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Lequire v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 15, 2017

ROBERT E. LEQUIRE, JR.
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs November 8, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sumner County No. 2014-CR-985 Dee David Gay, Judge

         Petitioner, Robert E. Lequire, Jr., appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, in which he alleged that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. Having reviewed the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Manuel B. Russ, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Stroud Vaughn, Gallatin, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Robert E. Lequire, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Lawrence Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; Tara A. Wyllie and Eric Mauldin, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

         Procedural background

         Petitioner was charged in a 22-count indictment for the following offenses: seven counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means; one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor; 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor; and two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure. Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, Petitioner pleaded guilty to six counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means and two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and received an effective sentence of 12 years. The remaining 14 counts of the indictment were dismissed.

         Petitioner filed a timely pro se post-conviction petition, and an amended petition was subsequently filed by appointed counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied post-conviction relief.

         Guilty plea submission hearing

         The State provided the following factual basis for Petitioner's guilty pleas:

Your Honor, if this case were to go to trial, the state's proof would show that [Petitioner] had power of attorney over a young minor named [T.L.]. She was 15 when this was brought to the state's attention.
. . . .
When Detective Steffy responded, he took the phones of both the victim and the [petitioner] and did a search. He questioned the [petitioner]. He denied any kind of physical contact or anything that ...

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