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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Donald Paine Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2708

This collection consists of records of historical trials from Tennessee (including transcripts, newspaper clippings, photographs, audio recordings, VHS tapes, and other items) and materials from seminars that Paine presented. The material has been divided into series according to the trials that Paine studied for these presentations. The series are arranged in chronological order according to the crime committed.

The first series covers State of Tennessee v. John A. Brown, which is commonly known as the Stringbean Murder Case. Stringbean (David Akeman) was a well-known Country musician and part of the television program Hee-Haw. Both Stringbean and his wife Estelle were murdered in Nashville in 1973.

Series II constitutes a case study of two different trials based on the same crime: the Douglas MacArthur Forbes Trials and the Jerry Williams Trials. Forbes was convicted of a series of rapes in and around Johnson City, Tennessee in 1976. Five years later, District Attorney May revealed that Jerry Williams had confessed to the crimes and Forbes was the victim of mistaken identity. There are several eyewitness identification articles and case studies included in this series.

Series IV documents the Rocky-Top Murders, which occurred in 1986 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Be cautioned that Box 5, Folder 25 contains graphic crime scene photographs. The trial focused on Tattoo Eddie Harris, although two others, Kimberly Pelley and Joseph C. Demodica, were also involved. This case was a turning point in Tennessee law because it questioned whether a person with a low IQ could be sentenced to death.

Series V deals with a case study that Paine wrote entitled "Sex in the Choir Loft." In a case revolving around a love triangle in Knoxville, Tennessee, Michael Frazier attempted to murder his lover's husband while he slept. The lovers knew each other from working at church, hence the title, and the evidence reveals the Knoxville story that made its way to People magazine.

Dates

  • 1913-2005 (bulk 1974-1994)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

6.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection consists of records of historical trials from Tennessee (including transcripts, newspaper clippings, photographs, audio recordings, VHS tapes, and other items) and materials from seminars that Paine presented. The material has been divided into series according to the trials that Paine studied for these presentations. The series are arranged in chronological order according to the crime committed.

Biographical/Historical Note

Donald Franklin Paine was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1939. He earned his B.A. (1961), M.A. (1963), and LL.B. (1963) from the University of Tennessee. Immediately after graduation, Paine served in the Army as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was discharged in 1966 and returned to Tennessee, where he authored the Tennessee Law of Evidence(1974). Paine practiced law with Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers in addition to researching Tennessee's legal history. He was a Reporter to the Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure, wrote a monthly column for the Tennessee Bar Journal, and lectured for the Tennessee Law Institute, the University of Tennessee College of Law, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference. Paine also served as President of the Knoxville Bar Association (1983) and of the Tennessee Bar Association (1986-1987). Donald Paine died on November 18th, 2013.

Arrangement

This collection consists of seven boxes divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: State of Tennessee v. John A. Brown, 1974-2005
  2. Series II: State of Tennessee v. Douglas MacArthur Forbes, 1976
  3. Series III: State of Tennessee v. Trabue, 1916
  4. Series IV: Rockytop Murders, 1986-2005
  5. Series V: State of Tennessee v. Michael Frazier, 1994

Acquisition Note

Don Paine donated these materials to Special Collections in October of 2005.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480