State of Tennessee v. William James Andrews
M2022-00812-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

Following a bench trial, the trial court found the Defendant, William James Andrews, guilty of two counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, two counts of vehicular homicide by recklessness, two counts of reckless aggravated assault resulting in death, and two counts of vehicular homicide with a prior DUI conviction. The trial court imposed an agreed-upon twenty-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence of drugs in his blood, contending that he did not give consent for a blood draw. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Williamson Court of Criminal Appeals

Charles Melton, Individually and as Personal Representative for the Estate of Betty Ruth Shaw Morgan v. Michael Melton
E2023-00649-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Richard B. Armstrong

This is an action against the former attorney-in-fact of the decedent for breach of fiduciary
duties and conversion. The trial court granted summary judgment against the attorney-infact
and awarded damages to the estate. The attorney-in-fact appeals, contending the trial
court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the matters at issue because the power
of attorney was based on Texas law and the actions alleged in the petition were performed
in Texas, where he was a resident; however, he does not challenge the court’s personal
jurisdiction over him. He also contends that summary judgment was inappropriate because
material facts were in dispute. Finding no error, we affirm.

Court of Appeals

In Re William W. Et Al.
E2023-00565-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey Usman
Trial Court Judge: Judge Caroline E. Knight

Mother and Father appeal the termination of their parental rights to their three children.
The trial court found, relying on the doctrine of res judicata, that the ground of severe child
abuse supported termination and concluded that termination of Mother’s and Father’s
parental rights is in the children’s best interests. Mother and Father challenge the trial
court’s determination that the best interest factors support termination. We affirm the
judgment of the trial court terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights.

Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Robert J. Whittenburg
E2022-01342-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Graham

A Franklin County jury1 convicted Robert J. Whittenburg, Defendant, of two counts of first degree premeditated murder. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed two consecutive life sentences. On appeal, Defendant argues: (1) the State did not present sufficient evidence of premeditation; (2) the trial court improperly denied Defendant’s request for a special jury instruction on premeditation; (3) the trial court improperly addressed concerns about irregularities during jury deliberations; and (4) the trial court impaired the jury when it briefly prohibited smoke breaks and then changed its mind. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but remand the case for resolution of procedural issues related to the change of venue and entry of revised judgments.

Court of Criminal Appeals

Ray L. Morehead v. State of Tennessee
W2022-01215-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The Petitioner, Ray L. Morehead, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel and that his guilty pleas were unknowing, unintelligent, and involuntary.  Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying the petition. 

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ambreia Washington
W2022-01201-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

The Defendant, Ambreia Washington, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court
jury of unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, a Class B felony; resisting
arrest, a Class B misdemeanor; and driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license
(second offense), a Class A misdemeanor, for which he received an effective fifteen-year
sentence. See T.C.A. §§ 39-17-1307 (2018) (subsequently amended) (unlawful
possession of weapon), 39-16-602 (2018) (resisting arrest), 55-50-504 (2020) (canceled,
suspended or revoked license). On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court
erred in denying his motion to suppress, failing to dismiss the indictment due to missing
evidence, admitting certain photographs into evidence at trial, and denying a motion for a
mistrial as a result of prosecutorial misconduct. The Defendant also contends that the
cumulative nature of the errors warrant relief. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Giorgio Jennings
W2022-01533-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Appellant, Giorgio Jennings, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of six counts of
aggravated rape, five counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault,
three counts of facilitation of aggravated assault, three counts of aggravated kidnapping,
aggravated burglary, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous
felony. The trial court sentenced the Appellant to an effective sentence of one hundred and
thirty-two years in confinement. In this appeal, he challenges: (1) the sufficiency of the
evidence supporting his convictions; and (2) the trial court’s imposition of partial
consecutive sentences. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Timothy Alan Stephenson
E2023-00241-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

