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State v. Kotewa

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

September 11, 2014

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
THOMAS EDWARD KOTEWA

Session Date: July 23, 2014

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Anderson County No. B2C00067 Donald R. Elledge, Judge

R. Casey Daganhardt, Clinton, Tennessee for the Appellant, Thomas Edward Kotewa.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Ahmed A. Safeeullah, Assistant Attorney General; Dave Clark, District Attorney General; and Sandra N.C. Donaghy, Assistant District Attorney General for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Timothy L. Easter, Sp. J., joined.

OPINION

ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

I. Facts and Procedural History

The Petitioner pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of LaShawn Terence Mims, in exchange for a sentence of fifteen years. Two witnesses identified the Petitioner as the shooter, and the Petitioner admitted to the police that he shot the victim. See Kotewa, 2009 WL 1635177, at *1. On January 26, 2007, the Petitioner, pro se, filed a petition for post-conviction relief. Id. After two amendments and the appointment of counsel, the post-conviction court held an evidentiary hearing and then denied the Petitioner relief. Id. This Court affirmed the post-conviction court's judgment. Id. at *5-6.

On February 8, 2012, the Petition filed a writ of error coram nobis alleging that he had discovered new evidence. The Petitioner attached one affidavit to his petition to support his claim. The affidavit was a statement by a witness that the Petitioner acted in self-defense. On December 16, 2013, the trial court issued a written order dismissing the petition:

The above matter came on for hearing on December 9, 2013, on a pending Writ of Error Coram Nobis filed by the [Petitioner] pro se and amended by Defense Attorney Kevin Angel, the Honorable Donald R. Elledge presiding. The appearances were: Sandra Donaghy on behalf of the State of Tennessee and the [Petitioner] appeared in person and by counsel, Attorney R. Casey Dagenhardt.
At the hearing, [the Petitioner] through counsel admitted that his pleadings had been filed after the expiration of the Statute of Limitations. He conceded dismissal was appropriate.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is the order of the Court that:

1. The Writ of Error Coram Nobis shall be, and hereby is, dismissed. It is from this judgment that ...


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