State Supreme Court Sends Case Back To Knox County Court To Hear Evidence On Stun Belt Use During Trial

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday sent Brandon Mobley’s post-conviction case back to the Knox County Criminal Court for further hearings regarding the use of a stun belt during his trial.

In 2003, Mr. Mobley shot and killed Joshua Nance and Oshalique Hoffman. He was convicted of two counts of premeditated murder in 2005, and his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal. He filed a petition for post-conviction relief in 2008, asserting that he was entitled to a new trial because of errors committed by the trial judge and because his lawyer had not represented him effectively.

The Criminal Court for Knox County conducted a hearing and denied Mr. Mobley’s petition. A divided Court of Criminal Appeals granted Mr. Mobley a new trial after finding that his lawyer had been ineffective with regard to the presentation of expert testimony regarding the effect of Mr. Mobley’s mental conditions on his ability to premeditate.

The Supreme Court granted the State’s appeal. The Court held that Mr. Mobley was not entitled to a new trial because of his lawyer’s performance relating to the exclusion of his expert’s opinion regarding his ability to premeditate. The Court determined that any possible deficiency in the lawyer’s performance did not affect the fairness of Mr. Mobley’s trial.

The Court also upheld the dismissal of Mr. Mobley’s other claims for relief except the claim that his lawyer was ineffective because he did not object to the trial court’s decision to require Mr. Mobley to wear a concealed stun belt during the trial. Because the evidence in the record was insufficient to address this question, the Court remanded this issue to the trial court for additional hearings.

To read the Brandon Mobley v. State opinion, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., click here.

 


Michelle Consiglio-Young Joins Courts As Legislative Liaison, Assistant General Counsel

   Michelle Consiglio-Young has been named legislative liaison and assistant general counsel for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. In this role, she will be drafting and tracking legislation for the judiciary, following other proposed legislation, assisting members of the General Assembly with information about Tennessee courts, informing members of the ... (click for more)

Supreme Court Affirms Disability Award For Employee With High-Frequency Hearing Loss

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that an employee is entitled to the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits awarded to him by a trial court. In  2009, Orville Lambdin retired from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company where he had worked as a tire builder for over 35 years. He later sought workers’ compensation benefits based upon his loss of hearing. At trial, ... (click for more)

Chance Loftis Set To Be Freed From Jail After Jury Finds Him Guilty Of Only Misdemeanor Charge

Chance Loftis is set to be freed from jail on Monday after a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon found him guilty of only a minor charge. Instead of murder in the death of 46-year-old Donald Rogers, the jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole found him guilty of the lesser charge of reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty in the beating ... (click for more)

Dr. David Seaberg Steps Down From Position As Dean For UT College Of Medicine In Chattanooga

David M. Stern, MD, executive dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), and Kevin Spiegel, president and CEO for Erlanger Health System, announced that  David Seaberg, MD, will be stepping down from the joint positions of dean of the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, and senior vice president of the Erlanger Health System. ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)