State of Tennessee v. Vicky L. Smith
W2023-00416-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Tony Childress

The defendant, Vicky L. Smith, pled guilty to vehicular homicide by recklessness, and the
trial judge imposed a ten-year sentence of incarceration with the Tennessee Department of
Correction. On appeal, the defendant contends the trial court erred in denying her request
to serve her sentence on probation. After reviewing the record and considering the
applicable law, we affirm the sentence of the trial court.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals

Jessica M. Amarino v. Jarone Amarino
M2023-00340-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ben Dean

In this divorce case, Husband/Appellant appeals the trial court’s order: (1) awarding a Toyota 4-Runner to Wife/Appellee; (2) dividing the remaining debt on the vehicle between the parties; and (3) awarding Wife one-half of the attorney’s fees she incurred in the trial court. We reverse the trial court’s conclusion that the 4-Runner was Wife’s separate property and conclude that it was transmuted into marital property. We affirm the remainder of the trial court’s order. Wife’s request for appellate attorney’s fees is granted.

Montgomery Court of Appeals

First Community Bank, N.A. v. First Tennessee Bank, N.A., et al.
E2022-00954-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Jerome Melson

This is the third iteration of this action in this court concerning Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant for fraud, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and violation of the Tennessee Securities Act, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 48-1-101, et seq. The claims arose out of the purchase of asset-backed securities that were later deemed unmarketable, causing a significant financial loss to Plaintiff. This particular appeal concerns the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Defendant based upon the applicable statute of limitations. We now affirm.

Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. William Flynn
W2023-00184-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, William Flynn, of first degree
premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, and aggravated assault in concert. For
these convictions, the trial court imposed an effective life sentence. On appeal, the
Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and the jury instructions. After
review, we affirm the judgments.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Julie Danielson v. Kimberly Armstrong
M2022-01725-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Amanda J. McClendon

This appeal concerns the validity and enforceability of an oral loan agreement between former business partners. As discussed herein, we discern no error in the trial court’s enforcement of the parties’ agreement. As such, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Davidson Court of Appeals

Larry Johnson v. State of Tennessee
W2023-01056-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark L. Hayes

Petitioner, Larry Johnson, appeals from the Lake County Circuit Court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, in which he alleged that he received an illegal sentence. We conclude Petitioner has failed to timely appeal or to follow procedural requirements, and the interest of justice does not require waiver of the requirements. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.

Lake Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Charles Timothy Rowden
M2023-00262-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Christopher V. Sockwell

A Lawrence County jury convicted the Defendant, Charles Timothy Rowden, of first degree felony murder, second degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated arson. The trial court merged the two murder convictions and imposed an effective sentence of life without the possibility of parole. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that: (1) the trial court erred when it did not instruct the jury that the Defendant’s girlfriend was an accomplice as a matter of law; (2) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; and (3) his attorney was ineffective. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments and remand for entry of an additional judgment form.

Lawrence Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Keenan Murphy
W2022-01108-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle C. Atkins

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Keenan A. Murphy, of first degree murder and attempted first degree murder. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus twenty-six years. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the proof is insufficient to support the convictions because the State failed to prove premeditation. The Defendant also asserts that the trial court committed plain error by allowing the State to cross-examine the defense expert about a second shooting the Defendant committed nine days after the offenses in this case. On our review, we respectfully affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

Tinsley Properties, LLC et al. v. Grundy County, Tennessee
M2022-01562-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Melissa Thomas Willis

This case concerns the validity of a county resolution prohibiting quarries and rock crushers “within five thousand (5,000) feet of a residence, school, licensed daycare facility, park, recreation center, church, retail, commercial, professional or industrial establishment.” The plaintiff landowners argued that the county failed to comply with the requirements in Tennessee’s county zoning statute, Tennessee Code Annotated § 13-7-101 to -115. In the alternative, they argued that state law expressly preempted local regulation of quarries. However, the county argued that it was exercising its authority to protect its citizens’ health, safety, and welfare under the county powers statute, Tennessee Code Annotated § 5-1-118. The trial court granted summary judgment to the county on the ground that it had no comprehensive zoning plan. This appeal followed. We affirm.

Grundy Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. David Parr
M2022-00868-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David D. Wolfe

The defendant, David Parr, appeals the Stewart County Circuit Court’s imposition of a fully-incarcerative sentence for his guilty-pleaded convictions of possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl with intent to sell or deliver, asking this court to remand to the trial court for consideration of Community Corrections under Code section 40-36- 106(2)(c). Because the superseding indictments violated the principles of double jeopardy and because the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hold the plea submission hearing, the judgments entered on the superseding indictments are void, and we dismiss the appeal.

