State of Tennessee v. Darrius Levon Robinson
E2023-00391-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Boyd M. Patterson

The Defendant, Darrius Levon Robinson, appeals from his guilty-pleaded conviction for attempted second degree murder, a Class B felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-210 (2018)(second degree murder); 39-12-101 (2018) (criminal attempt). The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve the agreed upon eight-year, Range I sentence in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends the court erred by denying alternative sentencing and
abused its discretion by failing to consider appropriate sentencing factors. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hamilton Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Nevaeh K.
E2023-01106-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark Toohey

This is a termination of parental rights case. Both parents appeal the trial court’s determination of the existence of statutory grounds to terminate their rights, as well as its conclusion that termination is in their child’s best interests. The father also challenges whether the trial court erred in denying his motion for in-person attendance at trial. Upon our review of the record, we affirm.

Sullivan Court of Appeals

In Re Ember H. Et Al.
E2023-00687-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Timothy E. Irwin

This appeal concerns termination of parental rights. Maternal grandparents Chaunta C. (“Grandmother”) and Thomas C. (“Petitioners,” collectively) filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Knox County (“the Juvenile Court”) seeking to terminate the parental rights of Bethany U. (“Mother”) to her minor children Ember H. and Erowynn H. (“the Children,”collectively). After a hearing, the Juvenile Court entered an order terminating Mother’s parental rights on grounds of abandonment by failure to visit, abandonment by failure to support, failure to manifest, and persistent conditions. Mother appeals, arguing among other things that Petitioners prevented her from visiting the Children. We vacate the ground of persistent conditions. However, we find, as did the Juvenile Court, that the three other grounds were proven by clear and convincing evidence. We find further by clear and convincing evidence, as did the Juvenile Court, that termination of Mother’s parental rights is in the Children’s best interest. We thus affirm as modified, resulting in affirmance of the termination of Mother’s parental rights to the Children.

Knox Court of Appeals

Stoneybrooke Investors LLC v. Agness McCurry
E2024-00253-COA-T10B-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson
Trial Court Judge: Senior Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.

This matter involves an interlocutory appeal as of right, pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B, from the Washington County Circuit Court’s denial of a motion to recuse filed by the appellant. Having reviewed the petition for recusal appeal and other filings submitted by the appellant, we determine that the appellant failed to comply with the mandatory requirements of Rule 10B. We therefore affirm the trial court’s ruling.

Washington Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Bobby Neil Mathis, Jr.
W2022-01588-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

A Madison County jury found Defendant, Bobby Neil Mathis, Jr., guilty as charged of one count of rape of a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The trial court merged the two counts and sentenced Defendant to thirty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant argues he is entitled to a new trial because the State failed to elect offenses for the two counts presented to the jury, the trial court erred in failing to issue a modified unanimity instruction, and the evidence was insufficient to sustain the jury’s verdicts. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Rashard Fair
W2023-00234-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

The Defendant, Rashard Fair, pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court to voluntary
manslaughter and received a three-year sentence to be served as one year in confinement
followed by two years on probation. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court
erred by denying his requests for judicial diversion and full probation and that the trial
court should have disqualified itself because the trial court’s impartiality might reasonably
be questioned. Based upon the oral arguments, the record, and the parties’ briefs, we
conclude that the trial court erred by failing to address fully on the record its reasons for
denying judicial diversion and full probation. We also conclude that the trial court’s
statements during the sentencing hearing, particularly the trial court’s comments about
judicial diversion for the crime of voluntary manslaughter and the trial court’s decision to
increase the Defendant’s sentence of confinement in response to defense counsel’s request
for bond pending appeal, call into question the trial court’s impartiality in this case.
Accordingly, we reverse and vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for
a new sentencing hearing, at which another judge shall preside, to determine the length and
manner of service of the Defendant’s sentence.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v Gavin Quaedlieg
E2023-00542-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Steven W. Sword, Judge

A Knox County jury convicted the Defendant, Gavin Quaedvlieg, of rape. The Defendant appeals, contending that the prosecutor impermissibly commented upon his silence at trial during the State's rebuttal closing argument and that the trial court erred in denying his motion for new trial on this issue. The State argues that the Defendant has waived plenary review of this issue and that he is not entitled to plain error relief. In his reply brief, the Defendant counters that he has not waived plenary review and that, in any event, he is entitled to plain error relief. We conclude that the Defendant has waived plenary review and that he is not entitled to plain error relief. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. 

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Darunn Turner
W2022-01389-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

The Appellant appeals his convictions of voluntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment
with a deadly weapon, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon for which he
received an effective sentence of twenty-seven years’ confinement. On appeal, the
Appellant contends that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; and (2)
the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the maximum within-range sentences and
ordering that they be served consecutively. Though he also challenges the trial court’s
failure to include reckless homicide as a lesser included offense of first degree murder and
the allegedly inconsistent verdicts, he has waived these issues by failing to file a motion
for new trial. After review of the preserved issues, we affirm the judgments of the trial
court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Darunn Turner - Concur
W2022-01389-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

I agree with the majority that the trial court properly imposed maximum,
consecutive sentences. I write separately to explain why, in contrast to the analysis
undertaken in the lead opinion, my analysis does not deprive the trial court of the
presumption of reasonableness based upon the court’s having considered the facts of the
crimes and having observed that they demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence
that the Defendant’s culpability exceeded that required for the verdicts returned by the jury.
The majority characterizes the court’s comments as a “strong reliance on [the court’s]
personal disagreement with the jury’s verdict.”

