Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend fatalities in Tennessee

According to preliminary reports, there were seven fatalities on Tennessee roads over the Thanksgiving Holiday weeked. There were 10 last year. The record was 34 set in 1966.

Three of the deceased were a mother and two children in Claiborne County killed on November 29th. None were wearing seat belts. Trooper Mabe worked the sad wreck. Let's keep this family and all victims in our prayers.
There was only one Appellate Court affirmation of a trial conviction Thanksgiving week. Kate Miller and Brian Holmgren of Nashville recieved the good news that the felony murder conviction in State v Espinosa Dorantes was affirmed. The Defendant will serve a life sentence.
The Court reversed the conviction for aggravated child abuse. The case can be read in it's entirety at:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Every Friday the Appellate Courts post new cases on the Tennessee Courts Web Site. Hard working, dedicated prosecutors find out if thier Trial Court conviction is affirmed. Every week I will post affirmed cases to honor the Assistant District Attorneys, who fought for justice and safety for thier communities in our courtrooms. These people are hero's and are due a little recognition!
Jury Trial Convictions Posted the Week of November 16, 2009
  1. Tyler Burchett, Lauderdale State v Samuel Aggravated Rape and Aggravated Kidnapping
  2. John Moore and Anthony Craighead, 13th District State v Grogger Two counts of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of first degree felony murder, one count of especially aggravated robbery, and two counts of abuse of a corpse
  3. Michael Randles Marshall County State v Garcia,
    First degree (premeditated) murder; first degree (felony) murder, burglary, attempted especially aggravated robbery, and theft of property,
  4. Deborah M. Housel and Jeff Burks, Davidson County, State v Atkins, First degree felony murder, criminally negligent homicide,and especially aggravated robbery, felony
  5. James Wax and Paul Hagerman, Shelby County, State v Garrett, Aggravated robbery, first degree felony murder; and especially aggravated robbery
  6. Lytle Anthony (Joe) James, Sumner County, State v Bell, selling more than .5 grams of cocaine
  7. Gene Perrin, Sullivan County, State v Bias, First Degree Murder

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

4th District Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Conviction

Kudos to the Prosecutors in Jimmy Dunn's office and to the Tennessee Highway Patrol for their efforts in the case of State v. Killen. The following article described what happened in Court Monday November 9th, 2009:

The following story is on WVLT, Knoxville today:

The Knoxville man who drunkenly crashed head-on into the car of a Strawberry Plains woman will spend the next two decades in prison.
According to District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn’s office, Roy Wayne Killion, 32 pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving on a revoked license on Monday, November 9th. . It was part of a plea deal which comes with a 20 year prison sentence.
The incident happened on November 9th, 2007. Killion driving down Old Dandridge Pike when he crossed the center line and slammed into Joan Marie Arrington’s car head-on. Arrington, who was on her way to work at a post office in Knoxville, died on the scene.
Killion’s license had been suspended for three years at the time of the crash. He had at least four felony D.U.I. charges on his record dating back the previous 11 years. His blood alcohol level was recorded at .17, which is more than double the legal limit.
Arrington, 40 left behind two children, a girl who is now 15 and a boy who is now 10.

Starting a blog

There are so many ways to communicate in 2009. Every day I recieve technical assistance questions about general information related to traffic safety issues. For instance, today one of our District Attorneys asked about whether an officer could make a DUI arrest, if the officer did not see the offender driving. I sent him cases as recent as State v Hanning from our Supreme Court issued last week and as old as State v Luke, 995 S.W. 2d 630 Tenn.Crim.App. 1998.
Then it dawned on me that if that D.A. needed this information in a hurry, so might another. So why not blog it?
We are working on a new web site, that will be available January 1st, 2010. I am also on FACEBOOK, available by phone and e-mail and always ready to help out a Prosecutor, Law Enforcement Officer, Lab technician, toxicologist or victim of the tragic crime which occurs when a DUI offender crashes and kills.
For now I am not publicizing this blog. I want first to see how to create, edit and make this work. If you have stumbled onto this site, I am open to suggestions! Tom