Assigned on Briefs October 4, 2016
Appeal from the Chancery Court for Davidson County No.
15-254-I Claudia Bonnyman, Chancellor
appeal arises from a declaratory judgment action filed by a
prisoner to challenge the Tennessee Department of
Correction's manner of applying sentence reduction
credits to his consecutive sentences. The trial court granted
summary judgment to the Department of Correction upon
concluding that it properly calculated the petitioner's
sentences and credits. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed and Remanded.
Franklin Howard, Only, Tennessee, Pro se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and
Charlotte Montiel Davis, Assistant Attorney General,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tennessee Department
of Correction and Derrick Schofield.
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and John W.
McClarty, J., joined.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE
Facts & Procedural History
January 1995, Franklin Howard was involved with a robbery of
a Memphis restaurant that led to the shooting death of the
restaurant manager. A jury convicted Howard of premeditated
murder, especially aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to
commit aggravated robbery. Howard received a life sentence
for the murder conviction, twenty-five years for especially
aggravated robbery, and six years for conspiracy to commit
aggravated robbery. All three judgments of conviction were
entered by the criminal court of Shelby County on April 15,
1997. The first judgment was for case number (and indictment
number) 95-07822, and it reflected that Howard was found
guilty on "Count I" of first degree murder. The
judgment provided for a life sentence and credited Howard
with 799 days of pretrial jail credit, spanning from February
7, 1995, to April 14, 1997. The second judgment was for case
number 95-07823, and it reflected that Howard was found
guilty of especially aggravated robbery and sentenced to
twenty-five years. The third judgment was for case number
95-07824, and it reflected that Howard was found guilty of
conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and sentenced to six
years. Each of the three judgments contained a pre-printed
with:" and another pre-printed box designated
"Consecutive to:". On each of the three judgments,
the "Concurrent with:" box was left blank, and the
"Consecutive to:" box contained a handwritten
notation of the case numbers for the other two sentencing
judgments. These boxes indicate that the three sentences were
to run consecutively rather than concurrently, but the
criminal court did not specifically state the order or
sequence in which the three consecutive sentences would be
served. However, the criminal court only credited Howard with
pretrial jail credit toward the life sentence for first
degree murder, and it did not provide any pretrial jail
credit for the other two sentences.
appealed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and
ultimately to the Tennessee Supreme Court. In State v.
Howard, 30 S.W.3d 271, 273 (Tenn. 2000), the Tennessee
Supreme Court concluded that the trial court's failure to
properly instruct the jury required reversal of Howard's
conviction for first degree murder. Because this was a
"trial error, " as opposed to an issue of
evidentiary insufficiency, the supreme court concluded that
Howard should be retried for first degree murder.
Id. at 277. Accordingly, the supreme court reversed
the murder conviction and remanded to the trial court for a
new trial. Id. at 278.
trial on remand, Howard was again found guilty of first
degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. The new
judgment of conviction, dated March 28, 2002, listed the
original case number of 95-07822 and again indicated that
Howard was found guilty on Count I and given a life sentence.
The "Consecutive to:" box again listed the case
numbers for the other two sentences: 95-7823 and 95-7824. The
criminal court credited Howard with 2, 676 days of pretrial
jail credit toward his life sentence, spanning the following
periods: February 7, 1995 to April 14, 1997; April 15, 1997
to September 14, 2000; and September 15, 2000 to June 5,
2002. The order contains a handwritten notation indicating
that Howard's case was "reversed in appeal
courts" during that time.
appeal after the retrial, the Court of Criminal Appeals
affirmed the conviction for premeditated murder and held that
the trial court did not abuse its discretion in again
imposing consecutive sentencing. State v. Howard,
No. W2002-01680-CCA-R3-CD, 2004 WL 2715346, at *16 (Tenn.