Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
GREGORY D. VALENTINE, SR.
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs January 10, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Sumner County No. 298-2014 Dee
David Gay, Judge
D. Valentine, Sr., ("the Petitioner") entered a
"best interest" plea to twenty counts of identity
theft, six counts of criminal simulation, and one count each
of forgery, theft of property valued between $10, 000 and
$60, 000, and money laundering. The Petitioner received an
effective sentence of twelve years and eight months; he was
ordered to serve thirty-two months with a seventy-five
percent release eligibility in the county jail and ten years
with a thirty percent release eligibility on probation. The
Petitioner filed three pro se motions to set aside his guilty
pleas, which the trial court summarily denied. The Petitioner
appealed, and this court reversed and remanded for a hearing
on the motions to set aside the Petitioner's guilty
pleas. On remand, the trial court denied the Petitioner's
motions. The Petitioner appealed, and this court affirmed the
trial court's denial. The Petitioner then filed a
petition for post-conviction relief, which the
post-conviction court summarily denied. The Petitioner
appealed the denial, and this court reversed and remanded for
a hearing on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel.
After this court remanded this case, the Petitioner filed a
motion to recuse, which the post-conviction court denied
after a hearing. The post-conviction court held an
evidentiary hearing on the Petitioner's petition for
post-conviction relief and denied relief. On appeal, the
Petitioner argues that the post-conviction court erred in
denying post-conviction relief and by denying his motion to
recuse. After a thorough review of the record and applicable
case law, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
M. Sluder, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gregory D.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Ray Whitley,
District Attorney General; and Thomas Dean, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, J.,
L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE
Factual and Procedural Background
Plea Submission Hearing
the plea colloquy, the State summarized the facts supporting
the Petitioner's best interest plea as the following:
The facts stem from events on the 30th of September, 2009[, ]
in Hendersonville, Tennessee. At that time, one of the Bank
of America branches called Hendersonville Police Department,
said they had in the bank at that moment a member of a fraud
ring who had perpetrated identity theft. She was in the bank
at that time. Ultimately, they reported that she was leaving
the bank and fleeing the premises.
Hendersonville Police Department Officers were actually
driving by the bank at that time; they saw the woman fleeing
the bank. Then they heard the call almost immediately. They
turned around; they saw the woman get into a van containing,
counting her, six individuals. It was a rental van out of
The police began an investigation at that time to determine
who she was. She said she was Gail Shapiro, which is the name
on the identification that she had presented to the Bank of
America. The other defendants, all the others in the van,
supported that story that they had just picked her up. They
didn't know her.
. . .
What we have is on the 30th, Maurice Reed went into a bank in
Hendersonville at about 9:30 in the morning, started an
account under the name of Greg Shapiro. He then went to the
Madison branch at about 10:30, 10:15 . . .; Bank of America
made a transfer from the real Greg Shapiro's account to
the bogus Greg Shapiro account he had just created,
transferred $16, 000, [and] withdrew $7, 500. Then [he
returned to] the van, and he went back to Hendersonville
later that day. They withdrew another $7, 500 from a
different branch of Bank of America.
And then around 2:00 in the afternoon, with all six
individuals in the van, Yolanda Carter went into the Bank of
America, attempted to start an account under the name of Gail
Shapiro. The bank got wise [and] called Hendersonville. . . .
Based on that information and the numerous false
identifications that were . . . later found in the van, and
the many scraps of paper in the van with bank account
holder's names, social security numbers, account
number[s], date of birth, sometimes mother's maiden
name[, ] that sort of information that led to the charges
before the Court.
[The Petitioner was charged with] [c]riminal [s]imulation for
the fake [identifications, ] [i]dentity [t]heft for the
information on the many pieces of paper regarding the
individual account holders[, ] [f]alse [r]eport for saying
that the defendant who was later determined to be Yolanda
Carter was Gail Shapiro[, ] [t]heft over $10, 000 relating to
the $15, 000 that was removed from Greg Shapiro's bank
account[, ] [f]orgery for Maurice Reed signing the name of
Gregory Shapiro on the bank documentation to open the false
bank account that morning in Hendersonville, and identity
theft for his use of Greg Shapiro's name at that time,
and one [i]dentity [t]heft count for Yolanda Carter using
Gail Shapiro's name . . . .
There is a money laundering charge that is Money Laundering
by Promotion of a Criminal Enterprise by Reinvesting Criminal
Proceeds . . . under [Code section 39-14-]903(b) of the money
laundering [statute]. That is for the deposit of $100 that
went in to start the bogus account on that morning in the
name of Greg Shapiro. . . .
[The Petitioner] according to the State's information is
the leader of this enterprise, at least the highest ranking
person of the enterprise that was in the van; therefore, we
have made a different offer to him than to the others.
trial court informed the Petitioner that a best interest plea
"has the same effect as a guilty plea or a guilty
verdict by a jury." The Petitioner stated that he had
graduated high school and he affirmed that he had signed the
plea agreement. The Petitioner also agreed that trial counsel
had discussed the plea agreement and the elements of the
charged offenses with him and that he understood the plea
agreement. He stated that he was satisfied with trial
counsel's representation. The trial court informed the
Petitioner of his right to plead not guilty and proceed to
trial, to subpoena witnesses in his defense, to cross-examine
the State's witnesses, to testify or not testify at
trial, to be represented by an attorney, and to appeal. The
trial court accepted the Petitioner's best interest
guilty plea and imposed the sentence set out in the plea
agreement. The trial court entered the judgments for the
Petitioner's convictions on October 14, 2010.
to Set Aside Guilty Pleas
Petitioner thereafter filed three pro se motions to set aside
his guilty pleas on October 19-21, 2010. The trial court
summarily denied the Petitioner's motions, and the
Petitioner appealed. On appeal, this court reversed and
remanded for the trial court to conduct a hearing on the
motions, concluding that "[the Petitioner]'s
allegations are sufficient to warrant an evidentiary hearing
on his motion to withdraw the guilty pleas." State
v. Gregory Darnell Valentine (Valentine I), No.
M2010-02356-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 3263117, at *1-2 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Aug. 10, 2012), no perm. app. filed.
on Motions to Set Aside Guilty Pleas
September 28, 2012, the trial court conducted a hearing on
the Petitioner's motions to set aside his guilty pleas.
The trial court found that the transcript of the guilty plea
submission hearing reflected that the Petitioner "made
no complaints about his pleas" and that "[the
Petitioner's] plea[s] w[ere] voluntary and knowing, and
in his transcript he had no complaints against the
attorney." State v. Gregory D. Valentine (Valentine
II), No. ...