Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hodges v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 16, 2017

STEFFON HODGES
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs January 5, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-16-46 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge

         The Petitioner, Steffon Hodges, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief by the Madison County Circuit Court. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that his guilty plea was involuntary and unknowing because he received ineffective assistance of counsel and was not advised of his rights before entering his guilty plea. After review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Steffon Hodges.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE.

         The Petitioner was charged with one count of aggravated robbery, and a jury trial was held on March 3, 2015.[1] At the conclusion of trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared. On the same day as the jury trial, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea to one count of attempted aggravated robbery. Pursuant to the negotiated plea agreement, the Petitioner pled guilty as a Range II offender and received an effective sentence of ten years' incarceration to be served at thirty-five percent.

         Guilty Plea Hearing.

         At the March 3, 2015 guilty plea hearing, the Petitioner's counsel, on behalf of the Petitioner, stipulated to the facts presented during the trial.[2] The trial court explained that, pursuant to the plea agreement, the Petitioner would be sentenced as a Range II offender instead of a Range I offender with a release eligibility of thirty-five percent. The trial court explained that release eligibility meant that the Petitioner had to serve a certain percentage of his sentence before he was eligible for release but that "it's not an automatic release." The trial court also explained to the Petitioner the rights he would waive by pleading guilty, including his right to plead not guilty, his right to a jury trial and a speedy trial, his right to counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, the right to subpoena witnesses, the right to remain silent, and the right to an appeal. The trial court also explicitly stated that the Petitioner was entitled to another jury trial. The Petitioner indicated that he understood all the rights he was waiving by pleading guilty and that he understood the plea agreement. Upon concluding that the Petitioner's guilty plea was knowing and voluntary, the trial court accepted the Petitioner's guilty plea.

         The Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief on March 2, 2016, alleging several grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was involuntary and unknowing. The Petitioner was appointed counsel, and appointed counsel did not file an amended petition for post-conviction relief. Appointed counsel filed a "Certification of Counsel" stating that he had reviewed the Petitioner's pro se petition and "investigated the possible constitutional violations alleged by the Petitioner."

         Post-Conviction Hearing.

         At the April 26, 2016 post-conviction hearing, the Petitioner testified that trial counsel was appointed to represent him and that his jury trial resulted in a hung jury. After his jury trial, the Petitioner entered a guilty plea to attempted aggravated robbery and received a sentence of ten years at thirty-five percent. The Petitioner testified that after entering his guilty plea, he began to research the law and believed that his guilty plea was the result of "fear and ignorance of the law." The Petitioner stated that he had no prior experience with the criminal justice system and had no prior criminal history. He also testified that he was "misled into pleading to a higher range" and that trial counsel was ineffective because he allowed the Petitioner to plead ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.