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


Supreme Court Upholds Rape Of A Child Conviction

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Memphis man for rape of a child, ruling that a prosecution error in the trial did not deprive the defendant of his constitutional right to a unanimous jury verdict.  Courtney Knowles was found guilty of raping the daughter of his half-sister/girlfriend. The victim was less than 13 years old and Knowles lived in the ... (click for more)

Applications Now Being Accepted For 2015-2016 Adult Leadership Walker County Class

The Walker County Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Adult Leadership Walker County Class. This program is a collaborative effort between Chamber staff, community leaders and chamber members. It provides participants the opportunity to both learn and develop the skills necessary to be a leader in the community. Participants are given an overview of city ... (click for more)

Michael Futrell, 38, Shot By Corey Mullinax, 25, In Cleveland

Michael Futrell, 38, was shot by Corey Mullinax, 25, Saturday night in Cleveland. At approximately  9:15 p.m. , the shooting occurred at Forest Grove Apartments at 2350 Blackburn Road SE. According to multiple witness statements, the victim, Mr. Futrell walked over to the vehicle of Mullinax, where the two were speaking. The suspect then shot the victim in the torso. ... (click for more)

Teenager Shot In Drive-By Shooting On West 38th Street

Javier Lansden, 18, was shot early Sunday morning on West 38th Street. At approximately  2:47 a.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 264 Water Street for a person shot.  Officers found that the shooting occurred at 263 West 38 th  Street.  The victim stated he was sitting on his bicycle at 263 West 38 th  Street, when a dark-colored ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is A Blessed Community

I am an American by birth and a Chattanoogan by the Grace of God. (A phrase I borrowed from the late Lewis Grizzard and modified) I grew up in Chattanooga / East Ridge – Anna B. Lacey Elementary, Dalewood Junior High, Brainerd High, degree UTC.  My family lived in Chattanooga until March of this year but I’m still up every month visiting friends.   I have been following ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orange Grove's Gonzales Takes Gold In World Special Olympics

Debra Gonzales, a resident at Orange Grove Center, is a world champion. The cute 21-year-old, who moved to Chattanooga two years ago, took first place in the shot put at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles after entering the event on a whim.  Debra’s winning throw of 4.49 meters bested a 4.30 heave by Darinka Pasapera of Peru while Grace Dindillo of Papua, ... (click for more)