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Faulkner v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

June 11, 2015

JOSHUA FAULKNER
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs May 5, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 11-07186 James C. Beasley Jr., Judge

Rosalind E. Brown, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joshua Faulkner.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith Devault, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Roger A. Page, JJ., joined.

OPINION

ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

I. Facts

The Petitioner was charged with aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during a felony, attempted aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and theft of property over $1, 000. On October 25, 2012, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement with the State, the Petitioner pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, employing a firearm during a felony, and aggravated assault. The State dismissed the remaining charges. At the guilty plea submission hearing, the State presented the following factual basis in support of the Petitioner's guilty plea:

If the matter had gone to trial the State would have shown that on August the 16th of 2011, Chadrick Lawson (phonetically) heard loud banging noises coming from his front door. He went downstairs to see what it was and was met by the [Petitioner] who was armed with a handgun. The male told him not to move and then fired a shot.
Mr. Lawson advised he ran upstairs and looked out the window. The male took a fifty-inch television, but dropped it in the yard before getting into a vehicle that was occupied by two other people and fled the scene.
Responding Officers located the vehicle. The Officer found this [Petitioner], Cordricus Harding and Michael Briggs and located two handguns inside the vehicle.
[The Petitioner] was identified by Mr. Lawson on the scene as the person who came into his home, took his television and fired a shot at him.

The Petitioner stipulated to these facts.

The Petitioner confirmed that it was his signature on the "petition for waiver of trial by jury and to request an acceptance of a guilty plea" and that his attorney ("Counsel") had reviewed and explained this document to him. He confirmed his understanding of the contents of the petition and asked if he would be sent to the "penal farm." The trial court stated that the Petitioner "probably" would but clarified that it could not "guarantee that." The trial court then reviewed with the Petitioner the sentence, his rights, and the consequences of waiving those rights, and the Petitioner confirmed his understanding. The Petitioner responded in the negative when asked if he felt coerced into entering the agreement or if any one had promised him something to induce him to accept the plea. The Petitioner agreed that he was satisfied with "everything [Counsel had] done."

Upon further questioning by Counsel, the Petitioner stated that he was not under the influence of alcohol but that he had been prescribed "Respidol" to help him sleep. He said that he was not sleepy at the time of the hearing and understood "everything going on." He agreed that he knew the difference between right and wrong and that he had been evaluated as competent to proceed in the case. The trial court then made the following findings:

I am going to rule you understand what you are doing, understand the process that we are going through, that you are entering this guilty plea freely, voluntarily, without threats, or coercion, because this is what you want to do. I am going to rule that you have ...

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