Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 08/15/2018
Format: 08/15/2018
State of Tennessee v. Randy Sherrill
W2013-01306-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Lee Moore Jr.

A Lake County jury convicted the Defendant, Randy Sherrill, of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance in a drug-free zone. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to serve eight years as a multiple offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1) “Markham Park” is not listed as a “park” by the State of Tennessee, the City of Tiptonville, or the Federal Government; (2) the State committed a Brady violation by not informing defense counsel of its confidential informant’s drug use during the time period of his transactions with the Defendant; (3) the State failed to prove chain of custody; and (4) the trial court, Tiptonville Police Chief England, and the State, engaged in improper conversations with the jury after jury deliberations had begun. After a thorough review of the record and the applicable authorities, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/07/14
State of Tennessee v. Damien O. Armstrong
W2012-02531-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore

The defendant, Damien O. Armstrong, was convicted by a Dyer County Circuit Court jury of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony, and sentenced to eight years, with one year of confinement and the remainder on probation. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence found in his home because the search warrant was defective. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 02/12/14
State of Tennessee v. Archie Tyrone Wilson
W2012-02559-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore Jr.

Appellant, Archie Tyrone Wilson, was in custody in the State of Tennessee. In July 2012, the State of Florida submitted a request under the Interstate Compact on Detainers for custody of Appellant in connection with a charge of sexual battery. Appellant requested a hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court ordered his transfer to Florida for prosecution. On appeal, Appellant argues that the trial court erred. After a thorough review of the record on appeal, we conclude that the trial court did not err. Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s order of transfer.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/18/13
State of Tennessee v. Jodie Williams Henson
W2012-01489-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore Jr.

The Defendant-Appellant, Jodie Williams Henson, was indicted by a Lake County Grand Jury for vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Pursuant to her plea agreement, Henson entered an open guilty plea to vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, in exchange for a sentence of ten years as a Range I, standard offender, with the manner of service of the sentence to be determined by the trial court. See T.C.A. § 39-13-213(a)(2). The charge for leaving the scene of an accident was dismissed upon entry of Henson’s guilty plea. The trial court subsequently ordered Henson to serve her sentence of ten years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Henson argues that the trial court abused its discretion in denying her a probationary sentence. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/21/13
State of Tennessee v. Nathaniel Shelbourne
W2011-02372-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore Jr.

Nathaniel Shelbourne (“the Defendant”) was convicted by a jury of intentional or knowing aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to a term of eight years in the Tennessee Department of Correction, to be served consecutively to his prior sentence. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant claims that (1) the trial court erred in admitting photographs of the victim’s injuries; (2) the trial court erred in refusing to charge the jury on the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor reckless endangerment; (3) the evidence is not sufficient to support his conviction; and (4) his sentence is excessive. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we have determined that the Defendant is not entitled to relief on any of these issues. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/26/12
Eric Amos v. State of Tennessee
W2010-01377-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore Jr.

The petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that his sentences were illegal. The habeas corpus court denied the petition. The petitioner now appeals, challenging the habeas corpus court’s ruling and the constitutionality of the 2009 amendment to Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-21-101. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/23/11
State of Tennessee v. Bob J. Spivey and Misty Buckner
W2010-01853-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

The State appeals from the Dyer County Circuit Court’s dismissal of two indictments charging the Defendant-Appellees, Bob J. Spivey and Misty Buckner, with possession with intent to sell or deliver more than 0.5 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance, a Class B felony. Both defendants moved to suppress evidence obtained during a police search of the Buckner home. The trial court granted these motions upon finding that the search warrant inadequately described the property to be searched, and the charges against Spivey and Buckner were dismissed. In this appeal, the State claims that the trial court erred by granting the motions to suppress. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/19/11
State of Tennessee v. Mariet L. Patrick
W2010-02074-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Lee Moore, Jr.

