Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
ROOSEVELT BIGBEE, JR.
CHERRY LINDAMOOD, WARDEN
Assigned on Briefs Date: October 19, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Wayne County No. 15783 Robert L.
Petitioner, Roosevelt Bigbee, Jr., appeals the dismissal of
his habeas corpus petition in which he challenged the
legality of his convictions for first degree murder and
robbery and his sentences of life for the murder conviction
and eleven years for the robbery conviction, to be served
consecutively. After a thorough review of the record, we
conclude that the petition was properly dismissed, and we
affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Roosevelt Bigbee, Jr., Henning, Tennessee, pro se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent
C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; and Brent A. Cooper, District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Norma McGee Ogle, J.,
EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE
Petitioner was convicted of first degree murder and robbery
by the use of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to life for
the murder conviction and eleven years for the robbery
conviction, to be served consecutively. On direct appeal,
this court rejected the Petitioner's argument that the
evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and
upheld the judgment of the trial court. See State v.
Roosevelt Bigbee, No. 01-C019106CC00173, 1992 WL 75849,
at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 16, 1992).
Petitioner then filed a petition for the writ of habeas
corpus, arguing that his convictions violate double jeopardy
principles and that he is entitled to "good-time
credits." The trial court granted the State's motion
to dismiss without a hearing. The Petitioner now appeals.
granting or denial of a petition for the writ of habeas
corpus is a question of law reviewed de novo with no
presumption of correctness. Edwards v. State, 269
S.W.3d 915, 919 (Tenn. 2008). The petitioner bears the burden
of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the
sentence is void or his confinement is illegal. Wyatt v.
State, 24 S.W.3d 319, 322 (Tenn. 2000).
I, section 15 of the Tennessee Constitution guarantees that
"the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be
suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the
General Assembly shall declare the public safety requires
it." Tenn. Const. art. I, § 15. The writ,
guaranteed constitutionally, is regulated statutorily.
See T.C.A. §§ 29-21-101 et seq.
The grounds upon which the writ will be granted in Tennessee
are very narrow. Taylor v. State, 995 S.W.2d 78, 83
corpus relief is only available when "it appears upon
the face of the judgment or the record of the proceedings
upon which the judgment is rendered, that a convicting court
was without jurisdiction or authority to sentence a
defendant, or that a defendant's sentence of imprisonment
or other restraint has expired." Archer v.
State, 851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993) (quotations
omitted). In other words, a habeas corpus petition will only
be successful where the judgment challenged is void and not
merely voidable. Summers v. State, 212 S.W.3d 251,
255 (Tenn. 2007). "A voidable judgment is one that is
facially valid and requires proof beyond the face of the
record or judgment to establish its invalidity, "
whereas "[a] void judgment is one that is facially
invalid because the court did not have the statutory
authority to render such judgment." Id. at 256
(citations omitted). In deciding whether a judgment is void,
the question "is always one of jurisdiction, that is,
whether the order, judgment or process under attack comes