State of Tennessee v. Todd Joseph Sweet a/k/a Jamie Lee Turpin – Introduction

[Updated to reflect that Sweet was convicted in two cases before Judge Ross]

State v Sweet is an interesting case in Monroe County Tennessee, involving a person who has been accusing his Judge of misconduct and who has expressed some, flawed, claims about the TN Court system and the Grand Jury, not dissimilar from Fitzpatrick’s confusions.

In order to show a balanced overview of the case, allowing the reader to make up her own mind, I will provide some of the court records that help understand the circumstances that led to his convictions.

The original cases were heard by Judge Caroll Ross in the Monroe County Circuit Court as State of Tennessee versus Todd Joseph Sweet, case E2010-00728-SC-R11-CD and case E2010-00729-SC-R11-CD

The cases were appealed (728 and 729) and were heard in the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville Tennessee filed. Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer affirmed the lower court’s findings in both cases:

A Monroe County jury convicted the Defendant, Todd Joseph Sweet, of two counts of forgery and two counts of criminal simulation, and the trial court sentenced him to sixteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss for failing to try him within 180 days of his transfer, as proscribed by the Interstate Compact on Detainers; (2) the trial court improperly denied his request for severance; (3) the trial court improperly denied his motion for a mistrial based on the State’s introduction of evidence of the Defendant’s other crimes; (4) the trial court improperly refused to strike the State’s “Notice of Intent to Seek Enhanced Punishment and/or Notice of Impeaching Convictions”; (5) the trial court improperly refused to excuse six jurors who had media knowledge of other crimes the Defendant allegedly committed; (6) the trial court improperly allowed the State to re-call witness A.J. Smith in order to prove venue; (7) the State failed to prove venue; (8) the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury; (9) the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; (10) the State failed to comply with Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 16 when it failed to provide the Defendant’s trial counsel with letters written by the Defendant and intercepted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department; and (11) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After a  thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

and

A Monroe County jury convicted the Defendant, Todd Joseph Sweet, of theft greater than $10,000, and the trial court sentenced him to six years in the Tennessee Department of Correction, to be served consecutively to a sentence he received in a separate case, case number 08-081. In this appeal, the Defendant contends: (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to dismiss for the State’s failure to comply with the Interstate Compact on Detainers; (2) the trial court improperly refused to remove for cause a juror who had previous knowledge of other crimes the Defendant allegedly committed; (3) the State failed to comply with Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 16 when it failed to provide the Defendant’s trial counsel with letters written by the Defendant and intercepted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department; (4) the State failed to disclose exculpatory evidence; (5) the trial court improperly admitted evidence that the Defendant had committed other crimes; (6) the trial court improperly denied the Defendant’s motion for a mistrial; (7) the trial court improperly instructed the jury; (8) the trial court improperly denied the Defendant’s Motion to Strike the State’s Notice of Impeachment; (9) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; and (10) the trial court improperly sentenced the Defendant to the maximum sentence within his range and improperly ordered that his sentence run consecutively to a sentence he had previously received in a separate case. After a thorough review of the record and relevant authorities, we conclude that there exists no error in the trial court’s judgment. We therefore affirm the judgment and sentence.

The case was appealed to the TN Supreme Court and which denied to hear the case on April 11, 2012

Sweet said admits he’s made “horrible” mistakes, though he said he’s not a “bad guy.”

He says one of his most regrettable mistakes was not telling Poe, his 22-year-old pregnant girlfriend, who he really was when they met online six months ago.

“Dishonesty is a big issue for me. I don’t know where it comes from. I didn’t intend to hurt anyone,” Sweet said. “Over the last two days, worrying about Donna in here … it makes me think, ‘You better start getting honest.'”

Source: Lee Luppo, Todd Sweet admits to his mistakes, The Muskegon Chronicle

Source: Tommy Millsaps Appeals Court overturns case involving Todd Sweet as a jailhouse snitch, Monroe County Advocate, 01/24/2011

Source: Iulia Flip, Freed man says phony attorneys grilled him, Courthouse News, May 6, 2013