Following a jury trial, the Defendant, Mariet L. Patrick, was convicted of evading arrest in a motor vehicle, a Class E felony, possession of .5 ounces or more of marijuana with intent to sell or deliver, a Class E felony, and possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-16-503, -17-417. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends that (1) the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence discovered during a traffic stop and (2) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/27/11
State of Tennessee v. Devon O’Neal Wiggins
W2009-02095-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

The Defendant-Appellant, Devon O’Neal Wiggins, was convicted by a Dyer County jury of sale of cocaine over 0.5 grams in a drug-free zone, a Class B felony. He was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to twenty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The trial court ordered that this sentence be served consecutive to a thirty-year sentence for case number 07-CR-461. On appeal, Wiggins claims: (1) the insufficiency of the evidence; (2) the jury  instructions should have included the offense of sale of a counterfeit controlled substance; (3) the trial court erred by denying his motion for a bifurcated trial; (4) the testimony of an expert witness violated his rights under the Confrontation Clause; (5) his sentence was excessive; (6) the trial court improperly commented on the evidence; (7) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during its closing argument; and (8) cumulative error. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/30/11
State of Tennessee v. Kenneth Clay
W2009-02314-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J.C. McLin
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore, Jr.

A jury convicted the defendant, Kenneth Clay, of two counts of facilitation of the sale of less than .5 gram of cocaine, Class D felonies. The trial court sentenced the defendant, as a career offender, to concurrent twelve-year sentences for each count. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of facilitation of the sale of a Schedule II narcotic less than .5 gram; (2) the court erred by admitting evidence of the defendant’s prior convictions for the sale of Schedule II narcotics; and (3) the statutes under which the court sentenced him are unconstitutional as applied to him. After reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/15/11
State of Tennessee v. Mark A. Owens
W2010-00314-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore, Jr.

The defendant, Mark A. Owens, was convicted by a Lake County jury of the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine, a Class C felony, and was sentenced by the trial court as a Range III, persistent offender to ten years in the Department of Correction. The sole issue he raises on appeal is whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/24/10
State of Tennessee v. Devon O'Neal Wiggins
W2008-01078-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Jdge Russell Lee Moore

The Defendant-Appellant, Devon O'Neal Wiggins, was convicted by a Dyer County jury of sale of cocaine over 0.5 grams, a Class B felony; possession of cocaine under 0.5 grams with intent to sell or deliver, a Class C felony; possession of marijuana under 0.5 ounce, a Class A misdemeanor; and evading arrest, a Class E felony. He was sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender, to thirty years for the sale of cocaine over 0.5 grams, fifteen years for the possession of cocaine under 0.5 grams, eleven months and twenty-nine days for the possession of marijuana, and six years for the evading arrest conviction. He was ordered to serve the above sentences concurrently to each other, but consecutively to another unrelated case. On appeal, Wiggins argues: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for sale and possession of cocaine; (2) the testimony of a State's expert witness concerning an exemplar graph violated his right of confrontation; (3) the trial court erred by not charging the jury on the offense of sale of a counterfeit controlled substance; (4) Wiggins' prosecution for possession of marijuana was not commenced within the one-year statute of limitations; (5) the trial court improperly commented upon the evidence; (6) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct in its closing argument; (7) the sentence imposed by the trial court for sale of cocaine was excessive; and (8) cumulative error necessitates reversal of Wiggins' convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/22/10
State of Tennessee v. Shawn Macklin
W2009-01777-CCA-R9-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Joseph M. Tipton
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore, Jr.

The Defendant, Shawn Macklin, is charged with sale of less than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class C felony. He sought pretrial diversion, and the prosecutor denied his request. Upon consideration of the Defendant's petition for writ of certiorari, the trial court found that the prosecutor did not abuse his discretion in denying pretrial diversion. We granted this interlocutory appeal to consider whether the trial court properly denied the writ of certiorari by finding that the prosecutor did not abuse his discretion. We hold that the trial court erred in finding that the prosecutor acted within his discretion. We reverse the order of the trial court and remand the case with instructions that the prosecutor shall reconsider the Defendant's application for pretrial diversion in light of only the relevant factors.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/27/10
State of Tennessee v. Randall Gene Reynolds a.k.a Randy Reynolds
W2008-01752-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Lee Moore, Jr.