Stewart Court of Criminal Appeals

Russell W. Rivers Et Al v. Travis Brooks Et Al.
E2023-00506-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor John C. Rambo

This case concerns a “Declaration of Additional Restrictive Covenants” applicable to an unimproved tract in a residential subdivision. In relevant part, the Declaration provides that, if a construction agreement could not be reached, the buyer is required to either (1) obtain a waiver of the exclusive builder provision, or (2) re-convey the property to seller at the original purchase price, excluding fees and costs. Here, Appellant/seller and Appellees/buyers could not agree on the building costs. The trial court determined that Appellant breached the Declaration and waived the right to enforce it when he failed to grant Appellees’ request for waiver of the exclusive builder provision and also refused to re-purchase the lot. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Carter Court of Appeals

In Re Liam M.
E2023-00370-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Trial Court Judge: Judge Amanda Magan Worley

Mother and Father divorced and Mother was given custody of their child. Mother remarried and eventually she and Stepfather filed a petition to terminate Father’s rights and allow Stepfather to adopt the child. The trial court found that Father had not visited the child within four months of the filing of the petition and that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the best interest of the child. We affirm.

Cumberland Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Marcus Green
W2022-01514-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The Defendant, Marcus Green, was convicted in the Shelby County Criminal Court of first
degree premeditated murder, attempted first degree premeditated murder, employing a
firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon. After a sentencing hearing, he received a sentence of life plus one hundred
five years in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is
insufficient to support the convictions, that the trial court erred by refusing to bifurcate the
charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon from the remaining charges, and that
his effective sentence is excessive. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the
trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ginny Elizabeth Parker
M2022-00955-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael W. Binkley

The Defendant, Ginny Elizabeth Parker, was convicted following a bench trial of five counts of forgery, for which she received an effective six-year sentence to serve. On appeal, the Defendant argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support her forgery convictions, specifically regarding whether she acted without authorization; (2) the trial court shifted the burden of service of medical records pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 24-7-122(c) from the State to the Defendant; (3) the trial court erroneously admitted proof of a PayPal account that was linked to the victims’ bank account; (4) she is entitled to relief based on cumulative error; and (5) her sentence is grossly disproportionate to her offenses, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 16 of the Tennessee Constitution. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Williamson Court of Criminal Appeals

Matthew Adam Corenswet v. Samantha Marie Corenswet (Rain)
M2023-00642-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge Phillip Robinson

This is an appeal from two orders entered by the trial court in this post-divorce action. In
the first order, the trial court found the mother guilty on three counts of criminal contempt,
upon a petition filed by the father, for scheduling and taking the parties’ minor child to two
doctor’s appointments and a walk-in clinic in violation of the parties’ permanent parenting
plan. The parenting plan granted to the father exclusive decision-making authority over all
non-emergency medical decisions for the children. In the second order, the trial court sua
sponte modified the parties’ parenting plan, granting the father “tie-breaking authority” to
schedule non-school-related extracurricular activities during the mother’s co-parenting
time on the condition that if the mother did not agree to a particular activity, the father
would pay for and provide transportation to the activities. Neither party had filed a petition
seeking to modify the parenting plan. The mother appeals this modification on the grounds
that no material change in circumstance existed to justify modification of the parenting
plan and argues further that the modification was not in the best interest of the children
because it would likely create more disputes between the parties going forward. With
regard to the criminal contempt determinations, the mother argues on appeal that her
actions in scheduling the two doctor’s visits were not “willful” as required for a finding of
criminal contempt and that her action in taking the child to the walk-in clinic was
precipitated by a medical emergency, a situation over which the parenting plan did not
grant the father exclusive control. Upon thorough review, we discern no reversible error
in the trial court’s determination that the mother was guilty of three counts of criminal
contempt for violating the permanent parenting plan and accordingly affirm that order in
its entirety. Regarding the second order, we find as a threshold matter that the trial court
did not have subject matter jurisdiction to modify the parties’ parenting plan in the absence
of a petition to modify or motion for relief from judgment. Accordingly, we vacate the
trial court’s order modifying the parties’ permanent parenting plan.

Davidson Court of Appeals

Kristina Collins Ramsey v. Austin A. Ramsey
E2022-01295-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Telford E. Forgety, Jr.

