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State v. Lumpkin

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 17, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ROBERT L. LUMPKIN

          Assigned on Briefs November 8, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Dickson County Nos. 22CC-2014-CR-359, 22CC-2014-CR-147 David D. Wolfe, Judge

         The defendant, Robert L. Lumpkin, appeals the Dickson County Circuit Court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to aggravated sexual battery and sexual exploitation of a minor, arguing that he did not understand the lifetime supervision aspect of the sex offender registry at the time he entered his pleas. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court denying the motion.

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

          Steven S. Hooper, Waverly, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert L. Lumpkin.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Wendell R. Crouch, Jr., District Attorney General; and Carey J. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined. Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., not participating.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE

         FACTS

         In April 2014, the Dickson County Grand Jury returned a presentment in Case Number 22CC-2014-CR-147 charging the defendant with four counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony. In August 2014, the Dickson County Grand Jury returned a second presentment in Case Number 22CC-2014-CR-359 charging the defendant with sexual exploitation of a minor based on his possession of more than 100 images of child pornography and especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, Class B felonies.

         On August 28, 2015, the defendant entered nolo contendere guilty pleas in both cases, pleading guilty in count one of case number 22CC-2014-CR-147 to the lesser charge of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, in exchange for an eight-year sentence at 100% and registration as a sex offender, with the remaining counts of the presentment dismissed. In case number 22CC-2014-CR-359, the defendant pled guilty in count one to sexual exploitation of a minor (more than 100 images), in exchange for eight years at 100% in the Department of Correction and registration as a sex offender, to be served concurrently with his sentence in case number 22CC-2014-CR-147. The second count of the presentment was dismissed.

         The defendant subsequently filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. That motion is not included in the record. However, in an October 14, 2015 motion to withdraw as counsel, which is included in the record, trial counsel referenced the defendant's "timely" motion to withdraw his pleas. On November 4, 2015, the trial court entered an order granting trial counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel and appointing substitute counsel.

         At the March 15, 2016 hearing on the motion to withdraw the pleas, the defendant testified that trial counsel met with him only two or three times before he entered his pleas. He said that trial counsel reviewed with him the charges and the potential punishment he faced, but he did not understand all of it. Counsel discussed the plea agreement with him, and he understood it involved an eight-year sentence, but counsel only "vaguely" discussed with him the lifetime supervision aspect of the plea. Had he fully understood that aspect of the sentence, he "more than likely" would have opted to proceed to trial.

         On cross-examination, the defendant acknowledged that he assured the trial court at the guilty plea hearing that he understood his sentence would require supervision for life. The defendant testified that he thought he understood the requirement at the time but that he did not "actually . . . know exactly what" it involved because trial counsel told him he would be on the sex offender registry for life without fully explaining it. On redirect examination, he ...


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