The Appellant-Defendant, Randall Gene Reynolds, pled guilty in the Circuit Court of Lake County to flagrant nonsupport of a minor child, a Class E felony. He was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $13,440. Pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37, Reynolds reserved as a certified question of law the issue of whether the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss the indictment. Reynolds contends the order setting child support was invalid, and therefore his failure to comply with the order cannot form the basis of prosecution. Following our review of the record, we conclude that the certified question is not dispositive of this case, and thus we lack jurisdiction to review this appeal. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/14/10
State of Tennessee v. Devon Wiggins
W2007-01734-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Russell Lee Moore, Jr.

A Dyer County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant, Devon Wiggins, of two counts of selling one-half gram or more of cocaine within a drug-free school zone, and the trial court sentenced him to twenty-five years for each conviction to be served concurrently with each other but consecutively to prior sentences. The trial court also ordered the appellant to pay a five-thousand-dollar fine for each conviction. On appeal, the appellant contends that (1) Tennessee Code Annotated section 39- 17-432 (2005) violates due process and resulted in his receiving an excessive sentence; (2) the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions; (3) the trial court erred by denying his motion for a bifurcated trial; (4) the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the sale of a counterfeit substance; (5) the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury on facilitation as a lesser included offense; (6) the trial court erred by not recusing itself; (7) the prosecutor’s closing statement was improper; and (8) the cumulative effect of the errors warrants a reversal of his convictions. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/15/09
State of Tennessee v. Michael Dewayne Mann
W2007-00017-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge David G. Hayes
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

The Appellant, Michael D. Mann, appeals his misdemeanor conviction by a Dyer County jury for aggravated criminal trespass. Mann challenges the sufficiency of the evidence underlying this conviction. The State argues that Mann has waived his right to appeal this issue by failing to file a timely motion for new trial or notice of appeal. We agree, but, in the interest of justice, we waive the timeliness requirement for the notice of appeal. After review, we conclude that the evidence at trial was legally sufficient to support Mann’s conviction for aggravated criminal trespass.  Alternatively, the State appeals the trial court’s grant of Mann’s motion for judgment of acquittal as to a separate charge of simple assault. However, there is no authority which permits the State to appeal, as of right, from a trial court’s grant of a motion for judgment of acquittal when the grant is entered prior to a verdict of guilty. See Tenn. R. App. P. 3(c). Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed in all respects.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/18/08
State of Tennessee v. Willie Paul Watson
W2007-00209-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Lee Moore

The appellant, Willie Paul Watson, was convicted by a jury in the Dyer County Circuit Court of two counts of assault, and he received a total effective sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days, suspended after service of ninety days. On appeal, the appellant argues that the trial court should not have required him to serve ninety days of his sentence. Upon our review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/01/07
State of Tennessee v. Edgar White, Jr.
W2006-00655-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

The defendant, Edgar White, Jr., was convicted of driving under the influence (first offense) (DUI) and simple possession of marijuana, both Class A misdemeanors, and was sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days in jail for each, suspended to thirty days, to be served concurrently. On appeal, the defendant challenges both the sufficiency of the evidence that formed the basis of his convictions and the length of his sentence. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to sustain both convictions, and we affirm the convictions. We also affirm the sentence imposed by the trial  court.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/20/07
State of Tennessee v. Richard Barrom
W2005-01596-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Beasley, Jr.

