Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs January 10, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 17991PC Forest
A. Durand, Jr., Judge
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
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
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.
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr.,
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE
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
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
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
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
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
[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 ...