Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/22/2019
Format: 07/22/2019
State of Tennessee v. Timothy Wayne Johnson
M2017-01672-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry B. Stanley, Jr.

Defendant, Timothy Wayne Johnson, appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his motion filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, in which Defendant alleged that his split confinement sentence was illegal because the judgment form designated his confinement in the Tennessee Department of Correction, rather than the local jail or workhouse. Having reviewed the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the trial court’s denial of the motion.

Warren County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/19
State of Tennessee v. Christopher Calvera
E2018-00982-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James L. Gass

The Defendant, Christopher Calvera, was indicted for retaliation for past action, a Class E felony; and assault, a Class A misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-101, -16-510. Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted of the retaliation for past action charge and acquitted of the assault charge. The trial court later imposed a four-year sentence for the retaliation conviction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; and (2) the trial court committed plain error in denying his motion for a mistrial alleging that the State committed prosecutorial misconduct during its closing argument. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/19
State of Tennessee v. Bobby Eugene Blaylock
M2017-02136-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge David D. Wolfe

Following a trial, a jury convicted Defendant, Bobby Eugene Blaylock, of kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, attempted rape, robbery, and theft valued at more than $1,000 but less than $2,500, for which the trial court imposed a total effective sentence of forty-four years’ incarceration. On appeal, Defendant asserts that the trial court erred by failing to find that the mitigating factor found in Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-304(b)(2) applied to Defendant’s case. The State cross-appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by finding that the State’s “Notice of Defendant’s Status as a Repeat Violent Offender” (the “State’s Notice”) was deficient and by failing to sentence Defendant as a repeat violent offender. Following a thorough review, we modify Defendant’s sentence for aggravated kidnapping to life without possibility of parole. We remand for the entry of an amended judgment sentencing Defendant, as a repeat violent offender, to life without possibility of parole in Count 2 and for the trial court to impose a sentence on the merged conviction of kidnapping in Count 1. In all other respects, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Cheatham County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/25/19
State of Tennessee v. Cholly Demarcus Harris
E2018-00534-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

The Knox County Criminal Court revoked the probationary sentences of the Appellant, Cholly Demarcus Harris, and ordered that he serve the balance of his effective elevenyear sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC). On appeal, the Appellant acknowledges that he violated his probation but contends that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering that he serve his sentences in confinement. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/19
State of Tennessee v. Amber Nicole Ray
E2018-00900-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stacy L. Street

The Defendant-Appellant, Amber Nicole Ray, appeals from her Carter County jury convictions of rape of a child and incest, for which she received an effective sentence of twenty-five years’ confinement. In this direct appeal, the Defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in ruling the minor victim’s out-of-court recorded statement was admissible hearsay at trial pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 24-7-123; (2) the trial court erred in allowing the State to cross-examine the Defendant regarding the conditions of her home; and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions. Upon our review, we affirm.

Carter County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/19
State of Tennessee v. Chimayne Lorreizn Talley
M2018-00304-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Monte Watkins

Defendant, Chimayne Lorreizn Talley, pled guilty to theft of property over $2,500, vandalism under $1,000, and possession of a theft tool. The trial court imposed a sentence of seven years for theft, and eleven months, twenty-nine days each for vandalism and possession of a theft tool. The vandalism and possession of a theft tool convictions were ordered to be served concurrently with each other and consecutively to the theft conviction for an effective sentence of seven years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion in setting the length of the sentences, by ordering his sentences to run consecutively, and by ordering his sentences to be served in confinement. Having reviewed the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/19
State of Tennessee v. Raffael Fansano
E2018-00664-CCA-R9-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge William K. Rogers

The Defendant, Raffael Fansano, was indicted for aggravated rape. The Defendant filed a motion to suppress his confession, arguing, among other things, that he did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights due to his intellectual disability. The trial court granted the Defendant’s motion to suppress, and the State sought and was granted an interlocutory appeal of the trial court’s decision. On appeal, the State contends that the Defendant was not in custody when he made the statement at the police department and, alternatively, that the trial court erred when it determined that the Defendant did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/24/19
Tommy Gayden v. State of Tennessee
W2018-00787-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Tommy Gayden, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction of second degree murder and resulting sentence of thirty years to be served at one hundred percent. On appeal, he contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/19
State of Tennessee v. Detrick Turner
W2018-00726-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The Defendant, Detrick Turner, was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to twenty-two years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that his sentence is excessive. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/19
Cordarius Maxwell v. State of Tennessee-Dissent
W2018-00318-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

