Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2011-B-1498
Seth W. Norman, Judge
pro se petitioner, Mitchell Nathaniel Scott, appeals
the denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis by
the Davidson County Criminal Court, arguing the trial court
erred in summarily dismissing the petition because newly
discovered evidence exists in his case. The petitioner also
calls on this Court to apply the doctrine of stare decisis
and ignore the Tennessee Supreme Court holding of Frazier
v. State, 495 S.W.3d 246 (Tenn. 2016). After our review,
we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition pursuant to
Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Mitchell Nathaniel Scott, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk,
District Attorney General; and Jennifer Smith, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
ROSS DYER, JUDGE
2011, the petitioner was indicted for two counts of
aggravated child abuse and two counts of aggravated child
neglect after inflicting second degree burns upon his
three-year-old son. On January 28, 2013, the petitioner
entered a "best interest" plea to one count of
aggravated child abuse. Prior to the imposition of his
sentence, the petitioner filed a motion to withdraw his
guilty plea on February 27, 2013. The withdrawal motion was
denied, appealed, and subsequently affirmed by this Court.
See State v. Mitchell Nathaniel Scott, No.
M2013-01169-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 1669964 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr.
25, 2014). A sentencing hearing was held on June 25, 2014
wherein the petitioner received a seventeen-year sentence to
be served at one hundred percent. The petitioner then sought
post-conviction relief, the denial of which was affirmed by
this Court. See Mitchell Nathaniel Scott v. State,
No. M2016-01210-CCA-R3-PC, 2017 WL 1063481 (Tenn. Crim. App.
Mar. 21, 2017) perm. app. filed (Tenn. Apr. 13,
addition to the above proceedings, the petitioner filed an
application for writ of error coram nobis on September 23,
2016. In both his original and amended petitions, the
petitioner sought to collaterally attack his guilty plea,
alleging "newly discovered evidence" exists in his
case. According to the petitioner, the new evidence included
"a maintenance-work order showing replacement of the hot
water heater" and a newspaper article entitled
"Court reverses child abuse conviction."
its review, the trial court held the petitioner's claim
is barred pursuant to Frazier v. State, 495 S.W.3d
246 (Tenn. 2016), stating:
Our Supreme Court has very recently addressed the issue of
collaterally attacking a guilty plea by petitioning for a
writ of error coram nobis [in Frazier]. The Court
has determined that, due to the nature and requirements of
the plea colloquy, the coram nobis statute is not available
as a procedural mechanism for collaterally attacking a guilty
Although the Court in Frazier does not explicitly
discuss "best-interest" pleas, the analysis is the
same. A guilty plea proceeding is neither contested nor
adversarial. If a guilty plea hearing does not constitute a
trial for the purposes of the error coram nobis, nor does a
best-interest plea. Further, the trial court must ensure
during the plea submission hearing that the [petitioner] is
waiving his right to a trial. This is true regardless of
whether the plea was entered as a best-interest plea or not.
There is no contest wherein evidence, if submitted, might
have resulted in a ...