The mother in this action filed for divorce and sought to relocate to North Carolina with the parties’ son. Following settlement of all issues aside from the matters of parenting time and child support, the trial court designated the mother primary residential parent and allowed her to move back to her home state. The father appealed. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sevier Court of Appeals

Eric Daniel Paschke v. Jessica Ruth Paschke
E2023-00239-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Jerri Bryant

Appellant filed this declaratory judgment action against his sister, seeking to enforce a contract concerning property owned by the siblings’ parents at their deaths. After a bench trial, the trial court found that the contract was unenforceable, as there was no meeting of the minds due to a mutual mistake of fact. The trial court further found that a conveyance of real property was barred by the statute of frauds. Because Appellant has failed to supply this Court with a transcript or statement of the evidence presented at trial, we must affirm the trial court’s finding that there was no meeting of the minds due to a mutual mistake.

Bradley Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Christopher Bolden
W2022-01127-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

A Shelby County jury convicted Defendant, Christopher Bolden, of especially aggravated
robbery, for which he received a sentence of twenty years’ incarceration. On appeal,
Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the
indictment for lack of a speedy trial; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion for
severance of his case from that of his co-defendant; (3) the trial court erred in “curtailing
[Defendant’s] questions in jury selection”; (4) the trial court erred in denying Defendant’s
request to cross-examine the victim about “potential bias” related to cases that the State
dismissed against the victim while Defendant awaited trial; (5) the trial court erred in
admitting Defendant’s prior conviction for robbery “without engaging in the required
analysis”; (6) the trial court erred in allowing the State to ask questions about “an irrelevant
and prejudicial rap music video”; (7) the trial court erred by refusing to fully bifurcate a
charged count of convicted felon in possession of a firearm from all other counts; and (8)
the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Following a thorough review, we
affirm Defendant’s judgment of conviction.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Jimmiko Driskell v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00273-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Jimmiko Driskell, appeals the denial of her petition for post-conviction
relief from her second degree murder conviction, arguing that she received ineffective
assistance of trial counsel and was denied due process of law because she lacked the
knowledge to enter a knowing, intelligent and voluntary guilty plea. Based on our review,
we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Audrey Korshoff, et al. v. Wesley Financial Group, LLC
M2022-00630-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey Usman
Trial Court Judge: Judge Deanna B. Johnson

An employer terminated an employee after she requested unpaid commissions pursuant to
her contract. The employee sued her former employer claiming breach of contract, unjust
enrichment, retaliatory discharge, and intentional misrepresentation. She also sought
punitive damages. The jury found in the employee’s favor on all claims and awarded
damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and retaliatory discharge as well as
awarding punitive damages. The former employer sought post-trial relief, arguing the
jury’s verdicts were inconsistent and that the jury’s punitive damages award was in error
and excessive. The trial court concluded the verdicts were consistent but did reduce, while
not eliminating, the punitive damages award. The former employer appeals, challenging
the compensatory and punitive damage awards. We affirm.

Williamson Court of Appeals

Omari Davis v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00048-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

The Petitioner, Omari Davis, pled guilty to possessing heroin with intent to sell or deliver. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Petitioner as a Range II, multiple offender to serve a term of eighteen years. Thereafter, the Petitioner sought post-conviction relief, alleging that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel when his trial counsel failed to seek a competency evaluation. At the hearing, the Petitioner also argued that trial counsel was ineffective when he failed to seek a continuance of the sentencing hearing. The post-conviction court denied relief as to the competency evaluation but did not address the continuance issue. On our review, we respectfully affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. David Wayne Eady
M2021-00388-SC-R11-CD
Authoring Judge: Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

