Supreme Court Rules Defendant Criminally Responsible For Accomplice’s Murder Attempts

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a Sevier County man’s two attempted first-degree murder convictions for his role in an attack on several people in a cabin.

In January 2008, Kevin Anthony Dickson, Jr. became angry after purchasing cocaine that he felt was of very poor quality. Dickson enlisted the help of two other men to confront the drug dealers at a Sevierville cabin where the purchase had been made. Dickson borrowed a handgun, purchased ammunition for the gun, and gave it to one of the men, whose name is Johnny Ramirez. Dickson then drove all three men to the cabin. Dickson kicked open the front door of the cabin and demanded drugs as well as the return of his money.

During the intrusion, Ramirez shot two unarmed victims. A trial judge found Dickson guilty of two charges of attempted first-degree murder based on a criminal responsibility theory in the shooting of the two victims by Ramirez. The trial judge imposed a sentence of 25 years for each attempted first-degree murder charge and imposed consecutive sentencing, for an effective sentence of 50 years.

On appeal, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed one attempted first-degree murder conviction, but reduced the other to attempted second-degree murder. The Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that Ramirez shot one victim as he was attempting to flee, but shot another victim quickly without premeditation, which would only support a conviction for attempted second-degree murder.

The Tennessee Supreme Court partially affirmed and partially reversed the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Supreme Court reasoned that Dickson was criminally responsible for the conduct of Ramirez, as Dickson solicited Ramirez’s help and armed him with a loaded handgun. The Supreme Court also reasoned that there was sufficient evidence of premeditation on the part of Ramirez in the shooting of both unarmed victims. Thus, the Supreme Court approved of the trial court’s finding of two convictions of attempted first-degree murder.

The Supreme Court also determined that the trial judge properly sentenced Dickson consecutively, based on his extensive criminal history.

To read the unanimous Opinion in State of Tennessee v. Kevin Anthony Dickson, Jr., authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov


Waterhouse Public Relations Expands Digital PR And Client Support Team

Waterhouse Public Relations has expanded its team with the additions of Kendall Litton as digital PR strategist and Lauren Henley as account coordinator. Ms. Litton will execute WPR’s strategic digital tactics, counsel on client industry trends and manage client accounts as Digital PR Strategist. She joins the firm with an extensive background in various industries, serving as ... (click for more)

Chattanoogan Hotel Selects M&M Productions USA As In-House Audiovisual Contractor

The Chattanoogan Hotel announced on Tuesday that it has selected award-winning M&M Productions USA as the exclusive audiovisual partner for events held at the facility. “This new partnership with M&M Productions USA will allow us to offer greater event production options and the latest in audiovisual technology to our meeting and event planners,” said Tom Cupo, regional ... (click for more)

Walker Charged With Sunday Night Murder Of Girlfriend In LaFayette

A 29-year-old Walker County man has been charged with murdering his girlfriend, also 29. Sheriff Steve Wilson said David Ryan Walker was charged in the slaying of Candace Ann Hankins. He said she was killed inside a house on Wheeler Road in LaFayette and her body was found in woods behind the house. The sheriff said Walker called relatives to express remorse about the killing. ... (click for more)

Man With Gun Runs From Police At Hamilton Place Mall; Pushes Shoppers Out Of The Way

A man who was found to be armed with a handgun was chased by police early Saturday afternoon. He pushed shoppers out of the way during the pursuit, which included racing down an escalator.   Erwin J. Rogers, 22, of 6111 Nottingham Dr., is facing multiple charges.    Around 1:50 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers working at the Hamilton Place Mall ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Else $3 Can Mean

Orchard Knob Middle School, located on North Highland Park Avenue in Chattanooga, led every other secondary school in the state of Tennessee last year with 6.8 percent of its students expelled. So as people are working feverishly to keep the school from being taken over by the state’s Department of Education, allow me to pose a question. Last Friday during the last period of ... (click for more)