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Hughes v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 31, 2017

RONNIE HUGHES
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs October 4, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-02386 Chris Craft, Judge

         The Petitioner, Ronnie Hughes, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief by the Shelby County Criminal Court. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was involuntary and unknowing. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          James E. Thomas (on appeal), and David S. Mays (at hearing for post-conviction relief), Memphis, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Ronnie Hughes.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Chris Lareau, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE

         On May 16, 2013, the Petitioner was indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on one count of carjacking and one count of robbery in Case No. 13-02386. On December 16, 2013, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea to one count of carjacking, and pursuant to a plea agreement, the State dismissed the remaining count of robbery. As a Range II, Multiple Offender, the Petitioner received an effective sentence of fifteen years' incarceration at thirty-five percent.

         Guilty Plea Hearing.

At the December 16, 2013 guilty plea hearing, the State summarized the underlying facts as follows:

On [October 14, 2012], Ms. Lachelle Thomas was driving her „89 Ford Aerostar van near the intersection of Poplar and Dunlap when she was flagged down by a male known to her as Buck. Buck asked Ms. Thomas for a ride. Ms. Thomas agreed to provide a ride for [five dollars] worth of gasoline. Buck got into the '89 Ford Aerostar van with [Ms.] Thomas. And after getting the gas while riding down Leath, Buck began to strike [Ms.] Thomas in the face. [Ms.] Thomas stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road, at which time Buck took [Ms.] Thomas' van and fled the scene. [Ms.] Thomas later went to the hospital and learned she sustained a broken jaw.
During the course of the investigation, Ronnie Hughes was developed as a suspect. Ms. Thomas was shown a six-person photographic lineup, at which time Ms. Thomas identified Mr. Hughes as Buck, the male that carjacked her of her Aerostar van. All these events occurred here in Shelby County.

         The Petitioner's counsel, on behalf of the Petitioner, stipulated to the State's recitation of the facts. The court explained to the Petitioner the rights he would waive by pleading guilty, including his right to a jury trial, his right to confront witnesses, his right to compel or subpoena witnesses, his right to remain silent, and his right to an appeal. The Petitioner indicated that he understood these rights and the plea agreement. Then, the court asked the Petitioner the following series of questions:

COURT: Knowing all that, do you still wish to enter this plea ...

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