Decisions – COA – March 15, 2016

Bobby Scott Culberson v. Tammi Letitia Culbersonchild support visitation where breakdown in parent/child relationship – The Culbersons in 2005 with Tammi getting physical custody of their two daughters. In 2013, Tammi filed a contempt petition alleging that Scott was in arrears in child support and various education expenses.  She also sought an increase.   Scott filed a petition for contempt alleging that Tammi had denied him visitation.  He  also sought to terminate his child support obligation because he alleged the girls – who were sixteen and nineteen at the close of the trial – would no longer speak to him.  Scott and his daughters agreed to attend counseling.  The counseling was not terribly successful.   At trial, Scott asked either that the court order his daughters to visit or that his support obligation be terminated based on their refusal to visit with him.  The chancellor found Scott in contempt for his failure to pay certain child support obligations and awarded Tammi $2,500 in attorney’s fees.  He  denied Scott’s request to find Tammi in contempt for her failure to force their daughters to participate in visitation. Next, the chancellor ordered that the visitation schedule be modified so that visitation would be allowed at any time, as long as both Scott and the children agreed.  Scott appealed and the COA affirms.

Timothy Burns v. State –  sufficiency of plea –  Burns pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder. Three months later he filed a pro se motion to vacate alleging various deficiencies all of which were belied by the record and the transcript of the plea.  The trial court denied relief.  The COA affirms.

Charlie Ricardo Grant  v. State –  sexual battery/hearsay – Grant was found guilty of sexual battery of a 14-year-old.  On appeal he argues that it was hearsay to admit statements made to medical providers that the girl identified him as her abuser because the identity was not neccessary for treatment. The COA finds that ” Grant’s identity was pertinent to Carter’s treatment of N.M., based on Carter’s concern regarding the potential for further inappropriate contact with Grant”  since Grant was a visitor to the child’s home.  Grant next complains that it was error to allow the state to cross-examine him on irrelevant matters such as his illegitimate children and girlfriends.  The COA finds that the introduction of this evidence was not an abuse of discretion. The COA affirms.



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