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Tomlin v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 17, 2017

AUSTIN MYLES TOMLIN
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs January 10, 2017

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 17991PC Forest A. Durand, Jr., Judge

         The Petitioner, Austin Myles Tomlin, pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, and the trial court sentenced him to ten years for each count, to be served consecutively. The Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which the post-conviction court denied after a hearing. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred when it dismissed his petition because his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly advise him regarding his guilty plea. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

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

          M. Wesley Hall IV, Jr., Unionville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Austin Myles Tomlin.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Michael D. Randels, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         This case arises from a car accident involving a car that the Petitioner was driving while intoxicated that resulted in the death of his two passengers. The Petitioner pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication. At the guilty plea hearing, the trial court ensured that the Petitioner understood the rights that he was waiving by entering pleas of guilt, that he understood the range of punishment he faced, that he was satisfied with his representation, and that he desired to enter a guilty plea. The State recited the following evidence supporting the guilty plea:

The factual basis is that on August 14, 2014, at a little past 2:30 in the morning, the Communication Center received a 911 call about a single car accident in the area of the intersection of Tate Street and Elm Street here in Shelbyville.
The police department units responded, EMS units responded, and I believe even some fire department personnel responded, and discovered a Ford Mustang essentially embedded in a building. It had obviously struck it. There was a tremendous amount of damage done to the building indicating a high-speed impact.
The [Petitioner] was the driver of the vehicle. He was extricated. Obviously suffering from injuries. He was transported, I believe via ambulance or emergency vehicle, to the old hospital location, which is just up the street on Union Street, where he was then life-flighted to Vanderbilt.
After he was extricated, from the vehicle, officers on the scene detected an odor of alcohol coming from the [Petitioner's] person.
Also in the vehicle were two other occupants, who were unfortunately deceased at the scene. That was Tristin Nichols, who was age 17, and Richard Grijalva, who was age 19.
[A]t Vanderbilt Hospital, blood was drawn. And that was approximately 3:55 a.m., so about an hour and 20 minutes after the crash. That blood was . . . drawn by hospital personnel as part of their medical treatment.
The State then obtained a search warrant, and obtained that sample of blood, and carried it to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's crime laboratory, where it was analyzed to determine the alcohol content. And it revealed that the [Petitioner's] blood alcohol in that sample was a .172.
Additionally Lieutenant Trey Clanton, who is a certified crash investigator, an accident reconstructionist with the police department, along with Sergeant Allan Brenneis, and I believe Trooper Hearn of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, were also crash reconstructionists, conducted an investigation.
There was [a] video from one of the stores near there[] that showed the vehicle -- you could actually see the vehicle on the video. And it appeared to be traveling ...

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