This appeal presents two issues. First, we consider whether the District Attorney General’s
Office should have been disqualified from prosecuting this case because the District
Attorney General previously served as counsel for the accused in a separate case. Second,
we consider the propriety of conducting a single trial for multiple offenses under the theory
that the separate crimes were all parts of a larger, continuing plan. David Wayne Eady was
charged in one indictment with committing multiple robberies in Nashville over the course
of a month. Mr. Eady moved to disqualify the District Attorney General’s Office, primarily
because the District Attorney General had represented him in a criminal matter
approximately thirty years earlier. The prior matter resulted in a conviction that the State
sought to use in this case to qualify Mr. Eady as a repeat violent offender for sentencing
purposes. The trial court denied the motion to disqualify, noting the limited nature of the
District Attorney General’s involvement in this case and the “mandatory nature of the
repeat violent offender statute.” See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-120(g) (2019). Mr. Eady
also moved to sever the offenses, which the trial court denied upon finding that the crimes
were parts of a common scheme or plan and that the evidence of one offense would be
admissible in the trial of the others. See Tenn. R. Crim. P. 14(b)(1). Mr. Eady ultimately
was convicted as charged of eleven counts of aggravated robbery, two of which later were
merged, and one count of attempted aggravated robbery. Upon Mr. Eady’s appeal as of
right, a divided panel of the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. State v. Eady, No.
M2021-00388-CCA-R3-CD, 2022 WL 7835823, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 14, 2022),
perm. app. granted, (Tenn. Jan. 31, 2023). The intermediate appellate court was unanimous
in rejecting the challenge to prosecution of the case by the District Attorney General’s
Office. Id. at *34–35. After noting that there was “no real dispute between the parties that
[the District Attorney General] had an actual conflict of interest disqualifying him from
participating in [Mr. Eady’s] prosecution,” the court seemed to proceed on the assumption
that an actual conflict of interest existed but nevertheless held that this conflict did not
require disqualification of the entire office. Id. at *34. In addition, a majority of the court
upheld the denial of a severance. Id. at *28–30. One judge dissented, however, concluding
that the offenses should have been severed because the evidence did not reflect that the
offenses were parts of a larger, continuing plan. Id. at *38–42 (McMullen, J., dissenting
in part). We granted Mr. Eady’s appeal to address both issues. As for the motion to
disqualify, we agree with the State’s argument before this Court that the circumstances do
not establish an actual conflict of interest for the District Attorney General, and we
conclude that the trial court correctly denied the motion to disqualify the District Attorney
General’s Office. As for the motion to sever, we have determined that the record does not
establish that the offenses were parts of a larger, continuing plan. Thus, we conclude that
the trial court erred in denying a severance. However, we find the error harmless as to all
convictions except the one in count eight. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the
Court of Criminal Appeals in part, reverse it in part, and remand to the trial court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Davidson Supreme Court

State of Tennessee v. Ahmed G. Mohd Alkhatib
M2022-01325-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte D. Watkins

The Petitioner, Ahmed G. Mohd Alkhatib, appeals from the Davidson County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his motion to vacate his 2006 guilty-pleaded convictions for two counts of facilitation of the delivery of marijuana, for which he received an effective eleven-month, twenty-nine-day sentence.  The post-conviction court treated the motion as a petition for post-conviction relief.  On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the court erred by dismissing the petition after determining it was untimely.  We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Bobby Marable II
W2022-01591-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn L. Peeples

The Defendant, Bobby Marable II, was convicted by a Gibson County Circuit Court jury
of aggravated kidnapping involving bodily injury, a Class B felony, and aggravated assault
by strangulation, a Class C felony, for which he is serving an effective thirty-five year
sentence. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-304(a)(4) (2018) (aggravated kidnapping involving bodily
injury), 39-13-102(a)(1)(A)(iv) (Supp. 2015) (subsequently amended) (aggravated assault
involving strangulation or attempted strangulation), -(e)(1)(A)(ii) (classifying aggravated
assault involving strangulation as a Class C felony). On appeal, he contends that: (1) the
evidence is insufficient to support his aggravated kidnapping conviction, (2) the trial court
erred in its jury instructions on aggravated kidnapping, (3) the court erred in allowing the
State to impeach the Defendant with his prior convictions under Tennessee Rule of
Evidence 609, (4) he is entitled to relief due to the cumulative effect of the court’s errors,
and (5) the court erred in classifying him as a Range III, persistent offender for his
aggravated assault conviction. We affirm the Defendant’s convictions and the trial court’s
judgment for aggravated kidnapping, and we remand the case with instructions for the trial
court to correct the Defendant’s aggravated assault judgment to reflect a ten-year sentence
as a Range II, multiple offender.

Gibson Court of Criminal Appeals

William Heath v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00268-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

A Shelby County Jury convicted William Heath, Petitioner, of especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. On direct appeal, we affirmed the judgments of the trial court, and the Tennessee Supreme Court declined discretionary review. Petitioner then petitioned for post-conviction relief alleging trial counsel was ineffective. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and we affirmed the post-conviction court’s judgment. While Petitioner’s post-conviction petition was pending, he moved for DNA analysis and post-conviction relief. The post-conviction court denied the petition, and Petitioner now appeals. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals