Assigned on Briefs October 7, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 11-03210 Honorable James M. Lammey, Judge
R. Todd Mosley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Rodney Braden.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Bryce Phillips, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE
This appeal stems from the shooting death of the victim, Marcello Carter, on January 15, 2011. The Petitioner was subsequently indicted for first degree murder in relation to this incident. On March 26, 2012, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea to second degree murder and, pursuant to the negotiated plea, received a sentence of 15 years' confinement.
At the March 26, 2012 guilty plea hearing, the State summarized the underlying facts as follows:
[O]n January 15, 2011, . . . . [the police] found [the victim] sitting behind the steering wheel of a Blazer that had run into a chain-link fence down a ditch on Marjorie just north of Rosewood. [The victim] was dead of a gunshot wound.
A subsequent autopsy determined that [the victim] died of a gunshot wound to the torso.
[B]efore this shooting, the [Petitioner] . . . had been at [the victim]'s house. [The victim] believed that [the Petitioner] had stolen some items from [the victim]'s coin collection. Instead of reporting the matter to the police, [the victim] took matters in his own hands[, ] and he and some associates beat [the Petitioner] with a baseball bat.
[The Petitioner], in an attempt to get revenge for this act of disrespect, armed himself with a revolver and waited until [the victim] pulled out of the driveway on Marjorie just north of Rosewood in this Blazer. Additionally there was a Stacy Hinton and a Joshua Pete in that place, at which time [the Petitioner] opened fire on the Blazer[, ] firing several shots, one of them striking [the victim] and killing him.
After the killing, [the Petitioner] went to a hotel – a [B]udget [L]odge on Brooks Road[, ] and while there, he admitted to one Antione Fox, Amanda Anderson, and  Carnell Booker that he had committed this shooting – this killing. Additionally, in an attempt to hide proof of the crime, [the Petitioner] burned his clothes in a barbeque grill at 1305 Lehr . . . . [a]nd also bleached his hands in an attempt to rid himself of any evidence.
Witnesses identified [the Petitioner] in a six-person photographic lineup as the person who shot [the victim].
Defense counsel, on behalf of the Petitioner, stipulated "that this is a sufficient factual basis for the plea" and asked the court to accept the negotiated plea. The trial court reviewed the Petitioner's petition for waiver of trial by jury and informed the Petitioner that he had "an absolute right to plead not guilty in this case and demand a jury trial." The court explained to the Petitioner his rights and what rights he would be giving up by entering a plea of guilty. The Petitioner informed the court that he had previously entered a guilty plea for a felony offense and indicated that he understood his rights and what rights he would be giving up. The court and Petitioner then engaged in the following colloquy:
COURT: Okay. Is it your wish . . . to waive all these rights away and accept the [S]tate's offer of fifteen years and enter this guilty ...