Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Commonwealth v. Tackett

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

September 1, 2017

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY APPELLANT
v.
MACK TACKETT APPELLEES

         APPEAL FROM PIKE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE THOMAS M. SMITH, JUDGE ACTION NO. 11-CR-00075

          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Andy Beshear Attorney General of Kentucky Gregory C. Fuchs Assistant Attorney General

          BRIEF AND ORAL ARGUMENT FOR APPELLEE: Joseph Lane

          ORAL ARGUMENT FOR APPELLANT: Gregory C. Fuchs Assistant Attorney General

          BEFORE: ACREE, COMBS AND D. LAMBERT, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          LAMBERT, D., JUDGE

         The Commonwealth of Kentucky appeals from an order of the Pike Circuit Court granting Mack Tackett relief under Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCr) 11.42. Tackett was convicted of murder, but claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. According to Tackett, both his trial attorney and his appellate attorney were ineffective because he did not receive a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of second-degree manslaughter, even though he should have. Relying on Fields v. Commonwealth, 12 S.W.3d 275, 282-83 (Ky. 2000), Tackett maintains a criminal defendant who raises voluntary intoxication as a defense to intentional murder-and receives a jury instruction for that defense- is also entitled to an instruction on second-degree manslaughter. After review, we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Tackett shot his wife and then himself in 2009. Tackett survived and was sentenced to serve twenty-two years and six months in prison for his wife's murder. He appealed the murder conviction directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

         Before the Supreme Court, one of Tackett's arguments was that the jury instructions were deficient. Besides arguing for an instruction on self-defense, Tackett also claimed that he was entitled to instructions for the lesser-included offenses of manslaughter in the second degree and reckless homicide. Tackett explained that "[a]n instruction on the lesser included offenses and self defense was required based on the totality of the circumstances." 2011-SC-000703-MR (2012) at 7.

         In addressing the jury instructions, the Supreme Court conducted its "own review of the record, " which resulted in the following determination: the "[e]vidence adduced at trial that might justify Appellant's requested instructions was not cited to this Court, and without further explanation showing why the requested instructions should have been given, we are simply not persuaded that the trial court erred." Id. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the conviction, and the appeal concluded.

         Roughly nine months later, Tackett filed a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence. In this motion, Tackett essentially claimed his appellate counsel was ineffective because the Supreme Court did not have a chance to consider the argument for additional jury instructions in light of Fields v. Commonwealth, 12 S.W.3d 275, 282-83 (Ky. 2000). Tackett argued that Fields established a mandatory rule when criminal defendants are on trial for intentional murder. From Tackett's reading of Fields, any criminal defendant in that situation who receives an instruction for voluntary intoxication must also receive an instruction as to second-degree manslaughter.

         In response, the Commonwealth relied on the Supreme Court's opinion from Tackett's direct appeal. The Commonwealth pointed out that the Supreme Court evaluated the jury instructions, including whether a manslaughter second instruction was appropriate, and found no error. The circuit court agreed and denied Tackett's motion without deciding whether Tackett's counsel was ineffective.

         On appeal, another panel of this Court vacated the circuit court's decision in part and remanded the case for the circuit court to rule on the RCr 11.42 issue. When given a second opportunity on remand, Tackett renewed his argument that his appellate counsel should have cited Fields and applied the reasoning of that case during his direct appeal. Tackett also asserted that without this argument, the Supreme Court was unable to fully review the issue. Over the Commonwealth's objection, the circuit court eventually accepted Tackett's position and granted the RCr 11.42 motion. The circuit court also overruled the Commonwealth's subsequent motion to reconsider. This appeal followed.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.