Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs August 20, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2011-D-3012 Honorable Seth W. Norman, Judge
Joseph L. Morrissey, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, William Eugene McGinnis, II.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Dan Hamm and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams, J., and David A. Patterson, Sp. J., joined.
CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE
On July 1, 2011, the Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant on three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping. On September 13, 2012, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, the Defendant entered guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated robbery, and the State dismissed the kidnapping counts.
At the September 13, 2012 guilty plea hearing, the trial court explained to the Defendant his rights to a trial by jury and the rights he would be giving up by pleading guilty. The court then specifically questioned the Defendant about his mental health and whether he was taking any medication:
COURT: [Defendant], are you suffering from any mental illnesses that you are aware of?
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
COURT: Are you taking medication for it?
DEFENDANT: Not right now, sir.
COURT: You understand what we're doing here today, do you not?
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
The Defendant also indicated that he was satisfied with the representation provided by his attorneys and that he understood his rights as explained by the court. The court informed the Defendant of the charges against him and the possible sentences on each count, and the Defendant stated that he understood. The Defendant indicated that he had discussed the plea agreement with his attorneys and understood its terms. The State summarized the facts supporting the Defendant's pleas as follows:
In Count II[, ] this matter took place on July [19, ] 2011 at the H&H Market here in Davidson County on Centennial Avenue. The two women who worked there, Ms. Dubois . . . and her daughter. . ., were sort of in the back of the store working on stock. The [D]efendant is shown on a videotape entering the store holding a gun down to his side. He goes to where the women are and forces them up to the cash register and steals about $250 out of the cash register and some cigars and then leaves.
Witnesses who were there saw that there was a white Pontiac at the store. They said they saw him get out of the white Pontiac when he went in there, and . . . the surveillance shows the white Pontiac at the scene at some time near the robbery but it was not as if it was sitting there the whole time.
On Count III the [D]efendant – this matter took place on July [22, ] 2011[, ] at Rosie's on Charlotte Avenue here in Davidson County. In this matter[, ] the [D]efendant was not alone in this episode. He went into the store to buy some cigarettes, and witnesses say he was on his cell phone when he walked out. After that, two other robbers went into the place and robbed the place, put the owner and other staff inside of like a closet or workroom and started shooting at that workroom while those people were still inside of there.
A witness across the street had called about the robbery in progress over there and was able to point out the white Pontiac as it was driving there sort of making the block, the State's theory is to pick up the two robbers. Because the officers were called while the robbery was in progress, they were able to stop that white Pontiac, ...