Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/24/2019
Format: 07/24/2019
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
State of Tennessee v. David Mack Brewer
W2018-00241-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Charles C. McGinley

Defendant, David Mack Brewer, was indicted by the Hardin County Grand Jury with one count of DUI per se, one count of DUI, and one count of possession of a loaded handgun while under the influence of an intoxicant. Defendant filed a motion to suppress all “evidence, specifically including any alcohol test results, firearm, statements and field sobriety tasks results, acquired, observed and/or seized by any and all law enforcement officers, . . . by means of a warrantless entry, search, seizure and arrest of the Defendant’s person, breath, acts, conduct, statements and vehicle . . . on April 26, 2016.” An evidentiary hearing was held. The trial court narrowed the issues during the hearing to the sole issue of whether there was an unlawful warrantless arrest. The trial court determined that the warrantless arrest for the misdemeanor of DUI was unlawful and granted the motion to suppress on that basis. The State subsequently announced it could not prosecute without the evidence which had been suppressed and moved to dismiss the indictment as a result of the suppression ruling. The trial court dismissed the charges, and the State filed a timely notice of appeal of the trial court’s suppression of the evidence. After oral argument and the review of the record and the parties’ briefs, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, reinstate the indictment, and remand for further proceedings in the trial court.

Hardin County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/15/19
State of Tennessee v. Eric Dewayne Wallace
W2018-00171-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

The Defendant, Eric Dewayne Wallace, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s dismissal of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The State has filed a motion requesting that this court affirm the lower court’s denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Because the Defendant has failed to establish that his sentence is illegal, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken. Accordingly, we affirm the summary dismissal of the motion.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/15/19
Mike Settle v. State of Tennessee
W2018-01527-CCA-R3-ECN
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Kyle Atkins

The Petitioner, Mike Settle, appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his petition for writ of error coram nobis in which he challenged his 2001 guilty plea for especially aggravated kidnapping. Because coram nobis relief is not available to challenge guilty pleas, we affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/15/19
State of Tennessee v. Anterrio Chambers
W2018-01423-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.

The Defendant, Anterrio Chambers, was convicted of attempted first degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and employment of a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony. He received an effective thirty-one-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions, the trial court’s failure to charge misdemeanor reckless endangerment as a lesser-included offense of attempted first degree murder, and the trial court’s imposition of partial consecutive sentences. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/15/19
State of Tennessee v. Donte Lavon Green
W2018-00092-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge John Everett Williams
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

The Defendant, Donte Lavon Green, was charged with narcotics offenses after drugs were discovered during a “protective sweep” of his motel room and subsequently seized pursuant to a search warrant. The trial court denied the Defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence, and a jury convicted him of possession with intent to sell 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to sell 14.175 grams or more of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver 14.175 grams or more of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and the denial of his motion to suppress. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence is sufficient to support the convictions and that the Defendant is not entitled to the suppression of the evidence, which was seized pursuant to a search warrant not challenged on appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/15/19
Jerry Lewis Tuttle v. State of Tennessee
M2018-00768-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

The Petitioner, Jerry Lewis Tuttle, appeals the Maury County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his pro se petition for post-conviction relief as previously determined and/or failing to state a colorable claim. In this appeal, the State concedes, and we agree, that the Petitioner stated a colorable claim for relief. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand for appointment of counsel.

Maury County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Michael Scott Bickford
M2018-01837-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stella L. Hargrove

Defendant, Michael Scott Bickford, appeals from the trial court’s denial of his motion for correction of his sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. Because Defendant voluntarily pled above his range, his sentence is not illegal. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lawrence County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/12/19
State of Tennessee v. Marvin Green
E2018-00251-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge William K. Rogers

The Defendant, Marvin Green, pleaded guilty to three drug-related offenses in exchange for an effective sentence of fifteen years. The Defendant appealed but his direct appeal was dismissed for failure to file an appellate brief. See Marvin Green v. Jerry Lester, Warden, No. W2013-025250-CCA-R3-HC, 2014 WL 2941237, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, June 26, 2014) (citing Marvin Green v. State, No. E2008-00182-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App., at Knoxville, Aug. 29, 2008) (order)), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 19, 2014). After numerous unsuccessful post-conviction petitions, on December 18, 2017, the Defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, alleging that his plea agreement was not voluntarily entered. The trial court denied the motion for failure to state a cognizable claim. On appeal the Defendant maintains that his guilty plea was involuntary. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/11/19
LaGerald Johnson v. State of Tennessee
W2018-00744-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Glenn Ivy Wright

The Petitioner, LaGerald Johnson, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions of one count of aggravated assault, three counts of domestic assault, and one count of harassment and resulting effective six-year sentence. On appeal, he contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel, which resulted in his guilty pleas being involuntary. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
State of Tennessee v. Chew Cornelius Sawyer
W2018-01267-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Roy B. Morgan, Jr.

