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Clark v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

December 18, 2014

TAMIR CLARK
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs November 18, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. F-70407 M. Keith Siskin, Judge

Thomas H. Bray, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tamir Clark.

Herbert E. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith Devault, Senior Counsel; William Whitesell, District Attorney General; J. Paul Newman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John Everett Williams and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

OPINION

ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

I. Facts

This case arises from the victim, Latorcia Clark, being robbed, kidnapped, and her car being set on fire. The Petitioner, the victim's stepson, was indicted for offenses related to this incident.

A. Guilty Plea Hearing

At the guilty plea submission hearing, the State offered the following summary of the evidence supporting the Petitioner's guilty plea:

[O]n or about the 29th day of October, 2010, [the Petitioner] did break into the home of Latorcia Clark, who is his stepmother. The home was located [at] 2607 Lincoya Drive here in Rutherford County and the State of Tennessee.
While inside [the Petitioner] did attack Ms. Clark. Did render her unconscious at times when she was attacked. Did bind her hands and feet. Placed an object in her mouth, and covered her head.
At a point later, she was also dragged from the residence and put into the back seat of a vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of the residence. The vehicle was her . . . vehicle at her residence.
[The Petitioner] also stabbed Ms. Clark approximately four times in the buttocks area and did make the statement that she was "going to die tonight, bitch, " according to the testimony of the officer that would have been called.
Shortly thereafter, [the Petitioner] apparently attempted to try to steal the vehicle, and at some point got frustrated, started a fire in the front compartment of the vehicle. The vehicle did catch fire. At some point, the husband did come home, saw the fire, and was able to remove her from the vehicle. After he removed her from the vehicle, the vehicle did explode. And there was damage to not only the vehicle, but the house was also caught on fire.
All of these events did occur here in Rutherford County, State of Tennessee, and prior to the return of this indictment. And the especially aggravated kidnapping, it was accomplished by a weapon that did result in serious bodily injury.

The State then announced the proposed plea agreement including the negotiated sentences. It stated that, in exchange for the Petitioner's pleas, it would dismiss four additional charges against him.

The Petitioner testified at the guilty plea submission hearing that he had heard the facts articulated by the State and that those facts were basically correct. He confirmed that he was entering the guilty plea freely and voluntarily and that his attorney had done a "good job" for him. He stated that he understood the range of punishment for each of his offenses and the State's burden of proof. The trial court informed the Petitioner of his rights, and the Petitioner acknowledged understanding those rights. He testified that he was guilty of the offenses to which he was pleading guilty.

The State interjected that it had neglected to articulate during its recounting of the facts that "there was property taken from [the victim] illegally, ...


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