Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
EDDIE A. MEDLOCK
STATE OF TENNESSEE
from the Circuit Court for Trousdale County No. 16-CV-4566
John D. Wootten, Jr., Judge
Appellant, Eddie A. Medlock, is appealing the trial
court's order denying his petition for a writ of habeas
corpus. The State has filed a motion asking this Court to
affirm pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. Said
motion is hereby granted.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Order of the Trial Court
Affirmed Pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20
A. Medlock, Hartsville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent
C. Cherry, Senior Counsel, for the Appellee, State of
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
January 24, 1997, the Appellant pled guilty to two separate
counts of robbery, one count of aggravated assault, two
separate counts of attempted aggravated kidnapping, and one
count of coercion of a witness. The Appellant received an
effective concurrent three-year sentence for all six
convictions. The Appellant was subsequently convicted of two
counts of aggravated rape and two counts of especially
aggravated kidnapping. State v. Eddie Medlock, No.
W2000-03009-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1549707 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan.
16, 2002), perm. app. denied (Tenn. July 1, 2002).
The Appellant was sentenced to sixty years on each count.
Id. The sentences for the rape counts were ordered
to run concurrently, as were the sentences for the kidnapping
counts, but the sentences for the rape and kidnapping
convictions were ordered to run consecutively to each other
for a total effective sentence of one hundred and twenty
years. Id. On appeal, this Court reversed and
dismissed one of the especially aggravated kidnapping
convictions but affirmed the remaining convictions and
sentence. Id. The Appellant's 1997 convictions
were used to enhance the sentence for the subsequent
convictions. The Appellant was unsuccessful in his pursuit of
post-conviction relief on the subsequent convictions.
Eddie Medlock v. State, No. W2015-02130-CCA-R3-PC,
2016 WL 6135517 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 16, 2016), perm.
app. filed (Dec. 21, 2016). The Appellant then filed the
instant habeas corpus petition on November 7, 2016. The trial
court summarily denied the same. This timely appeal ensued.
In response to the brief filed by the Appellant, the State
moves this Court to affirm the order of the trial court
pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. For the
reasons stated below, we grant the State's motion.
I, Section 15 of the Tennessee Constitution guarantees the
right to seek habeas corpus relief, and Tennessee Code
Annotated Sections 29-21-101 et seq. codify the
applicable procedure for seeking such a writ. The grounds
upon which our law provides relief are very narrow, however.
McLaney v. Bell, 59 S.W.3d 90, 92 (Tenn. 2001).
Habeas corpus relief is available in this state only when it
appears on the face of the judgment or the record of the
proceedings that the trial court was without jurisdiction to
convict or sentence the defendant or that the sentence of
imprisonment has otherwise expired. Archer v. State,
851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993). In other words, habeas
corpus relief may only be sought when the judgment is void,
not merely voidable. Taylor v. State, 995 S.W.2d 78,
83 (Tenn. 1999). More importantly, though, habeas corpus
relief is available only to persons who are "imprisoned
or restrained of liberty." Tenn. Code Ann. §
29-21-101(a). "[W]here the allegations in a petition for
writ of habeas corpus do not demonstrate that the judgment is
void, a trial court may correctly dismiss the petition
without a hearing." McLaney, 59 S.W.3d at 93.
petition, the Appellant attacks the validity of the sentences
imposed for his 1997 convictions. He contends concurrent
sentencing was improper because he was on bond for three of
the charges when he was arrested for committing the other
three offenses. Thus, he argues he should have received
consecutive sentencing instead. As the State aptly notes, the
Appellant's sentences for the 1997 convictions have long
since expired. Although those convictions were used to
enhance the sentences for his subsequent offenses, he is no
longer "imprisoned or restrained of liberty" on the
1997 convictions as those terms are applied in habeas corpus
jurisprudence. Our Supreme Court has explained:
[A] person is not "restrained of liberty" for
purposes of the habeas corpus statute unless the challenged
judgment itself imposes a restraint upon the petitioner's
freedom of action or movement. Use of the challenged judgment
to enhance the sentence imposed on a separate conviction is
not a restraint of liberty sufficient to permit a habeas
corpus challenge to the original conviction long after the
sentence on the original conviction has expired.
Hickman v. State, 153 S.W.3d 16, 23 (Tenn. 2004).
Use of the Appellant's prior convictions to enhance the
subsequent sentences was "merely a collateral
consequence" of the challenged convictions and does not
provide sufficient grounds for habeas corpus relief. See
Benson v. State, 153 S.W.3d 27, 32 (Tenn. 2004) (citing
Hickman). Because the 1997 sentences expired before
the Appellant filed the instant habeas corpus petition, he is
not "imprisoned or restrained of liberty" by those
convictions and thus not entitled to habeas corpus relief.
the ruling of the trial court is hereby affirmed pursuant to