COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OPINIONS

State of Tennessee v. Wayne Daryl Potee
M2023-00179-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Defendant, Wayne Daryl Potee, pleaded guilty in case numbers 2015-CR-185 and 2015- CR-186 to one count of selling 0.5 grams or more of methamphetamine in a Drug-Free School Zone (“DFSZ”) and one count of selling less than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine in a DFSZ. Defendant received an effective 15-year sentence to serve at 100 percent for his convictions. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for resentencing pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-432(h)(1), which the trial court denied following two evidentiary hearings. Defendant appealed the trial court’s decision. In his brief to this Court, Defendant acknowledges that he has no right of appeal under Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 3, see State v. Bobo, 672 S.W.3d 299, 302 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2023). He nonetheless asserts that the trial court’s ruling was fundamentally illegal and asks this Court to grant a writ of certiorari. Following a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we deny Defendant’s request for a writ of certiorari and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Lincoln Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Robert Bevis, Jr. a/k/a Butch Bevis
W2022-01740-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Camille R. McMullen
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark L. Hayes

A Dyer County Circuit Court jury convicted the Defendant, Robert Bevis, Jr., of two counts
of attempted first degree premeditated murder and one count of employing a firearm during
the commission of a dangerous felony, and the trial court imposed concurrent sentences of
thirty-five years at eighty-five percent for the attempted murder convictions and a
consecutive ten-year sentence at one hundred percent for the firearm conviction. On
appeal, the Defendant argues: (1) the trial court failed to declare a mistrial in response to
numerous outbursts by the victims’ families; (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his
convictions; (3) the trial court erred in overruling the defense’s objection when the
prosecutor misrepresented evidence during closing argument; and (4) the trial court erred
in failing to instruct the jury on voluntary intoxication and attempted first degree murder
without serious bodily injury. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court but
remand the case for entry of a corrected judgment in Count 4 to reflect the accurate
conviction offense of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Frank James Hastings
M2023-00247-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Defendant, Frank James Hastings, appeals his effective sentence of twenty-two years related to three cases in which he entered open best interest pleas. On appeal, Defendant argues that his sentence is excessive and that the trial court erred by imposing partial consecutive service and denying alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Lincoln Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Travis Haynes
W2022-01573-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge James M. Lammey

A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Travis Haynes, of first-degree murder,
tampering with evidence, and convicted felon in possession of a firearm, for which he
received an effective sentence of life imprisonment plus twenty years. On appeal, the
defendant contends the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his
convictions for first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. The defendant also
argues the trial court erred in not allowing the introduction of autopsy photographs through
Ms. Dinkins, in failing to include an instruction on voluntary manslaughter, and in denying
the defendant’s motion to continue. After reviewing the record and considering the
applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Khalil Young
W2023-01139-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The defendant, Khalil Young, pleaded guilty to attempted carjacking and kidnapping, and
the trial court imposed an effective sentence of eight years’ incarceration in the Tennessee
Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant argues the trial court erred in denying
his request for diversion and alternative sentencing. After reviewing the record and
considering the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Tut Mayal Tut v. State of Tennessee
M2023-01069-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Cheryl A. Blackburn

The pro se petitioner, Tut Mayal Tut, appeals the summary dismissal of his second petition for post-conviction relief, which petition challenged his guilty-pleaded convictions of especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated rape, alleging that his guilty pleas were unknowing and involuntary. Discerning no error, we affirm the summary dismissal of the post-conviction petition.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ralph Lee Atkins, Jr.
E2023-00368-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge G. Scott Green

The Defendant, Ralph Lee Atkins, Jr., was convicted by a Knox County Criminal Court
jury of second degree murder, a Class A felony. See T.C.A. § 39-13-210 (2018). The
Defendant was sentenced to twenty-two years’ incarceration. On appeal, he contends that
the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial
court

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. William Moquann Smith
M2023-00460-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge James G. Martin, III

The Defendant, William Moquann Smith, was convicted by a Williamson County Circuit Court jury of two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony, and one count of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, for which he is serving an effective eleven-year sentence in confinement and three years of probation. See T.C.A. §§ 39-13-403 (2018) (especially aggravated robbery), 39-14-103 (2018) (theft of property), 39-14-105(a)(4) (2018) (grading of theft). On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred in admitting a video recording and several photographs depicting him with a handgun. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Williamson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Eric Deshawn Webb
M2022-01235-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Christopher V. Sockwell

