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Armstrong v. Ford

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 3, 2017

TIMOTHY LEE ARMSTRONG
v.
TAMMY FORD, WARDEN

          Assigned on Briefs January 5, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hardeman County No. CC-16-CR-60 Joe H. Walker, III, Judge.

         The Petitioner, Timothy Lee Armstrong, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus in which he challenged his 1994 convictions for felony murder and especially aggravated robbery and his effective sentence of life imprisonment. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

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

          Timothy Lee Armstrong, Whiteville, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; and D. Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A grand jury indicted the Petitioner for felony murder during the perpetration of especially aggravated robbery, premeditated first degree murder, and especially aggravated robbery. The indictment for especially aggravated robbery alleged that the Petitioner

did unlawfully, intentionally, knowingly, violently obtain from the person of Theresa Patterson, personal property of value (under $500), by use of a deadly weapon, namely, an iron skillet and a butcher knife, a more exact description thereof being unknown to the Grand Jurors with the intent to deprive Theresa Patterson, of her personal property without her effective consent, resulting in death to Theresa Patterson ….

         On May 16, 1994, the Petitioner pled guilty to felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. The trial court sentenced the Petitioner to life in prison for the felony murder conviction and twenty-two years for the especially aggravated robbery conviction, ordering the sentences to be served concurrently.

         On April 7, 2016, the Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that double jeopardy protections bar his convictions of felony murder and especially aggravated robbery because the especially aggravated robbery conviction "requires the same facts to prove the same elements as" the felony murder conviction. He also argued that trial counsel was ineffective for allowing him to plead guilty to charges from "a facially defective indictment." The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the Petitioner's ...


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