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Cox v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 17, 2016

WILLIAM GEORGE COX
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs October 25, 2016 at Knoxville

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2008-C-2734 Mark Fishburn, Judge

         The petitioner, William George Cox, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief from his 2008 Davidson County Criminal Court guilty-pleaded convictions of aggravated burglary and theft of property, for which he received an effective sentence of 10 years. In this appeal, the petitioner contends only that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court but remand for correction of clerical errors in the judgment forms.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed; Remanded

          Jesse Lords, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William George Cox.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Janice Norman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.

         On October 8, 2008, the petitioner entered pleas of guilty to one count each of aggravated burglary and theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000. The trial court imposed a sentence of 10 years' incarceration for the aggravated burglary conviction, to be served concurrently with an eight-year sentence for the theft of property conviction. The court further ordered the defendant to serve the entirety of his effective 10-year sentence on community corrections placement.

         On July 15, 2009, the petitioner's community corrections officer filed a violation report alleging that the petitioner had violated the terms of his community corrections placement by being arrested for assault. On September 3, 2009, the trial court found that the petitioner had violated the terms of his community corrections placement and resentenced the petitioner, ordering consecutive service of his 10- and eight-year sentences, to be served as one year of incarceration followed by 17 years on community corrections placement.

         On October 28, 2010, the petitioner's community corrections officer again filed a violation report, this time alleging that the petitioner had been arrested for aggravated assault. The trial court, on April 13, 2011, amended the judgments to reflect that the petitioner would remain incarcerated until April 26, 2011, at which time his community corrections placement would be reinstated.

         On February 23, 2012, the trial court found that the petitioner had "successfully complied with" the conditions of his community corrections placement and transferred him to supervised probation. On October 30, 2013, the petitioner asked the trial court to "release him from the conditions of probation" due to "his age and physical condition, " requesting that he "be placed on unsupervised probation for the remainder of his sentence." No court order ruling on this petition appears in the record.

         On February 19, 2014, the petitioner, in response to his January 2014 arrest on charges of aggravated burglary and possession of burglary tools, moved the trial court "to place his sentence into effect, " thus permitting him to "serve the remaining portion of the sentence by incarceration." In support of his motion, the petitioner averred that, in December 2013, his community corrections supervision was "transferred to a misdemeanor level of supervision, where he only ha[d] to report every few months." The petitioner further stated that, because he was incarcerated on the new charges and believed that he would not "be released anytime soon, " he wished to "place this sentence into effect so that he may receive all proper jail credit and begin moving towards completion of this rather lengthy sentence." A violation of probation report was filed on February 27, 2014, alleging that the petitioner had violated the terms of his probation by being arrested for aggravated burglary and possession of burglary tools.

         The trial court, on March 6, 2014, granted the motion and entered amended judgments which revoked the petitioner's alternative sentencing and ordered the petitioner's sentence into execution, with credit for time served. On March 9, 2015, the petitioner filed, pro se, a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel at his March 6, 2014 court appearance when he was pressured by counsel into seeking execution of his original sentence. Following the appointment of counsel and the amendment ...


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