State Supreme Court Denies Appeals On Behalf Of Paul Dennis Reid

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that advocates for convicted serial killer Paul Dennis Reid may not continue appealing his convictions in state court against his wishes, despite claims he is not competent to abandon his appeals.

In 1997, Reid committed three armed robberies in Nashville and Clarksville during which he killed seven people. Reid received seven death sentences, after juries in Nashville and Clarksville convicted him of especially aggravated robbery and premeditated first degree murder.

In 2003, just before his first scheduled execution date, Reid filed a petition for post-conviction relief, seeking a new trial on three of his robbery and murder convictions. Later, he changed his mind about seeking relief and insisted that he had resigned himself to being executed and that he no longer desired to seek new trials. Despite Reid’s decision, his appointed attorneys and his sister filed petitions on his behalf in all of his cases. They asserted that Reid lacked the mental competency to abandon his post-conviction appeals.

The courts in Nashville and Clarksville conducted separate hearings in 2008. Both courts decided that Reid’s sister and his lawyers had failed to prove that Reid was not mentally competent to decide whether to pursue new trials. Thus, they dismissed the petitions seeking post-conviction relief that had been filed on Mr. Reid’s behalf by his sister and his lawyers. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed these decisions in 2011.

In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the trial courts and the Court of Criminal Appeals. Despite the evidence of Reid’s brain damage and mental health issues, the Court agreed with the lower courts that his sister and attorneys failed to present clear and convincing evidence that he is incompetent to make his own legal decisions. The Court’s opinion also clarifies the standards and procedures to be used to determine mental competency in post-conviction cases.

To read the opinion in Paul Dennis Reid v. State of Tennessee, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov


Todd Gaither Receives Certified Long-Term Care Designation

Todd Gaither, a financial advisor with Tandem Financial Partners, of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., has been awarded a professional designation in the field of long-term care, Certified in Long-Term Care. The program is independent of the insurance industry and is designed to provide financial service professionals with expertise and tools to address long-term care planning ... (click for more)

USDA RD Grant Assists With Two Utility Projects In Rhea County

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode announced Friday two Water and Environmental Program projects in Rhea County. Rural Development funds will be used to purchase a new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System and a de-gassing tower. “The purchase of the new equipment will enable the utility districts in Rhea County to better serve their customers,” Dir. ... (click for more)

Maryville Police Department's Kenny Moats Was The Officer Slain Thursday

Officer Kenny Moats of the Maryville Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday.  Officer Moats was with the department for over nine years and was currently serving as a drug enforcement agent. Assistant Commissioner David Purkey said, "It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences to the family and friends of ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abused By An EpiPen

It is a good guess that for about 30 years I have kept an EpiPen on the top of my refrigerator. I have never had to open the box, much less jab a dose of life-saving epinephrine into a person suffering from anaphylaxis. Whether it is a bee sting, peanut butter, shellfish or other allergies, I watched somebody come within inches of dying in my early 20s and swore I would have one ... (click for more)