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Bush v. Minter

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

November 2, 2016

CANDANCE CAROL BUSH Petitioner,
v.
TRINITY D. MINTER, Warden Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner, proceeding pro se, is an inmate at the Women's Therapeutic Reception Center in Henning, Tennessee. She brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 against Trinity Minter, Warden of the Mark Luttrell Correctional Center, seeking a writ of habeas corpus.[1]

         I. Background

         On September 16, 2008, a jury in Rutherford County found the Petitioner guilty of first degree murder. (Doc. No. 22-2 at 23-25). For this crime, she received a sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. (Id. at 29).

         On direct appeal, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction. (Doc. No. 22-18). The Tennessee Supreme Court later denied Petitioner's application for further review. (Id. at 1).

         In November, 2012, the Petitioner filed a pro se Petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Rutherford County. (Doc. No. 22-19 at 3-25). Following the appointment of counsel and an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the post-conviction Petition. (Id. at 78-87).

         On appeal, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief. (Doc. No. 1 at 40-57). Once again, the Tennessee Supreme Court rejected the Petitioner's application for additional review. (Id. at 38).

         II. Procedural History

         On April 18, 2016, the Petitioner filed the instant Petition (Doc. No. 1) for federal habeas corpus relief.[2] The Petition contains four claims for relief. These claims include:

1) the ineffectiveness of trial counsel;
2) the ineffective assistance of appellate counsel;
3) whether the jury could find the Petitioner guilty under the applicable statute; and
4) whether the trial judge had the statutory authority to “approve or disapprove the jury verdict pronounced sentence”.

         Upon its receipt, the Court conducted a preliminary review of the Petition and determined that the Petitioner had stated a colorable claim for relief. Accordingly, an order (Doc. No. 6) was entered directing the Respondent to file an answer, plead ...


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