Current Pending Cases – Criminal

State of Tennessee v. Tony Thomas and Laronda Turner (Brady Issue; Sufficiency of Evidence Issue)

Style: State of Tennessee v. Tony Thomas and Laronda Turner

TSC Docket Number: W2019-01202-SC-R11-CD

Link to Court of Criminal Appeals Opinion: https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/thomastonyturnerlarondaopn.pdf

Court of Criminal Appeals Summary:

The Defendants, Tony Thomas and Laronda Turner, were convicted of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder and received life sentences on each count. On appeal, they raise the following issues: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to support their convictions, specifically whether the co-defendant’s testimony was reliable and sufficiently corroborated; (2) whether the trial court erred by denying the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the indictment due to the State’s Ferguson violation by failing to preserve the photographic lineups shown to the witnesses and the co-defendant’s cell phone taken upon his arrest; (3) whether the trial court erred by not granting a new trial because the State committed a Brady violation by failing to disclose all inconsistent statements made by the co-defendant during proffer sessions; (4) whether the trial court committed error when it sua sponte prohibited the introduction of the printout of the co-defendant’s message to his girlfriend implicating himself in the murders, and in so doing, made an improper comment on the evidence; and (5) whether the trial court erred in instructing the jury by including the language “or either of them” throughout the jury instructions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Issues to be Considered by TSC:

1) Whether the prosecution breached its constitutional duty of production under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by failing to produce statements made by a codefendant in proffer conferences, which were allegedly inconsistent with the codefendant’s formal statement to law enforcement.

2) Whether the evidence was sufficient to support Laronda Turner’s convictions for first-degree murder.

Permission to Appeal Granted: April 14, 2022

Appellants’ Briefs Filed: May 17, 2022 ; June 14, 2022

Appellees’ Briefs Filed: August 3, 2022

Appellants’ Reply Brief Filed: September 2, 2022

Appellees’ Reply Brief Filed:

Amicus Briefs Permitted: 

Oral Argument Date: November 9, 2022

Link to Oral Argument Video:

Date of TSC Opinion:  none to date

Opinion of the TSC:   [insert link]

TSC Summary of the Opinion:

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