I conclude that the post-conviction court properly dismissed the petition for failing to comply with the mandates of Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-30-104(d), (e) and Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 28 § 5(E)(2). Therefore, I respectfully dissent from the majority’s opinion reversing the post-conviction court’s dismissal of the petition.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/19
Cordarius Maxwell v. State of Tennessee
W2018-00318-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Petitioner, Cordarius Maxwell, appeals the post-conviction court’s summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief based upon the Petitioner’s failure to include a signed oath verifying his claims. We conclude that the post-conviction court erred in summarily dismissing the petition without first providing the Petitioner with an opportunity to correct the deficiency. Accordingly, we reverse the post-conviction court’s judgment and remand the case to allow the Petitioner the opportunity to correct the deficiency and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/23/19
State of Tennessee v. Jamichael Dewayne Keith
E2018-00851-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven W. Sword

On December 4, 2017, the Defendant, Jamichael Dewayne Keith, pleaded guilty to possession of more than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, with intent to sell, and attempted possession of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, with intent to sell. The trial court imposed concurrent sentences of eight years of incarceration for the methamphetamine charge and six years of incarceration for the heroin charge. The Defendant argues on appeal that the trial court erred in denying his request for probation. After thorough review, we affirm the sentencing decision of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/22/19
State of Tennessee v. Charles Montague
E2018-01549-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stacy L. Street

Defendant, Charles Montague, appeals the trial court’s summary denial of his motion to suspend the balance of his sentences. Because the trial court stated no basis for its denial of the motion, we review de novo. Nevertheless, Defendant’s motion is devoid of a basis for relief under Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-306(c), and the motion was filed approximately twenty-four years too late for consideration under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Washington County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/22/19
State of Tennessee v. Lindsey S. Seymour
M2018-01008-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge E. Shayne Sexton

Lindsey S. Seymour, Defendant, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated statutory rape, and her case was deferred pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-313. After successfully completing the terms of judicial diversion, Defendant moved to be discharged from probation and to have the indictments against her dismissed. On May 1, 2017, the trial court entered an Agreed Order that “discharged and dismissed” all indictments in Case Number 9614 “with prejudice.” Section 4 of the Agreed Order provided that “Defendant shall be removed from the sexual offender registry” (“SOR”). Approximately two and a half months after the agreed order was entered, the trial court, in error, allowed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (“TBI”) to intervene, and the trial court vacated Section 4. At the time the motion to intervene was filed, the order dismissing all charges against Defendant with prejudice was final, and there was no pending action in which the TBI could intervene. Additionally, the trial court had neither subject matter jurisdiction over Defendant’s criminal case nor personal jurisdiction over Defendant at that time. Therefore, there is no criminal case for this court to review, and Defendant does not have an appeal as of right under Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(b). We therefore dismiss the appeal.

Fentress County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/22/19
State of Tennessee v. Robert (Bob) George Keast
W2018-00559-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge C. Creed McGinley

The Defendant, Robert (Bob) George Keast, was convicted by a Benton County Circuit Court jury of domestic assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to eleven months and twenty-nine days, suspended to supervised probation after service of thirty days. On appeal, he argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the trial court erred in excluding proof of the victim’s prior arrest. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Benton County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/18/19
State of Tennessee v. Antonio Henderson
W2018-00669-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

The Defendant, Antonio Henderson, was convicted of especially aggravated robbery, attempted second degree murder, two counts of attempted aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and employing a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony. The trial court imposed partial consecutive sentences for an effective sentence of forty-one years. This court previously affirmed the Defendant’s convictions but remanded the case to the trial court because the trial court failed to make findings specifying the basis upon which it relied in imposing partial consecutive sentences. On remand, the trial court issued an order articulating its reasoning for imposing consecutive sentences. The Defendant now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to grant him a new evidentiary hearing and in imposing consecutive sentences. Upon review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/18/19
State of Tennessee v. Markeith Chapale Pulliam
E2018-00434-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry A. Steelman

