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Collins v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 6, 2016

GERALD COLLINS
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs August 2, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Gibson County No. 19041 Clayburn Peeples, Judge.

         The Petitioner, Gerald Collins, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief by the Circuit Court for Gibson County. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was involuntary. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed.

          Jeff Mueller, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Gerald Collins.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; and Hillary L. Parham, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. MCMULLEN, JUDGE

         On May 6, 2013, the Petitioner was indicted by the Gibson County Grand Jury in Case No. 18919[1] for rape of a child and aggravated statutory rape. The Petitioner was later charged in a superceding indictment in Case No. 19041 with rape of a child, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and aggravated statutory rape. The charges stemmed from the Petitioner's sexual relationship with a nine-year old girl over a period of three years and nude photographs of the minor victim found on his cellphone. During the investigation, the Petitioner admitted that he had sexual intercourse with the minor victim "approximately [ten] times over the [past] three years" and that he was aware of her age before engaging in sexual intercourse.

         On February 25, 2015, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement. In exchange for the dismissal of aggravated statutory rape, the Petitioner pled guilty to two counts of rape and received ten years for each count. His sentences were aligned consecutively, for a total effective sentence of twenty years. At the guilty plea colloquy, the trial court asked the Petitioner the following series of questions:

COURT: I know [second counsel] has worked really hard on this case, but have you had as much time to speak with her about it as you need?
PETITIONER: Yes, sir.
COURT: Are you satisfied with her representation?
PETITIONER: Yes, ...

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