an ability and willingness to personally assume legal and physical custody of the Child. Following a bench trial, the trial court concluded that Mother and Stepfather failed to prove any statutory grounds for termination of Father’s parental rights. The trial court then concluded, however, that termination would have been in the Child’s best interests. Mother and Stepfather appealed to this Court. Because clear and convincing evidence establishes multiple grounds for termination of Father’s parental rights, and because clear and convincing evidence establishes that termination is in the Child’s best interests, we reverse.

Giles Court of Appeals

Ugenio DeJesus Ruby-Ruiz v. State of Tennessee
M2022-00442-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The Petitioner, Ugenio Dejesus Ruby-Ruiz, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s
denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2013 convictions for nine counts
of rape of a child, two counts of rape, five counts of aggravated sexual battery, and three
counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and his 121-year sentence at 100% service. The
Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. We
affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Justine Welch
W2021-01233-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Justine Welch, of first degree premeditated
murder, attempted first degree murder resulting in serious bodily injury, attempted first
degree murder, vehicular homicide, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, and two counts of
employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The Defendant
received an effective sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole plus
sixty-two years. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that (1) the evidence is insufficient to
support his convictions for first degree premeditated murder and attempted first degree
murder; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress witnesses' out-of-court
and in-court identifications of him due to an impermissibly suggestive photographic lineup;
and (3) the trial court erred in declining to issue a special jury instruction on identification.
After review, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Yvette Adele Slee
M2022-00120-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

In April of 2013, Defendant, Yvette Adele Slee, was convicted of aggravated child abuse and attempted first degree murder for suffocating the victim, Defendant’s eight-month-old child. She was sentenced to an effective sentence of 22 years in incarceration. Subsequently, in May of 2018, the victim died as a result of complications from injuries originally sustained by the aggravated child abuse. Defendant was then indicted for first degree felony murder, the subject offense of this direct appeal. After a bench trial, Defendant was found guilty as indicted. Defendant’s sole issue on appeal is whether her conviction for first degree felony murder violates double jeopardy. After a review of the record, the briefs, and applicable authorities, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Montgomery Court of Criminal Appeals

Mark Stanton Jackson v. Bennett Jackson Burke
E2021-01484-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael E. Jene

This is an appeal from the entry of an order of protection for stalking. The respondent
asserts that he did not receive the statutorily required notice of hearing and that the evidence
did not support a finding of stalking. The trial court ruled in favor of the petitioner. We
affirm.

Court of Appeals

In Re Trenton B. Et Al.
M2022-00422-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Carma Dennis McGee
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Bussart

This appeal involves a petition to terminate parental rights. The juvenile court found by
clear and convincing evidence that three grounds for termination were proven against the
father: (1) abandonment by incarcerated parent for failure to visit; (2) substantial
noncompliance with a permanency plan; and (3) failure to manifest an ability and
willingness to assume custody. The juvenile court also found that termination was in the
best interests of the children. The father appeals. We affirm.

Marshall Court of Appeals

Ciera Besses v. James Killian
M2021-01121-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe Binkley, Jr.

This case arises out of a vehicular accident between Ciera Besses (“Plaintiff”) and James
Killian (“Defendant”). Plaintiff filed a complaint for damages, seeking compensation for
past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of
enjoyment of life. Defendant admitted fault but challenged the reasonableness and
necessity of certain medical, hospital, and doctor bills itemized by Plaintiff. Defendant also
contended that some of Plaintiff’s claimed injuries were not causally related to the accident.
The jury awarded $16,720 to Plaintiff in damages, which represented $12,720 for medical
expenses; $3,000 for past physical pain and mental suffering; $1,000 for past loss of
enjoyment of life, and $0.00 for future physical pain and suffering and future loss of
enjoyment of life. Plaintiff filed a motion for additur and/or new trial, which the trial court
denied. Plaintiff appeals, contending that the trial court erred by denying her motion for a
new trial. We have determined it did not. Thus, we affirm.

Davidson Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Spencer L. Phillips
M2021-01204-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

Spencer L. Phillips, Defendant, claims that the trial court abused its discretion by denying
probation or an alternative sentence and ordering him to serve his sentence in confinement.
Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Robertson Court of Criminal Appeals

Naconda Kathleen Webb v. William Danny Webb
W2021-01227-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Tony Childress

A husband and wife divorced after a short marriage. The trial court awarded a
disproportionate share of the marital property to the husband. The wife challenges the
court’s division and its denial of her request for attorney’s fees. Discerning no reversible
error, we affirm.

Dyer Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Darrin Jeremiah Baker
E2022-00385-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The Defendant, Darrin Jeremiah Baker, appeals from his guilty pleaded convictions for
possession with the intent to sell or deliver more than 0.5 gram of methamphetamine, a
Class B felony; attempted possession with the intent to sell or deliver less than fifteen
grams of heroin, a Class C felony; possession with the intent to sell or deliver less than
fifteen grams of fentanyl, a Class C felony; and driving under the influence, a Class A
misdemeanor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-17-417 (possession of heroin and fentanyl) (Supp.
2022), -17-434 (possession of methamphetamine) (2018), 55-10-401 (driving under the
influence) (2020), 39-12-101 (attempt) (2018). The Defendant pleaded guilty as a Range
I offender and agreed to an effective ten-year sentence. After a sentencing hearing, the
trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction.
On appeal, the Defendant contends that the court erred in denying alternative sentencing.
We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

John A. Gentry v. Speaker of the House
M2022-654-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Russell T. Perkins

Plaintiff sues to enforce his perceived right to address the House of Representatives. Finding that the case is identical to a prior case in that it involves a court of competent jurisdiction, the same parties as a previous case, a prior final decision on the merits, and the same parties and cause of action, the trial court applied the doctrine of res judicata and dismissed the case. We affirm.