Defendant, Timothy Alan Stephenson, was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury for
(1) possession of 0.5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver; (2) possession
of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony; (3) possession of a firearm after
having been convicted of a violent felony; and (4) possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon. He pled guilty to counts one and three of the indictment and agreed to concurrent
ten-year sentences with the trial court to determine the manner of service. Counts two and
four were dismissed pursuant to the agreement. The trial court sentenced Defendant to
serve the ten-year concurrent sentences in confinement. Defendant appeals, arguing that
the trial court abused its discretion in denying probation. Following our review of the
record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial
court but remand for entry of judgment forms for the counts dismissed pursuant to the plea
agreement.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Jerome Nchiyako Dooley, Alias
E2023-00881-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

Defendant, Jerome Nchiyako Dooley, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court’s partial
revocation of his probation. He argues on appeal that: (1) the trial court revoked
Defendant’s probation on grounds not alleged in the warrant, in violation of due process;
(2) the State failed to prove that Defendant violated the terms of his probation; and (3) the
trial court violated Defendant’s due process rights by failing to act as a neutral and detached
magistrate. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

Jetton Developments, LLC v. Estate of Dorothy Huddleston et al.
M2023-00026-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Louis W. Oliver

A limited liability company filed suit in relation to a piece of real property for which the company had executed an agreement to purchase. Although closing did not occur by the time stated in the executed agreement, the trial court ultimately held that the opposing side in this case was estopped from denying that the contract had been extended. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Sumner Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Cantrell Devon Hodges
W2023-00108-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle C. Atkins

The defendant, Cantrell Devon Hodges, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a
firearm after having been convicted of a felony drug offense, two counts of possession of
marijuana with intent to sell or deliver, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia
after the trial court denied his motion to suppress evidence recovered from his home. As
part of his plea agreement, he reserved a certified question of law for appeal, challenging
the denial of his motion to suppress. Because the certified question is not dispositive of the
case as required by Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(A), we dismiss the
appeal.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

Ida Steinberg v. Renea Steinberg ET AL.
W2022-01376-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Karen D. Webster

In denying appellees’ motion to remove an estate’s personal representative, the trial court
adopted appellees’ proposed findings of fact verbatim and proposed conclusions of law “to
the degree they [were] not in conflict with [the] court’s order.” The proposed findings and
conclusions were signed by the trial court judge and attached to the order. Because we
cannot ascertain whether the trial court’s order represents its independent judgment, we
vacate the order of the trial court and remand for the entry of an order that reflects that it is
the product of the trial court’s individualized decision-making and independent judgment.

Shelby Court of Appeals

In Re Estate of Martha Maxine Childress
E2022-00897-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Telford E. Forgety, Jr.

In this will contest initiated by four of the testator's grandchildren, the trial court determined that the execution of the testator's will met the statutory requirements for admitting the will to probate and, accordingly, dismissed the will contest. The grandchildren-contestants appealed. We affirm.

Blount Court of Appeals

Dariun Bailey v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00809-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell

A Shelby County jury convicted the Petitioner, Dariun Bailey, of second-degree murder,
aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment, and the trial court sentenced him to twentytwo
years of incarceration. State v. Bailey, No. W2015-00542-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL
3645141, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 29, 2016), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 20, 2016).
This Court affirmed his convictions on appeal. The Petitioner filed a timely petition for
post-conviction relief in which he alleged, as relevant to this appeal, that his trial counsel:
failed to adequately review and inspect discovery, coerced the Petitioner into testifying,
and failed to adequately meet with the Petitioner to review the evidence and prepare him
for trial. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition after a hearing. After review,
we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Lisa Sykes v. Paul Cox
M2022-00970-COA-R3-JV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Wayne C. Shelton

In this child custody case, the record transmitted on appeal creates significant doubt as to whether the trial court’s final order represents its own deliberations and decision. Due to this concern, and because the judge who previously presided over this case has since retired from the bench, we vacate the appealed judgment and remand for a new trial.

Montgomery Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Stasey Tyrome Gregory, Jr.
M2023-00166-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

In 2022, the Defendant, Stasey Tyrome Gregory, Jr., pleaded guilty to six counts of methamphetamine related charges, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of fifteen years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Lincoln Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Jaliyah S. et al.
M2023-00554-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Laurence M. McMillan, Jr.

This is a termination of parental rights case. Appellant/Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to the three minor children on the ground of severe child abuse and on the trial court’s finding that termination of her rights is in the children’s best interests. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Davidson Court of Appeals

Mark Ransom et al. v. Lakefront Estates Homeowners Association, Inc.
E2023-00805-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge John Harvey Cameron

In this real property dispute, the trial court rejected the plaintiffs’ assertions that they were
entitled to an easement over the land of the defendant. Among other things, the trial court held that an easement was not essential to the beneficial enjoyment of the plaintiffs’ land. Although the plaintiffs now appeal, we decline to address their arguments due to their noncompliance with applicable briefing requirements and therefore dismiss the appeal.

Rhea Court of Appeals

In Re Conservatorship of June Swinford Spear
E2023-00389-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jeffrey D. Rader

The notice of appeal filed by the Appellant, Myan Joy Spear, stated that the Appellant was appealing the judgment entered on February 15, 2023. As the orders appealed from do not constitute a final appealable judgment, this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Sevier Court of Appeals

Crystal Gregoire v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00715-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Parkes

The petitioner, Crystal Gregoire, appeals from the Circuit Court of Lawrence County’s dismissal of her petition for post-conviction relief. Following review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Lawrence Court of Appeals

Mary Bradley v. Catherine A. Pesce
W2023-00583-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Damita J. Dandridge

The plaintiff filed a complaint against two parties in general sessions court. One defendant
was served, but the other was not. Judgment was entered against the served defendant.
Seven months later, the claim against the unserved defendant was voluntarily dismissed.
The served defendant then appealed, but the circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely.
Because a final, appealable judgment in the general sessions court was not entered until
the claim against the unserved defendant was voluntarily dismissed, we conclude that the
served defendant’s appeal was timely. Reversed and remanded.

Shelby Court of Appeals

Willie Graves v. Irelia Calloway, et al.
W2022-01536-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Judge Felicia Corbin Johnson

This is a negligence and premises liability action. One of the defendants, Appellee property
owner, filed a motion for summary judgment three days after answering and before any
discovery was scheduled or conducted. Appellant filed motions for permission to amend
his complaint and for additional time to conduct discovery pursuant to Tennessee Rule of
Civil Procedure 56.07. The trial court denied Appellant’s motion for additional time,
reserved his motion to amend his complaint, and heard Appellee’s motion for summary
judgment. The trial court granted Appellee’s motion for summary judgment, dismissed
Appellant’s claims “with prejudice,” and explicitly reserved its judgment pending
adjudication of Appellant’s pending motion for permission to amend. The trial court
subsequently determined it did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate Appellant’s motion to
amend and instructed Appellant to file a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60 motion to
set aside the judgment. The trial court denied Appellant’s Rule 60 motion and motion to
amend and certified its order awarding summary judgment to Appellee as final pursuant to
Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 54.02. We vacate the award of summary judgment to
Appellee and remand for further proceedings.

Shelby Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Lemonderius Antwan Goodner
M2022-01361-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The defendant, Lemonderius Antwan Goodner, was convicted by a Davidson County Criminal Court jury of premeditated first-degree murder, felony murder, and attempted especially aggravated robbery, for which he received an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus ten years. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. After reviewing the record and considering the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Midfirst Bank v. Tamika L. Cole, et al.
W2023-00440-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Jim Kyle

Appellant appeals the dismissal of his claims related to foreclosed property, asserting that
he was the true, legal, and lawful owner of the property. Because of serious deficiencies in
Appellant’s brief, we conclude that Appellant has waived his issues on appeal. The trial
court’s judgment is therefore affirmed.

Shelby Court of Appeals

Kelly R. Harris v. Lonnie C. Harris
E2023-00061-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Senior Judge Thomas J. Wright

At issue in this appeal is the classification and division of marital property from a nearly
22-year marriage. The trial court divided the marital property 50/50. The husband appeals. We modify the trial court’s judgment to divide the marital property 75% to the husband and 25% to the wife. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed.

Knox Court of Appeals