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Antwain Tapaige Sales
M2023-00948-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

The pro se petitioner, Antwain Tapaige Sales, appeals the Bedford County Circuit Court’s order dismissing his Rule 36.1 motion to correct an illegal sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Bedford Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Chance B. et al.
M2023-00279-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey Usman
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ben Dean

Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights and the stepparent adoption of her two children by their stepmother. The trial court found three grounds for termination: abandonment by failure to visit, abandonment by failure to support, and failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody. The trial court also concluded that terminating Mother’s parental rights was in the children’s best interest. The termination was conjoined with a stepparent adoption, which the trial court granted. The Mother appeals. We affirm the judgment of the trial court terminating Mother’s parental rights and granting the stepparent adoption.

Montgomery Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Shaun Dewayne Patton
M2023-00778-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Bateman

The defendant, Shaun Dewayne Patton, appeals his Robertson County Circuit Court conviction of evading arrest, challenging the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Robertson Court of Criminal Appeals

Loren Probst Et Al. v. Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. Et Al.
M2022-01477-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor J. B. Cox

This appeal challenges the enforceability of a purported settlement agreement among homeowners, their insurance provider, and a service provider. The plaintiffs originally brought claims against their insurance provider and a service provider after efforts to repair water damage resulted in further damage to their home. The dispute progressed to settlement negotiations, and it seemed an agreement was reached; however, the plaintiffs stopped short of executing the written agreement. The defendants filed a joint motion to enforce the settlement agreement, which the plaintiffs opposed in the trial court, claiming that “counsel was not provided with express authorization to accept” the defendants’ counteroffer. The trial court deemed it a case of “buyers’ remorse” and granted the defendants’ motion to enforce the settlement agreement. On appeal, the plaintiffs raise the sole issue of whether a condition subsequent made the agreement unenforceable. Defendants contend that this issue was waived because it was not raised in the trial court. We have determined that the plaintiffs waived their only issue on appeal by failing to raise it in the trial court. We have also determined, as the defendants contend, that the trial court correctly ruled that the parties entered into an enforceable settlement agreement. Thus, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

Marshall Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Branden Eric Michael DeLong
W2023-01111-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle C. Atkins

The Defendant, Branden Eric Michael Delong, appeals the Chester County Circuit Court’s
ordering him to serve his ten-year sentence in confinement after revoking his probation,
arguing that the trial court should have elected to place him back on supervised probation.
Based on our review, we affirm the trial court’s revocation of the Defendant’s probation
but reverse the court’s placing his original ten-year sentence into effect and remand the
case to the trial court for findings related to the appropriate consequence for that revocation.

Chester Court of Criminal Appeals

Joseph Wilson v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00192-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle C. Atkins

The Petitioner, Joseph Wilson, was convicted in 2001 by a Madison County Circuit Court
jury of a number of offenses, including attempted second degree murder and three counts
of aggravated rape, based on his having raped and cut the throat of a woman during his
participation with accomplices in burglarizing her home. In February 2022, the Petitioner
filed a petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001, Tennessee
Code Annotated section 40-30-301, et. seq., for DNA analysis of the sexual assault kit, the
knife used to cut the victim’s throat, the clothing the victim was wearing at the time of the
assault, and assorted other items recovered from the bathroom where the sexual assault
occurred, asserting that “significant technological developments in forensic methodologies
over the last fifteen years [have occurred] that may now make it possible to conclusively
identify the true perpetrator[.]” Following a hearing, the post-conviction court denied the
petition, finding that the Petitioner had not shown there was a reasonable probability that
he would not have been prosecuted or convicted or that new DNA testing would resolve
an issue that had not been previously resolved. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that the
post-conviction court erred in finding that the Petitioner did not satisfy the requirements
for DNA analysis pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act. The State concedes
that DNA analysis of the sexual assault kit and the knife is warranted but argues that it is
not warranted for the other pieces of evidence. We agree with the State that DNA analysis
is warranted for the sexual assault kit and unwarranted for the items collected from the
bathroom and for the victim’s clothing that was not collected as part of the sexual assault
kit. However, we disagree that DNA analysis is warranted for the knife. Accordingly, we
reverse the denial of the request for DNA analysis of the sexual assault kit but affirm the
denial of the request for DNA analysis of the knife and additional items. Thus, we affirm
in part, reverse in part, and remand for entry of an order for DNA testing consistent with
this opinion.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

Baron Construction, LLC v. 4J Construction Company, Inc. et al.
M2022-00412-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Anne C. Martin

A general contractor sued two business entities and their sole owner for breach of contract. The defendants denied liability and filed a counter-complaint. Four years later, the contractor moved for sanctions under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 16.06. The trial court entered a default judgment against the defendants and dismissed their counterclaims with prejudice due to their repeated failure to comply with pretrial orders. The defendants moved to set aside the final judgment. The trial court granted the owner relief from the judgment. But it refused to set aside the judgment against his two companies. And it granted the contractor summary judgment against the owner on the remaining claims. We affirm.

