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Madden v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 6, 2017

SHANTERRICA MADDEN
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs April 19, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. F-75377 Royce Taylor, Judge

         The Petitioner, Shanterrica Madden, appeals the post-conviction court's dismissal of her petition for post-conviction relief as untimely. The Petitioner contends that due process concerns should toll the one-year statute of limitations to allow review of her underlying claims. Upon 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.

          Wesley Clark, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Petitioner, Shanterrica Madden.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Jennings H. Jones, District Attorney General; and J. Paul Newman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and John Everett Williams, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE.

         On May 14, 2012, a Rutherford County jury convicted the Petitioner of second degree murder and tampering with evidence for which the Petitioner received an effective sentence of twenty-nine years. See State v. Shanterrica Madden, No. M2012-02473-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 931031 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 11, 2014), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Sep. 18, 2014), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 1509 (Mar. 2, 2015) (No. 14-880). This court affirmed her convictions and sentence on direct appeal, and the Tennessee Supreme Court denied permission to appeal on September 18, 2014. Id.. On March 2, 2015, the United States Supreme Court also denied the Petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari. Id.

         On March 29, 2016, the Petitioner filed her pro se petition for post-conviction relief.[1] In her petition, the Petitioner alleged that she received ineffective assistance of counsel, that the evidence was insufficient to support her second degree murder conviction, and that she was denied due process based on impartial treatment towards the defense and improper juror questions. On March 30, 2016, the post-conviction court found that the Petitioner presented a colorable claim, appointed post-conviction counsel, and ordered the State to file a response. On April 18, 2016, the State filed a motion to dismiss the petition claiming that the petition was filed outside of the statute of limitations and was time-barred. The State contended that the one-year statute of limitations for the Petitioner's post-conviction petition began to run on September 18, 2014, when the Tennessee Supreme Court denied her application to appeal. The Petitioner did not address the statute of limitations in her post-conviction petition and did not file an amended petition. The post-conviction court held an evidentiary hearing on June 13, 2016.

         The attorney who represented the Petitioner at trial and on appeal was deceased at the time of the hearing. However, trial counsel's widow, who was also co-counsel on the Petitioner's case, testified at the hearing. Co-counsel testified that trial counsel wrote the Petitioner a letter, dated April 14, 2015, which stated, in pertinent part:[2]

         Dear Shanterrica,

Previously, when I sent you the denial from the United States Supreme Court, I failed to inform you that you have one year to file a [p]ost[-] [c]onviction act against [co-counsel] and I. I am truly sorry ...

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