The Defendant, Markeith Chapale Pulliam, appeals the trial court’s revocation of his community corrections sentence, arguing that the court abused its discretion both in revoking his community corrections and ordering him to serve the balance of his sentence in the Department of Correction. After thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
James Dellinger v. State of Tennessee
E2018-00135-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge David Reed Duggan

Petitioner, James Dellinger, appeals the trial court’s summary dismissal of his petition seeking to invalidate the sentence of death imposed for his conviction of first degree murder. The petition sought error coram nobis relief pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-26-105, asserted that his sentence of death is an illegal sentence to be corrected pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, and that he is entitled to relief by “any other remedy that at common law exists.” After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Blount County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
State of Tennessee v. Ladarius Lockhart
W2018-00051-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Defendant, Ladarius Lockhart, was convicted of two counts of rape. The trial court merged the convictions and imposed a nine-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the convictions and that the prosecutor made improper statements during closing arguments. Upon reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
State of Tennessee v. Krystal Gail Jenkins
E2018-01335-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew M. Freiberg

The Defendant, Krystal Gail Jenkins, appeals the trial court’s revocation of her probation, arguing that the court abused its discretion in not considering all alternative sentences to incarceration and ordering her to serve the balance of her original sentence in the Department of Correction. After thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
State of Tennessee v. Shane Todd
W2018-00215-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples

After a consolidated jury trial, the defendant, Shane Todd, was convicted of three counts of rape of a child and two counts of solicitation of a minor in case numbers 19425 and 19450. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-522, -528. On appeal, the defendant argues the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial, claiming the jury was exposed to improper outside influence. The defendant also contends the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and the trial court’s sentencing determinations resulted in an excessive forty-year sentence. Upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but note, in sentencing the defendant in case number 19450, the trial court interchanged the sentence terms on the judgment forms for counts one and two as ordered at the sentencing hearing. Therefore, we remand the case to the trial court for the entry of amended judgment forms as to counts one and two in case number 19450.

Gibson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
Thomas N. Allen v. Shawn Phillips, Warden
W2018-01736-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge R. Lee Moore, Jr.

The pro se petitioner, Thomas N. Allen, appeals the denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus by the Lake County Circuit Court, arguing the trial court erred in summarily dismissing the petition. The petitioner asserts his indictment was defective for failing to cite the correct statutory provision, the trial court erred by giving erroneous jury instructions, and the indictment was illegally amended during trial, entitling the petitioner to habeas corpus relief. Following our review, we affirm the habeas court’s dismissal of the petition as the petitioner has failed to show he is entitled to relief.

Lake County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
Christopher Lee Shaw v. State of Tennessee
M2017-02379-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Christopher Lee Shaw, Petitioner, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction and error coram nobis relief from his convictions of possession of more than twenty-six grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver within a drug-free zone, evading arrest while operating a motor vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia, for which he received an effective sentence of fifteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Petitioner contends that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel failed to: (1) adequately investigate Adrian Wilkerson; (2) obtain funds to retain a fact investigator to investigate Mr. Wilkerson and an expert witness in undercover narcotics investigations; (3) inform Petitioner that two additional witnesses made out-of-court identifications of Petitioner driving the white Nissan SUV; (4) file a pretrial motion to suppress a suggestive single photographic identification and tainted in-court identification; and (5) ensure a unanimous jury verdict for Petitioner’s conviction in Count 1 of the
indictment—possession of more than twenty-six grams of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver within a drug-free zone—by filing a motion for bill of particulars, requesting an election of offenses, and challenging the jury instruction to raise an issue of a unanimous verdict. Petitioner further asserts that the trial court improperly determined that the petition for writ of error coram nobis was time-barred, asserting that he was entitled to due process tolling of the statute of limitations. Following a thorough review, we affirm the trial court’s denial of post-conviction and error coram nobis relief.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/17/19
State of Tennessee v. Granvil Johnson
M2018-01257-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl Blackburn

A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant, Granvil Johnson, of evading arrest, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion when it sentenced him and that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at his sentencing hearing. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/16/19
Ralph Ray v. State of Tennessee
E2018-01044-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

The Petitioner, Ralph Ray, appeals the Bradley County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2016 conviction for second degree murder and his twenty-five-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Bradley County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/16/19