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Johnson v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

August 3, 2015

LEROY JOHNSON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs April 14, 2015.

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. I120002 Carolyn W. Blackett, Judge.

Leroy Johnson, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; and Amy Weirich, District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.

OPINION

THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

Background

On January 19, 2012, Petitioner pled guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to twenty-two years in the Department of Correction. Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis on June 15, 2014, alleging newly discovered evidence because of his mental disabilities that were known to Petitioner's counsel at the time of Petitioner's guilty plea. The trial court summarily dismissed the petition and made the following findings:

[U]pon consideration of the Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis for his 2012 guilty plea wherein the petitioner alleges newly discovered evidence, specifically a low I.Q. and mental health history [sic]. Petitioner also alleges his attorney was aware of these factors, so as such they are not newly discovered. Furthermore, this petition is not timely filed. Consequently, the Petition for writ of Error Coram Nobis is hereby denied. Additionally, had this issue been raised pursuant to the Post-Conviction statutes it would similarly be untimely, and as such should also be denied.

On appeal, Petitioner raises the following issues:

I. Whether the evidence is sufficient to justify a rational trier of fact in finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant is guilty.
II. Whether the Court erred in "allowing" and "accepting" an unconstitutional guilty plea knowing that the Appellant has a very low I.Q. level and that they knew about the Appellant's mental health history.
III. Whether the Court erred in not recognizing that a high standard of ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct existed at the time of the guilty plea.
IV. Whether the Court erred in "accepting" a coerced guilty plea knowing the defendant/Appellant did not understand the ...

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