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Kimball v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

December 18, 2014

GABRIEL KIMBALL
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs December 16, 2014

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 4698 J. Randall Wyatt, Jr., Judge

Gabriel Kimball, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Amy Hunter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, PJ., and John Everett Williams, J., joined.

OPINION

ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

I. Facts

The Petitioner was originally charged in Bradley County Juvenile Court with rape of a child. The juvenile court ordered the Petitioner to undergo a psychosexual evaluation, which resulted in residential treatment. The Petitioner voluntarily withdrew from the treatment program on October 18, 2003, and the Petitioner's case was transferred to criminal court for the Petitioner to be tried as an adult. In May 2005, the Petitioner pleaded guilty to the charge of rape of a child, and the trial court sentenced him to serve fifteen years.

The Petitioner then sought post-conviction relief, asserting that his attorney ("Counsel") failed to: (1) advise him of his right to appeal the juvenile court's decision to transfer his case to criminal court; (2) submit medical evidence at the transfer hearing; and (3) appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to dismiss. Gabriel Kimball v. State, No. E2006-01562-CCA-R3-PC, 2007 WL 2757634, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 24, 2007), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Feb. 4, 2008). In our opinion affirming the post-conviction court's dismissal, we summarized the facts of the Petitioner's case as follows:

Petitioner testified that he was charged in the Bradley County juvenile court on November 30, 2001, with delinquency regarding a charge of rape of a child. He was seventeen years old at the time. Petitioner acknowledged that he committed the offense against the victim, his five-year-old cousin. Petitioner's parents retained the assistance of attorney Jerry Hoffer to assist Petitioner in the initial hearing. The juvenile court ordered Petitioner to undergo a psychosexual evaluation which resulted in a recommendation that Petitioner enter a residential sex offender treatment program. Petitioner accordingly entered Hermitage Hall on December 24, 2001, pursuant to an agreed order. Petitioner continued to participate in the program after he turned eighteen, but he voluntarily left the program in May 2003 because he said that the Hermitage Hall staff told him that his insurance would no longer pay his expenses at the facility.
Petitioner said that his father visited him at the facility once, and that they spoke on the telephone a few times. Petitioner said that he did not discuss the status of his case with his father, and he did not know that his juvenile case was still pending. Petitioner said that he did not learn until September 2003, that Mr. Hoffer had withdrawn from the case. Petitioner acknowledged that he was not aware that his father had informed the district attorney's office of his voluntary discharge from Hermitage Hall.
Petitioner said that the State filed a petition to transfer him to criminal court to be tried as an adult on October 18, 2003, when Petitioner was nineteen years old, and trial counsel was appointed to represent him at the transfer hearing. Petitioner said that his trial counsel met with him once before he was incarcerated on other unrelated charges in another county and three or four times after his incarceration on those charges. Petitioner discussed the upcoming transfer hearing with trial counsel during those meetings.
Petitioner testified that the transfer hearing was held on February 17, 2005. Petitioner said that he and his trial counsel did not discuss Petitioner's treatment at Hermitage Hall, and trial counsel did not request his medical records from the facility. Petitioner stated that no evidence was therefore presented at the transfer hearing as to how well he did in the program. Petitioner acknowledged that trial counsel filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that Petitioner had been prejudiced by the delay in prosecution, and that the motion was denied.
Petitioner said that the State initially offered to settle the charge if Petitioner agreed to enter a plea to a lesser charge in exchange for a recommended sentence of eight years. Petitioner believed that the offer was withdrawn because of the victim's age. Petitioner said that after his case was transferred to criminal court, he agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the charge of rape of a child in exchange for a recommended sentence of fifteen years. Petitioner believed that if he did not accept the State's offer of settlement, he would be sentenced to twenty-five ...

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