Davidson Court of Appeals

In Re Genesis B.
E2022-00973-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Chief Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sharon M. Green

This appeal concerns the termination of a mother’s parental rights to her child. Jordan H.
(“Father”) and his wife Johnaysja S. (“Stepmother”) (“Petitioners,” collectively) filed a
petition in the Juvenile Court for Washington County (“the Juvenile Court”) seeking to
terminate the parental rights of Cynthia B. (“Mother”) to her minor son Genesis B. (“the
Child”). Mother has a history of criminal conduct involving the sale of illegal drugs. After
a hearing, the Juvenile Court entered an order terminating Mother’s parental rights to the
Child. The Juvenile Court found that the following grounds were proven against Mother
by clear and convincing evidence: abandonment by wanton disregard, persistent
conditions, and failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody. The
Juvenile Court found further, also by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of
Mother’s parental rights is in the Child’s best interest. Mother appeals, arguing in part that
despite her continued criminal conduct she has demonstrated a genuine desire to maintain
a relationship with the Child as evidenced by, for example, her filing a petition for visitation
and engaging in some visitation. We affirm the judgment of the Juvenile Court in its
entirety.

Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Shannon Leigh Smith
E2021-00821-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Shayne Sexton

The defendant, Shannon Leigh Smith, appeals her Union County Circuit Court jury
conviction of second degree murder, arguing that the State improperly withheld favorable
and material evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Because the
withheld evidence was not material to the outcome of the case, we affirm.

Union Court of Criminal Appeals

Nemon Winton v. State of Tennessee
M2021-01148-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Vanessa Jackson

Petitioner, Nemon Winton, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, in which he alleged several claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.  On appeal, he argues that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request specific jury instructions and for utilizing an improper trial strategy.  After thoroughly reviewing the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Coffee Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Ethan W. Et Al.
M2021-01116-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Hinson

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to three of her children. The
juvenile court concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence of five statutory
grounds for termination. The court also concluded that there was clear and convincing
evidence that termination was in the children’s best interest. On appeal, we determine that
some grounds do not support termination of parental rights. Still, clear and convincing
evidence supports at least one statutory ground for termination and the best interest
determination. So we affirm.

Perry Court of Appeals

Charles Claybrooks v. State of Tennessee
M2022-00579-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer Smith

Petitioner, Charles Claybrooks,1 appeals the dismissal of his 2021 petition seeking postconviction
relief from his 2010 convictions for one count aggravated robbery and two
counts of aggravated assault. Following a hearing, the post-conviction court concluded
that Petitioner “failed to demonstrate entitlement to the tolling of the statute of limitations”
and dismissed the Petition. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Alexander Carino v. State of Tennessee
M2022-01036-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Wayne Collins

Petitioner, Alexander Carino, appeals from the Trousdale County Circuit Court’s dismissal of his second petition for writ of habeas corpus.  He alleges that the habeas corpus court erred by summarily denying his petition without advising him of his right to counsel or  appointing counsel and that his judgments for second-degree murder are void because the affidavits of complaint were not “properly authenticated” because they did not contain a court seal.  Petitioner further alleges for the first time on appeal that the affidavits of complaint contain an insufficient factual basis to support a finding of probable cause.  Following our review of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court. 

Trousdale Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Emberley W. et al.
M2022-00157-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Judge Charles B. Tatum

Father appeals the termination of his parental rights on the grounds of persistent conditions
and failure to manifest an ability and willingness to personally assume custody of the child.
Father also appeals the trial court’s finding that termination of his parental rights was in
the best interest of the child. We affirm the trial court in all respects.

Wilson Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Isiah J. Primm
M2021-00976-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry J. Wallace

Defendant, Isiah J. Primm, was convicted after a jury trial of two counts of first degree felony murder; two counts of conspiracy to commit first degree murder, a Class A felony; and one count of conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter, a Class D felony; and sentenced to an effective life plus forty years in confinement. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the jury should have been instructed on self-defense, facilitation, and attempt as lesser-included offenses of first degree murder; (3) the jury should have been instructed on the State’s duty to gather and preserve evidence; (4) the State committed a Brady violation by waiting until the morning of trial to provide Defendant with a copy of Mr. Tidwell’s cell phone report; (5) the State knew or should have known that one of the victims introduced false testimony; (6) the trial court should have excluded evidence of drugs found in the apartment where Defendant was staying; (7) Defendant’s Fourteenth Amendment right was violated because the jury venire contained no African American jurors; and (8) the trial court erred by imposing partial consecutive sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court; however, because the trial court did not sign three of the judgments, we remand the case for entry of amended judgments.

Dickson Court of Criminal Appeals

Wayne Haddix d/b/a 385 Ventures v. Jayton Stinson, et al.
W2022-01813-COA-T10B-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor JoeDae L. Jenkins

This accelerated interlocutory appeal is taken from the trial court’s order denying
Appellant’s motion for recusal. Because there is no evidence of bias that would require
recusal under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B, we affirm the judgment of the trial
court.

Shelby Court of Appeals

Robert L. Trentham v. Mid-America Apartments, LP Et Al.
M2021-01511-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Binkley

This appeal concerns premises liability. The plaintiff slipped and fell on a pedestrian bridge on the defendants’ property. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The defendants appeal. We affirm.

Williamson Court of Appeals