The defendant, Eric DeShawn Webb, appeals the Maury County Circuit Court’s partial denial of his motion to reduce his sentence filed pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35, and imposition of an effective 10-year sentence for his guilty-pleaded convictions of aggravated rioting and aggravated assault. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Maury Court of Criminal Appeals

Jaquan Gathing v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00596-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

The petitioner, Jaquan Gathing, appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition, arguing
the post-conviction court erred in finding he received the effective assistance of counsel.
After our review of the record, briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the denial of the
petition.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Chris M. Jones
W2023-00591-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The petitioner, Chris M. Jones, appeals from the summary dismissal of his petition filed
pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001, wherein he sought DNA
testing of evidence related to his convictions for second-degree murder and attempted
second-degree murder. After reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable
law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Kevin Scott Pendleton
W2023-00697-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge A. Blake Neill

A Tipton County jury found the defendant, Kevin Scott Pendleton, guilty of possession of
a firearm by a convicted felon for which he received a sentence of ten years in confinement.
On appeal, the defendant contends that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to
support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the defendant’s conviction.

Tipton Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ralph Edward Overstreet, Jr.
M2023-00260-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brody N. Kane

The Smith County Grand Jury indicted Defendant, Ralph Edward Overstreet, Jr., for burglary, attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest. A jury convicted Defendant as charged, and the trial court merged the aggravated assault conviction into the attempted first degree murder conviction. Defendant argues on appeal that: (1) the prosecutor’s previous representation of Defendant created an actual conflict of interest that required disqualification and a new trial; (2) the State violated its discovery obligations by introducing evidence that the State allegedly did not disclose of a prior domestic incident between Defendant and his girlfriend; and (3) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for attempted first degree murder. Defendant does not challenge the sufficiency of any other conviction. After hearing oral arguments and reviewing the record, the parties’ briefs, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Smith Court of Criminal Appeals

Farris Lamont Kidd v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00601-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald H. Allen

Petitioner, Farris Lamont Kidd, pleaded guilty to five separate charges, and received an effective fourteen-year sentence. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, which the post-conviction court denied after a hearing. On appeal, Petitioner argues he received ineffective assistance of counsel. After review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Madison Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Justin Daniel Barker
W2022-01631-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald E. Parish

A Henry County jury found Defendant, Justin Daniel Barker, guilty of two counts of rape (under alternate theories) and one count of aggravated statutory rape. The trial court imposed an effective sentence of eight and a half years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant argues the trial court erred in admitting testimony related to Defendant’s pending criminal proceedings in another jurisdiction, and he contends the evidence was insufficient to sustain the jury’s verdicts. After review, we conclude the trial court erred in admitting evidence related to the pending criminal proceedings, but such error was harmless. We also conclude the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant’s convictions. Accordingly, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Henry Court of Criminal Appeals

Michael White v. Vincent Vantell, Warden
M2023-00967-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Wayne Collins

A Marshall County jury convicted the Petitioner, Michael White, of five counts of rape in 2005, and the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of fifty-five years. Thereafter, the Petitioner filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus. He alleged that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear his case because, among other things, the original affidavit of complaint was invalid and that his charges were not supported by probable cause. The habeas corpus court summarily denied the application, finding that the Petitioner failed to state a colorable claim for relief and that he failed to comply with the statutory requirements for requesting the writ. Upon our review, we respectfully affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

Trousdale Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Ruben D. Pimentel
M2023-00599-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Tom Greenholtz
Trial Court Judge: Judge Larry B. Stanley, Jr.

In 2005, the Defendant, Ruben D. Pimentel, pled guilty to the offense of first degree murder and accepted a negotiated sentence of imprisonment for life without possibility of parole. Thereafter, he filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. He alleged that his sentence was illegal because it violates Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-501(h)(2), as amended in 2020, which provides that a defendant may be released from a life sentence after sixty years. The trial court summarily denied the motion, finding that the Defendant’s sentence was not illegal. Upon our review, we respectfully disagree with the Defendant and affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Warren Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Karla Marie Clausell
E2022-01662-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Sandra Donaghy

Defendant, Karla Marie Clausell, appeals as of right from her conviction for first degree
premeditated murder, for which she is serving a life sentence. On appeal, Defendant
contends that the trial court erred by admitting evidence from Snapchat in violation of
Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(a) and by admitting Snapchat and Facebook messages in
violation of Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b). She also contends that the cumulative
effect of these errors entitles her to a new trial. After a thorough review of the evidence
and applicable case law, we affirm.

Bradley Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Michael M. Cook
W2022-01534-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paula L. Skahan

The defendant, Michael M. Cook, was convicted of one count of aggravated rape and two
counts of aggravated kidnapping for which he received an effective term of twenty-five
years’ incarceration. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) police contamination of the
condom that yielded the defendant’s DNA profile resulted in a fundamentally unfair trial
under State v. Ferguson, 2 S.W.3d 912 (Tenn. 1999); (2) the trial court erred in not
requiring chain of custody after the police mispackaged the condom in a way that degrades
DNA; (3) the identification of the defendant’s voice based on his testimony at the Momon
hearing resulted in a fundamentally unfair trial; (4) the prosecution commented on the
defendant’s silence by arguing the defendant’s rights prevented a non-suggestive voice
identification; (5) improper argument by the State throughout trial affected the verdict; (6)
the trial court failed to give a full and complete charge of the law by not instructing the
jury on identification and other instructions requested by the defendant; and (7) the
cumulative errors in the case warrant reversal. Following a thorough review of the record,
the briefs, and oral arguments of the parties, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Edward Parnell Porter v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00756-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Petitioner, Edward Parnell Porter, appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Following our review of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Marshall Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Misty Paul
W2023-00830-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joseph T. Howell

The defendant, Misty Paul, appeals the order of the trial court revoking her probation and
ordering her to serve her modified six-year sentence in confinement. Upon our review of
the record, the parties’ briefs, and oral arguments, we affirm the revocation and disposition
of the defendant’s probation, but remand for the sole determination by the trial court as to
whether to credit the defendant with time successfully spent in compliance with probation
pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-310(a).

Chester Court of Criminal Appeals

Troius Saville Russell v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00907-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Tony Childress

The petitioner, Torius Saville Russell, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief, arguing the post-conviction court erred in finding he received the effective assistance
of counsel at trial. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Brandon R. Richardson
M2022-01675-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Howard W. Wilson

Brandon R. Richardson, Defendant, was convicted by a jury of two counts of vehicular assault, one count of felony reckless endangerment, misdemeanor reckless endangerment, evading arrest, driving under the influence, driving without a license, and a violation of the open container law. In a motion for new trial, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in overruling his challenge to multiple members of the jury pool for cause. The trial court denied the motion for new trial. Defendant sought an untimely appeal; this Court waived the timeliness requirement. On appeal, Defendant challenges the trial court’s decision to deny Defendant’s challenge for cause to members of the jury pool. After a review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Rutherford Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Eric Tyre Patton
M2023-00801-CCA-WR-CO
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry R. Tidwell

Eric Tyre Patton, Defendant, was convicted of two Class A felony drug offenses committed within the 1000-foot prohibited zone of an elementary school and was sentenced to consecutive terms of twenty-five years at 100% service. Defendant filed a motion for resentencing pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-432(h). The trial court found that granting a shorter sentence was not in the interests of justice and denied the motion. Defendant filed a petition seeking certiorari and/or extraordinary review. This court denied extraordinary review but granted the petition seeking certiorari and ordered the record to be assembled and transmitted for this court to conduct a review of the trial court’s ruling. Following a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Rutherford Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Vicky L. Smith
W2023-00416-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Tony Childress

The defendant, Vicky L. Smith, pled guilty to vehicular homicide by recklessness, and the
trial judge imposed a ten-year sentence of incarceration with the Tennessee Department of
Correction. On appeal, the defendant contends the trial court erred in denying her request
to serve her sentence on probation. After reviewing the record and considering the
applicable law, we affirm the sentence of the trial court.

Dyer Court of Criminal Appeals