Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs October 4, 2016 at Jackson
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2013-A-643
Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge.
petitioner, Janette Ebony Robinson, appeals the denial of her
petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that she
received ineffective assistance of counsel and that her
guilty pleas were unknowing and involuntary. Following our
review, we affirm the denial of the petition.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Janette
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark
B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney
General; and Robert Wilson Jones, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE.
March 2013, the petitioner was indicted by the Davidson
County Grand Jury for five counts of aggravated child abuse
and one count of aggravated child neglect based on her 2011
abuse of her three-year-old daughter. On March 7, 2014, she
pled guilty to two counts of aggravated child abuse in
exchange for an effective sentence of twenty-five years at
100% in the Department of Correction. Pursuant to the terms
of her negotiated plea agreement, the remaining counts of the
indictment were dismissed.
prosecutor recited the following factual basis for the pleas
at the guilty plea hearing:
Our proof would have shown that in . . . August of 20
[the victim] was returned to the care of [the petitioner] on
a trial basis and remained in her care through the month[s]
of August and September up until October 14th of 2011 when
she was admitted to the hospital. Our proof would have shown
that in September of 2011, specifically on September 26th of
2011, [the victim] presented to Vanderbilt Hospital with a
fracture of her arm. Initially the medical staff accepted
[the petitioner's] explanation for this as an accidental
injury. However on October 14th of 2011, [the victim] was
re[-]presented to Vanderbilt Hospital. At that time she was
diagnosed with a lacerated pancreas, a hematoma to her liver,
hematomas to her head, severe bruising around her head, a
concussion, and various cutaneous injuries.
On October 17th a skeletal survey was done, which revealed an
undetected rib fracture that was healing, suggesting it had
been caused between the arm fracture and the date of her
admission based on the timing of that injury.
Specifically [the petitioner] was asked to describe the
circumstances surrounding [the victim's] injuries. She
provided a number of conflicting accounts, admitted that she
was the caretaker for [the victim]. [The victim] had injuries
that represented whip marks from a belt or a cord based on
the pattern of injuries. Those occurred during the time
period between August 5th of 2011 and September 26th of 2011.
She was observed to cause those injuries by [the victim's
father] as well as the accounts of one of [the victim's]