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Robinson v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

January 25, 2017

JANETTE EBONY ROBINSON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs October 4, 2016 at Jackson

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2013-A-643 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge.

         The 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.

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

          Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Janette Ebony Robinson.

          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.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE.

         FACTS

         In 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.

         The prosecutor recited the following factual basis for the pleas at the guilty plea hearing:

Our proof would have shown that in . . . August of 20[11] [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] ...

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