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Turner v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

July 7, 2017

RANDALL TURNER
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County Nos. 236894, 278379 Don W. Poole, Judge

         The Petitioner, Randall Turner, filed a motion to reopen his post-conviction petition in which he challenged his guilty pleas to first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated robbery and his effective sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The post-conviction court denied the motion, and the Petitioner subsequently filed two motions to rehear, both of which the post-conviction court denied. The Petitioner filed a notice of appeal pursuant to Rule 3 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we dismiss the appeal.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed

          Randall Turner, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, 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.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In 2001, the Petitioner pled guilty to first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated robbery and received an effective sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In June 2001, the Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. Following the appointment of counsel and the filing of an amended petition, the Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss his petition, asserting that he no longer wished to pursue post-conviction relief. On February 6, 2003, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition.

         In 2010, the Petitioner filed a pro se "Motion to Vacate Convictions, " which the trial court denied. On appeal, this court considered the motion as a post-conviction relief petition and held that the petition was untimely. See Randall Turner v. State, No. E2011-00110-CCA-R3-PC, 2011 WL 2416927, at *1-2 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 13, 2011). The Petitioner then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, which the habeas corpus court denied, and this court affirmed the habeas corpus court's judgment on appeal. See Randall Turner v. Bruce Westbrooks, Warden, No. E2012-00093-CCA-R3-HC, 2012 WL 5258266, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 24, 2012).

         In December 2012, the Petitioner filed a "Petition" in which he alleged that he was actually innocent of the offenses and that he was coerced into pleading guilty as a result of trial counsel's conspiring with state officials. Randall Turner v. State, No. E2013-01515-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 1018213, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 17, 2014). He also sought recusal of the judge presiding over the post-conviction court. Id. The post-conviction court entered an order denying the recusal request and dismissing the petition. Id. The Petitioner filed multiple other pleadings, including a motion to reconsider. Id. The post-conviction court filed a subsequent order considering the Petitioner's pleadings as petitions for post-conviction relief and denied the petitions as untimely. Id. at *2. On appeal, this court affirmed the dismissal of the petitions, concluding that the post-conviction petitions, which contained substantially the same issues as the 2010 petition, were untimely. Id.

         The Petitioner subsequently filed a post-conviction petition in which he sought DNA testing of evidence pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act of 2001. Randall Turner v. State, No. E2013-01565-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 1369903, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 7, 2014). The post-conviction denied the petition, and this court affirmed the post-conviction court's judgment on appeal. Id.

         On June 1, 2016, the Petitioner filed a "Motion to Re-Open Post-Conviction Petition to Correct Manifest Injustice." The Petitioner argued that trial counsel, the State, and the trial court conspired to compel his guilty pleas by postponing decisions on his motion to suppress evidence and his motion to dismiss and that the pleas resulted in a sentence that violated the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Petitioner also argued that he was effectively deprived of counsel due to trial counsel's failure to inform the trial court that the Petitioner filed a malpractice action against trial counsel. On June 6, 2016, the post-conviction court entered an order in which it considered the Petitioner's motion as a ...


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