Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 9607098 Chris Craft, Judge
Rodney Jeffries, Only, Tennessee, pro se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Tracy L. Alcock, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Pierotti, District Attorney General; and Reginald Henderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer, and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE
The Defendant filed a Motion for Correction of an Illegal Sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, claiming he bargained for and plead to first degree murder with a sentence of "25 years with 40% release eligibility." He claims the sentence was illegal. The trial court summarily denied the motion without appointing counsel. The trial court found the judgment "clearly shows a life sentence, which was the sentence authorized by the statute at the time of the offense and the time of the plea."As the trial court stated in its order, "an illegal sentence is one that is not authorized by the applicable statute."
Therefore, the trial court found the sentence the Defendant received was not illegal and the motion did not state a colorable claim. We agree.
Rule 36.1. Correction of Illegal Sentence, provides:
(a)Either the defendant or the state may, at any time, seek the correction of an illegal sentence by filing a motion to correct an illegal sentence in the trial court in which the judgment of conviction was entered. For purposes of this rule, an illegal sentence is one that is not authorized by the applicable statutes or that directly contravenes an applicable statute.
(b) Notice of any motion filed pursuant to this rule shall be promptly provided to the adverse party. If the motion states a colorable claim that the sentence is illegal, and if the defendant is indigent and is not already represented by counsel, the trial court shall appoint counsel to represent the defendant. The adverse party shall have thirty days within which to file a written response to the motion, after which the court shall hold a hearing on the motion, unless all parties waive the hearing.
(c) (1) If the court determines that the sentence is not an illegal sentence, the court shall file an order denying the motion.
(2) If the court determines that the sentence is an illegal sentence, the court shall then determine whether the illegal sentence was entered pursuant to a plea agreement. If not, the court shall enter an amended uniform judgment document, see Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 17, setting forth the correct sentence.
(3)If the illegal sentence was entered pursuant to a plea agreement, the court shall determine whether the illegal provision was a material component of the plea agreement. If so, the court shall give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw his or her plea. If the defendant chooses to withdraw his or her plea, the court shall file an order stating its finding that the illegal provision was a material component of the plea agreement, stating that the defendant withdraws his or her plea, and reinstating the original charge against the defendant. If the ...