Following a jury trial, the defendant, RichardBarrom,was convicted of assault by causing extremely offensive or provocative physical contact, a Class B misdemeanor. The trial court deferred sentencing, placed the defendant on diversion for eleven months, twenty-nine days, and ordered him to perform thirty hours of community service work and complete an anger management program.  On appeal, he argues that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in overruling his objection to hearsay testimony; (3) the trial court improperly removed a juror based on race; and (4) his conviction was barred by prior jeopardy. Additionally, the State argues that the trial court erred by granting judicial diversion. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/28/06
State of Tennessee v. Jerry Dale Tigner, Jr.
W2004-01935-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris B. Craft

The defendant, Jerry Dale Tigner, Jr., was indicted for second degree murder, a Class A felony, and was convicted by a jury as charged and sentenced as a Range I, violent offender to seventeen years in confinement. The defendant appeals his conviction and sentence, claiming that: (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction; (2) the sequential jury instructions on second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter are unconstitutional; (3) the trial court erred in sentencing by failing to consider all mitigating factors; and (4) the State committed Brady violations with regard to a witness.  Upon review, we find no reversible error and affirm the conviction and sentence.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 09/15/05
State of Tennessee v. Jeffery McCraney
W2003-00011-CCA-R9-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee Moore

This is an appeal by permission, pursuant to Rule 9 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Defendant, Jeffery McCraney, was indicted by the Dyer County Grand Jury for various narcotics charges arising out of the search of his motor vehicle. The trial court suppressed the evidence obtained as a result of that search, ruling that the search of the Defendant’s vehicle was unconstitutional. The State filed a motion for interlocutory appeal, which was granted by the trial court. We granted the State permission to appeal, and the State asserts that the trial court erred when it granted the Defendant’ s Motion to Suppress. We hold that the trial court did not err by granting the motion because the search of the Defendant’s vehicle violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 08/22/03
State of Tennessee v. John Edward Johnson, Jr.
W2000-01986-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Joe G. Riley
Trial Court Judge: Judge William B. Acree

The defendant pled guilty to felonious possession of a handgun for an agreed sentence of one year.  The parties reserved a certified question of law; namely, whether an individual, who was previously convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon but subsequently had his full citizenship rights restored pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-29-101--105, can lawfully possess a handgun. We conclude that a convicted felon, otherwise prohibited from possessing a handgun under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(b)(1)(A), may lawfully possess a handgun in his residence after his “full citizenship rights” have been restored.

Obion County Court of Criminal Appeals 03/22/01
State vs. Bohnenstiel
03C01-9801-CC-00035
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/28/99
State of Tennessee vs. Willie Demorris Locust
02C01-9611-CC-00392
Authoring Judge: Judge Curwood Witt
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe G. Riley. Jr.

The petitioner, Willie Demorris Locust, appeals the Dyer County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post conviction relief. Locust is incarcerated in the Department of Correction for his convictions of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated burglary, for which he received an effective ten year sentence that he is serving consecutively to a twenty year sentence for aggravated rape and aggravated burglary and an assault sentence of undisclosed length. See State v. Locust, 914 S.W.2d 554 (Tenn. Crim. App.) (aggravated sexual battery and aggravated burglary), perm. app. denied (Tenn. 1995); State v. Willie Demorris Locust, No. 02-C-01-9404-CC-00075 (Tenn. Crim. App., Jackson, Oct. 5, 1994) (aggravated rape and aggravated burglary), perm. app. denied (Tenn. 1995). In this appeal, he claims the lower court erred in denying him relief on three issues:

1. Whether the indictment is defective and his conviction of aggravated sexual battery is therefore void.
2. Whether the trial judge failed to instruct the jury on lesser included offenses, thereby depriving him of his constitutional right to a trial by jury.
3. Whether he was afforded the effective assistance of counsel at his trial and on direct appeal.
 

Following a review of the record, we affirm the lower court's dismissal of Locust's petition.
 

Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/04/97
State vs. Willie Locust
02C01-9512-CC-00356
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge:
Dyer County Court of Criminal Appeals 07/23/97