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Peoples v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 2, 2017

LARRY PEOPLES
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 107074 Bobby R. McGee, Judge

         The Petitioner, Larry Peoples, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, challenging his conviction of violation of sex offender registration and sentence of one year. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because the underlying sex offense was vacated and he is no longer required to register as a sex offender. After a review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the post-conviction court's denial of relief.

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

          J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Peoples.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Charme Allen, District Attorney General; and Hector Sanchez, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         We glean the following facts from the petition and hearing for post-conviction relief and the parties' briefs. In 2005, the Petitioner was convicted of attempted sexual battery and, thus, was required to register as a sex offender. Later that year, he pled guilty to a violation of sex offender registration. In 2008, the Petitioner received post-conviction relief for his attempted sexual battery conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. His attempted sexual battery conviction was vacated, and he pled guilty to misdemeanor assault, which did not require him to register as a sex offender.

         In his present petition for post-conviction relief where he seeks relief from his violation of sex offender registration conviction, the Petitioner argued that he is entitled to relief because (1) the State failed to disclose "favorable" evidence, (2) there is newly discovered evidence, and (3) his violation of sex offender registration conviction is unfairly prejudicial because his attempted sexual battery conviction was overturned and he should have, therefore, never been required to register as a sex offender. He also argued that the one-year statute of limitations should be tolled because his "conviction that made [him] a sex offender wasn't overturned until December 21, 2008." After the post-conviction court granted the Petitioner a hearing, the Petitioner waived his right to appear.

         At the post-conviction relief hearing, the Petitioner presented no proof. Post-conviction counsel acknowledged before the court that the petition was filed outside the statute of limitations. Counsel conceded that he did not know of any law to support tolling of the statute of limitations by eight years. The post-conviction court found that there were not "appropriate reasons that explain[ed] the delay" and that "eight years would certainly seem to be an unreasonable period of time to keep the door open." The post-conviction court dismissed the petition, finding that the Petitioner failed to meet his burden to establish grounds for relief.

         ANALYSIS

         On appeal, the Petitioner argues that "his private interests in removing the social stigma of a criminal conviction … should outweigh … the State's interests in finality of the 2005 judgment…." The State argues that the Petitioner failed to present any legal support for ...


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