Davidson Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Wayne Daryl Potee
M2023-00179-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Defendant, Wayne Daryl Potee, pleaded guilty in case numbers 2015-CR-185 and 2015- CR-186 to one count of selling 0.5 grams or more of methamphetamine in a Drug-Free School Zone (“DFSZ”) and one count of selling less than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine in a DFSZ. Defendant received an effective 15-year sentence to serve at 100 percent for his convictions. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for resentencing pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-432(h)(1), which the trial court denied following two evidentiary hearings. Defendant appealed the trial court’s decision. In his brief to this Court, Defendant acknowledges that he has no right of appeal under Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3, see State v. Bobo, 672 S.W.3d 299, 302 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2023). He nonetheless asserts that the trial court’s ruling was fundamentally illegal and asks this Court to grant a writ of certiorari. Following a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we deny Defendant’s request for a writ of certiorari and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lincoln Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ralph Lee Atkins, Jr.
E2023-00368-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

The Defendant, Ralph Lee Atkins, Jr., was convicted by a Knox County Criminal Court
jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2018). The
Defendant was sentenced to twenty-two years’ incarceration. On appeal, he contends that
the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial
court

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

Debbie Lynn Simmons, et al. v. Deborah Matlock Bass, et al.
M2023-00275-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Judge Suzanne Lockert-Mash

Appellees, a married couple at the time, purchased two properties. Appellants, Husband’s adult daughters from a previous relationship, sought imposition of resulting trusts on the respective properties. Appellants, each of whom lived in one of the properties, maintained that they had agreements with their father whereby they would own the properties so long as they paid all expenses thereon. Appellee/Wife disputed such arrangement and maintained that the disputed properties were marital properties. Because of the suspect circumstances surrounding the purchases of the properties and the disputed testimony regarding any agreements by and between Husband and Appellants, Wife argued that the properties were not subject to the imposition of the equitable remedy of resulting trusts. The trial court denied Appellants’ respective petitions to establish resulting trusts, and they appeal. Because Appellants failed to meet the burden of proof to establish resulting trusts, we affirm the trial court’s decision.

Houston Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. William Moquann Smith
M2023-00460-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

The Defendant, William Moquann Smith, was convicted by a Williamson County Circuit Court jury of two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and one count of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, for which he is serving an effective eleven-year sentence in confinement and three years of probation. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-403 (2018) (especially aggravated robbery), 39-14-103 (2018) (theft of property), 39-14-105(a)(4) (2018) (grading of theft). On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred in admitting a video recording and several photographs depicting him with a handgun. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Williamson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Eric Deshawn Webb
M2022-01235-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Christopher V. Sockwell

The defendant, Eric DeShawn Webb, appeals the Maury County Circuit Court’s partial denial of his motion to reduce his sentence filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35, and imposition of an effective 10-year sentence for his guilty-pleaded convictions of aggravated rioting and aggravated assault. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Maury Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Kevin Scott Pendleton
W2023-00697-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge A. Blake Neill

A Tipton County jury found the defendant, Kevin Scott Pendleton, guilty of possession of
a firearm by a convicted felon for which he received a sentence of ten years in confinement.
On appeal, the defendant contends that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to
support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the defendant’s conviction.

Tipton Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Chris M. Jones
W2023-00591-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The petitioner, Chris M. Jones, appeals from the summary dismissal of his petition filed
pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001, wherein he sought DNA
testing of evidence related to his convictions for second-degree murder and attempted
second-degree murder. After reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable
law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Jaquan Gathing v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00596-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The petitioner, Jaquan Gathing, appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition, arguing
the post-conviction court erred in finding he received the effective assistance of counsel.
After our review of the record, briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the denial of the
petition.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Robert Bevis, Jr. a/k/a Butch Bevis
W2022-01740-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark L. Hayes

A Dyer County Circuit Court jury convicted the Defendant, Robert Bevis, Jr., of two counts
of attempted first degree premeditated murder and one count of employing a firearm during
the commission of a dangerous felony, and the trial court imposed concurrent sentences of
thirty-five years at eighty-five percent for the attempted murder convictions and a
consecutive ten-year sentence at one hundred percent for the firearm conviction. On
appeal, the Defendant argues: (1) the trial court failed to declare a mistrial in response to
numerous outbursts by the victims’ families; (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his
convictions; (3) the trial court erred in overruling the defense’s objection when the
prosecutor misrepresented evidence during closing argument; and (4) the trial court erred
in failing to instruct the jury on voluntary intoxication and attempted first degree murder
without serious bodily injury. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but
remand the case for entry of a corrected judgment in Count 4 to reflect the accurate
conviction offense of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals