Tennessee Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments At Boys’ State May 24

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on May 24, 2023, before an accomplished group of Tennessee’s high school students at American Legion Boys State at Tennessee Technological University.  The event is part of the Court’s award-winning SCALES program, which stands for Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Student. The initiative is designed to educate students about the judicial branch of government.

The cases will be livestreamed to the Court’s YouTube channel, which can be found at: www.youtube.com/@TNCourts/featured

The Boys State delegates will observe oral arguments for the following two cases:

State of Tennessee v. David Wayne Eady – The defendant in this case was accused in a string of 12 robberies in Davidson County. At trial, he asked that the 12 offenses be severed into different trials. He also asked for the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office to be disqualified from his case because General Glen Funk had represented the defendant in a different case prior to being elected District Attorney.  A key question at trial was whether the defendant should be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole because of prior violent offenses. The trial court ruled the counts would not be severed and the entire DA’s office did not have a conflict that required disqualification.  After trial, the defendant was sentenced to life without parole. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed, with one judge filing a dissenting opinion on the issue of severing the offenses. The Supreme Court granted permission to appeal on the issues of severance and disqualification.

State of Tennessee v. Ebony Robinson – In August 2020, the defendant, while allegedly intoxicated and on her cell phone, backed up her car at a high rate of speed and hit two children that were on their bicycles.  One child died, and the other child suffered injuries.  The defendant expressed remorse and said that the death was an accident.  The defendant pleaded guilty to the crimes of vehicular homicide by intoxication, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and driving without a license.  The Davidson County trial court held a sentencing hearing, where the defendant was sentenced to 10 years for vehicular homicide by intoxication, with a part of the sentence being spent on probation. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of split confinement and ordered the defendant to serve the full 10-year sentence in jail. The Supreme Court granted permission to appeal to determine whether the trial court was allowed to sentence the defendant to probation for the offense of vehicular homicide by intoxication.

Media members planning to attend oral arguments should review Supreme Court Rule 30 and file any required request.