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Bigbee v. Lebo

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 3, 2017

ROOSEVELT BIGBEE
v.
JONATHAN LEBO, WARDEN

          Assigned on Briefs February 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lauderdale County No. 6918 Joe H. Walker, III, Judge

         The petitioner, Roosevelt Bigbee, appeals the dismissal of his habeas corpus petition in which he alleged the felony murder indictment upon which he was convicted and incarcerated to be void. The petitioner asserts that because he was not separately indicted for the underlying felony of attempted robbery, upon which the felony murder conviction rested, the murder indictment is void. Following our review, we affirm the habeas court's dismissal of the petition as the petitioner has failed to show he is entitled to relief.

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

          Roosevelt Bigbee, Clifton, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; D. Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Camille R. McMullen, J., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         FACTS

         In 1988, a Sumner County Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment charging the petitioner with the felony murder and aggravated robbery of Monty Clymer. After a jury trial, the petitioner was acquitted of aggravated robbery, but was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to death. Upon review by our Supreme Court, the petitioner's sentence of death was reversed. Subsequently, the trial court held a re-sentencing hearing wherein the petitioner received a life sentence.[1]

         In August 2016, the petitioner filed a habeas corpus petition claiming the indictment upon which his felony murder conviction rested was void. After its review, the trial court summarily dismissed the petition. This timely appeal followed.

         ANALYSIS

         On appeal, the petitioner argues that because he was not separately indicted for attempted robbery, the underlying felony in the felony murder indictment, he did not receive adequate notice of the charges against him. The State contends the petitioner's claims are meritless. Based upon our review of the record, we agree with the State.

         Habeas corpus relief is limited in scope and may only be invoked where the judgment is void or the petitioner's term of imprisonment has expired. Faulkner v. State, 226 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2007); State v. Ritchie, 20 S.W.3d 624, 629 (Tenn. 2000); State v. Davenport, 980 S.W.2d 407, 409 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998). A void, rather than a voidable, judgment is "one that is facially invalid because the court did not have the statutory authority to render such ...


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