Friday, February 22, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-02-22 20:06:19)
Author: Gilbert Soesbee
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

A unanimous three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld Circuit Judge Ben W. Hooper II's denial of a new trial to a Cocke County man who was convicted in connection with the death of a man on Old Sevierville Highway in November 2003.

In an opinion handed down on Wednesday, the appeals court panel determined that the sole issue raised by defendant Billy Joe Carter-whether Assistant District Public Defender Keith Haas should have insisted on a mental evaluation of the defendant before the trial-was without merit.

In an opinion written by Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer and joined by judges D. Kelly Thomas Jr. and Camille R. McMullen, the court echoed Judge Hooper's finding that Carter had adequate representation by Haas during his 2005 trial. Another appeals court panel merged two convictions for first-degree murder in 2007 and ordered that Carter be resentenced by the trial court.

For more details, please see the weekend edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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