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Tate v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 15, 2015

MYRON TATE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs April 28, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 102931 Bob R. McGee, Judge

J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Myron Tate.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Kevin James Allen, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

OPINION

D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On February 8, 2011, a Knox County Grand Jury returned an indictment in case number 96453 charging the Petitioner with especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony. On September 18, 2012, a Knox County Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment in case number 100291 charging the Petitioner with first degree felony murder and employing a firearm during a dangerous felony. Counts one, two, and three of the September 18 indictment charged alternate theories of felony murder, alleging, respectively, that the Petitioner killed Roderick L. King during the perpetration of a theft, burglary, or robbery.

I. Guilty Plea Submission Hearing

On September 9, 2013, the trial court accepted the Petitioner's guilty pleas for second degree murder in case number 100291 and aggravated robbery in case number 96453.[1] The Petitioner received a total effective sentence of twenty-eight years, with twenty years to be served at 100 percent, less up to fifteen percent credit, and eight years to be served at thirty percent.

At the guilty plea submission hearing, the State recounted the following facts underlying the Petitioner's guilty plea in case number 96453. Around midnight on October 19, 2010, the Petitioner kicked in the door of Juan Bickerstaff's apartment. The Petitioner and two other men entered the apartment and demanded money. Each man had a gun. Mr. Bickerstaff gave them around $320 in cash. The three men fled on foot from the scene. Mr. Bickerstaff was later able to identify the three men, one of whom was the Petitioner, in a line-up.

With respect to case number 100291, the State gave the following factual account. On August 29, 2012, Mona Harris placed a 911 call after she discovered her neighbor, Mr. King, unresponsive in his apartment. When the Knoxville Police Department ("KPD") responded to the scene, they found Mr. King, who had been shot three times. Christy Horner approached the KPD investigators and told them that she had been in the apartment when Mr. King was shot. She told them that the Petitioner, along with an unidentified male and female, knocked on Mr. King's apartment door. Ms. Horner answered the door, and the Petitioner and another black male entered with guns. The Petitioner shot Mr. King and took marijuana, money, and a cell phone from the apartment.

At the guilty plea submission hearing, the trial court engaged the Petitioner in a plea colloquoy. The Petitioner confirmed that he understood the details of the plea agreement offered by the State. The Petitioner indicated that he understood that his convictions could be used to enhance his punishment if he were ever convicted of another crime. He also responded affirmatively when asked whether he had reviewed the petition to plead guilty with his attorney.

The Petitioner said that he understood he was waiving his rights to a jury trial, to confront witnesses against him, and to remain silent. The trial court explained that after pleading guilty "there [would] be no further proceedings or hearings to ...


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