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Lindiment v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 10, 2017


          Assigned on Briefs January 5, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-03935 James M. Lammey, Jr., Judge

         The petitioner, Robert Lindiment, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the court erred in finding that he received effective assistance of counsel. Following our review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

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

          Ernest J. Beasley (on appeal) and Megan R. House (at hearing), Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Lindiment.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Glen C. Baity, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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


          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE


         On August 15, 2013, the then-seventeen-year-old petitioner and a co-defendant, Corey Mitchell, were indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, and employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. On April 7, 2014, the petitioner, who had turned eighteen, pled guilty to the attempted first degree murder charge, a Class A felony, in exchange for a fifteen-year sentence at thirty percent as a Range I offender. Pursuant to the terms of his negotiated plea agreement, the remaining charges were dismissed.

         At the joint guilty plea hearing, the prosecutor recited the following factual basis for the petitioner and Mr. Mitchell's pleas:

Had the matters respectively proceeded to trial, the State submits that [the] proof would have been on February 2, 2013, at approximately 11 p.m., the victim Jeremiah Mays was at 2574 Malone here in Memphis, Shelby County[, ] when he was confronted by two male blacks. He didn't know them very well. He did, however, know they were in a rival gang.

There had been some confrontation prior to this about apparent allegation [sic] there may have been a prior shooting prior to this date. The males were upset with Mays because they felt he was flirting with their girlfriends. There was an argument that escalated when apparently [the] victim thought bought [sic] may have pulled guns but according to the co[-]defendant it was actually [the petitioner] who . . . fired his weapon several times at the victim, striking him twice in the leg. Corey Mitchell apparently was the driver of the vehicle as it drove by.

All events did occur in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. . . . [T]he victim did pick out both out of a photo lineup and sa[id] one was the driver Corey Mitchell and also [the petitioner] was the shooter in fact.

[The petitioner] did in fact give a confession saying he was the shooter and that Corey Mitchell did in fact drive the vehicle. And there were several Facebook pages taken where there was a photo on both Facebook pages with guns very similar to those described by the victim.

         On October 10, 2014, the petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, followed by an amended petition after the appointment of counsel. In his petitions, the petitioner raised claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel and an unknowing and involuntary guilty plea. Specifically, he alleged that his plea was the product of ignorance, incomprehension, and coercion based on his youth, limited education, and diminished mental capacity. The petitioner asserted that trial counsel failed to adequately explain the consequences of his plea and coerced him to enter the plea. The petitioner asserted that, were it not for trial counsel's deficiencies in representation, he would not have pled guilty but instead would have proceeded to trial.

         At the June 30, 2015 evidentiary hearing, the nineteen-year-old petitioner testified that he had a seventh grade education and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The petitioner denied that trial counsel explained his rights to him, but he "[s]ort of" remembered the trial court's discussing his rights at the guilty plea hearing. He said he did not understand that he would not have a trial if he pled guilty and thought he would be sentenced to two years if he ...

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