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State v. Wall

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 18, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JEROME WALL

          Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 91-09143, 91-07725 John Wheeler Campbell, Judge.

         The Appellant, Jerome Wall, filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence in the Shelby County Criminal Court pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. The trial court denied the motion, and the Appellant appeals the ruling. Based upon our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Vicki M. Carriker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerome Wall.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and George Kirby May, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.

         I. Factual Background

         The record reflects that the Appellant was arrested for robbery on January 2, 1991, and aggravated robbery on May 21, 1991. On August 21, 1992, he pled guilty to the offenses and was sentenced to concurrent sentences of three years and ten years, respectively.

         On November 19, 2013, the Appellant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1, Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure, arguing that his effective ten-year sentence was illegal because he was on bond for robbery when he committed aggravated robbery. Thus, he was required to serve the sentences consecutively. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-20-111(b); Tenn. R. Crim. P. 32(c)(3)(C). On April 7, 2014, the trial court summarily dismissed the motion on the basis that the Appellant's sentences had expired.

         The Appellant appealed the dismissal to this court. The State conceded on appeal that the concurrent sentencing was illegal and that the Appellant was entitled to a hearing. This court concluded that the Appellant had presented a colorable claim for relief from an illegal sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for a hearing in which "the trial court must address the legality of the appellant's convictions and determine whether an illegal provision was a material component of the plea agreement." State v. Jerome Wall, No. W2014-00782-CCA-R3-CO, 2014 WL 7332113, at *3 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Dec. 23, 2014).

         On November 12, 2015, the trial court held the hearing on the motion. During the hearing, the Appellant testified that the only reason he pled guilty to robbery and aggravated robbery was because he was to serve the ten- and three-year sentences concurrently. He stated, "That was the only thing really bargained for. . . . [N]othing was reduced, nothing was dismissed." He said that the State had offered to let him plead guilty to consecutive ten- and three-year sentences but that he rejected that offer. On cross-examination, the Appellant testified that he currently was serving a sentence of life without parole in Mississippi for possession of marijuana.[1]

         On December 18, 2015, the trial court filed a written order denying the Appellant's Rule 36.1 motion. In the order, the court found that the Appellant "clearly was on bond" for the first offense when he committed the second offense and that concurrent sentencing was illegal. However, the court did not address whether the concurrent sentencing was a material component of the Appellant's guilty pleas. Instead, the court, citing State v. Brown, 479 ...


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