The Defendant, Chew Cornelius Sawyer, was convicted by a Madison County Circuit Court jury of aggravated assault, a Class C felony; attempted aggravated burglary, a Class D felony; and convicted felon in possession of a firearm, a Class C felony, and was sentenced to an effective term of five years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
State of Tennessee v. Michael Austin
W2017-02171-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Defendant, Michael Austin, was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court jury of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony; convicted felon in possession of a firearm, a Class C felony; and driving with a revoked, suspended or cancelled license, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to eight years for the aggravated robbery conviction, three years for the firearm conviction and six months for the driving conviction and ordered that the felony sentences be served consecutively to each other, for a total effective sentence of eleven years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting evidence for his felony convictions and argues that the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
Juan A. Hill v. State of Tennessee
E2018-00955-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Stacy L. Street

Petitioner, Juan A. Hill, appeals from the summary dismissal of his fourth petition for writ of habeas corpus relief. Petitioner was convicted in March, 1996, of one count of rape of a child. The trial court sentenced Defendant to 35 years in confinement. On appeal, Petitioner asserts that the judgment of conviction is void because he was convicted of a crime that was not in effect at the time of the offense. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

Johnson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
David Wi v. State of Tennessee
M2018-00671-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge William R. Goodman, III

Petitioner, David Wi, pled guilty to aggravated burglary, felony murder, attempted first degree felony murder, attempted first degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, and aggravated assault in exchange for a sentence of life plus twenty-five years. Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief and alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty pleas were not knowing and voluntary. The post-conviction court denied relief. After a review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court on the issues of ineffective assistance of counsel and the knowing and voluntary nature of Petitioner’s guilty plea. However, we must reverse Petitioner’s conviction for attempted first degree felony murder and dismiss Count Five of the indictment because Count Five of the indictment fails to state an offense.

Montgomery County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
State of Tennessee v. Malcolm Wade Frazier
M2017-02486-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry B. Stanley, Jr.

Defendant, Malcolm Wade Frazier, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing more than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver after the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress. Defendant received an eight-year sentence. Pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37, Defendant attempted to reserve two certified questions of law. Because the certified questions fail to identify the scope and limits of the legal issue reserved, we conclude that we are without jurisdiction to consider this appeal, and therefore it is dismissed.

Van Buren County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/10/19
State of Tennessee v. Darrell Adams
W2018-00543-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Glenn
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

The Appellant, Darrell Adams, is appealing the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The State has filed a motion asking this Court to affirm pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. Said motion is hereby granted.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Terrance L. Brown
W2018-00584-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Appellant, Terrance L. Brown, is appealing the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The State has filed a motion asking this Court to affirm pursuant Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Said motion is hereby granted.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Charles Burrow
W2018-00374-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Glenn Ivy Wright

A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Charles Burrow, of three counts of second degree murder, one count of first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder, one count of aggravated criminal trespass, and one count of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus six years. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions. The defendant also contends the jury’s verdicts are inconsistent and requests plain error review of improper statements by the prosecutor. After reviewing the record and considering the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. However, we remand the case for corrected judgment forms in Counts one, two, three, four, and five.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Aaron Long
W2018-01387-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge J. Weber McCraw

The defendant, Aaron Long, appeals the denial of his request for judicial diversion by the Fayette County Circuit Court. The defendant contends the trial court erred in denying his request for diversion by improperly relying on two previous misdemeanor convictions for which he served no jail time. After our review, we affirm the trial court’s denial and imposition of an effective three-year sentence of supervised probation. The judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Fayette County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Derrick K. Garrin
W2018-01186-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Mark Ward

The defendant, Derrick K. Garrin, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 motion to correct an illegal sentence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Dustin Herring
E2018-00972-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rex H. Ogle

The Defendant-Appellant, Dustin Herring, appeals from the order of the Sevier County Circuit Court revoking his probation and ordering him to serve the balance of his sentence in confinement. In this appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion in doing so because the new arrests supporting the violation of probation had been dismissed in general sessions court. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Sevier County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Eric Foster
E2018-01205-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven W. Sword

A Knox County jury convicted the Defendant, Eric Foster, as charged of one count of aggravated rape, two counts of rape, one count of statutory rape, and one count of exhibition of harmful material to a minor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-502, 39-13-503(a)(2), 39-13-503(a)(3), 39-13-506(b)(2), 39-17-911(a)(1). The trial court merged the two rape convictions with the aggravated rape conviction before sentencing the Defendant to an effective sentence of fifteen years. On appeal, the Defendant argues (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion in limine to exclude his oral and written statements to police, and (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Kristie Lea Crafton
M2018-00094-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Binkley

Kristie Lea Crafton, Defendant, was sentenced to drug court after she violated the terms of probation. After she was expelled from drug court, the trial court revoked her probation and ordered Defendant to serve her sentence in confinement. We affirm.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19
State of Tennessee v. Brandon Otis Johnson
M2018-01051-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

Defendant, Brandon Otis Johnson, appeals from the trial court’s revocation of his probation. Defendant argues that the trial court improperly relied on hearsay evidence without making the required findings of reliability and good cause justifying its admission over his objections. After a full review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 04/09/19