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Abernathy v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

July 10, 2017

COREY CORTEZ ABERNATHY
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017

         Direct Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 287830 Barry A. Steelman, Judge

         In 2012, the Petitioner, Corey Cortez Abernathy, pleaded guilty to burglary of an automobile and theft of property and agreed to a sentence of two years of incarceration. In 2013, the Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief based upon ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court held a hearing on the petition and denied relief. On appeal, the Petitioner alleges that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to file a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence. We affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

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

          Lorrie Miller, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Corey Cortez Abernathy.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; M. Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Amanda G. Morrison, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         This case arises from the Petitioner's burglary of an automobile. For this offense, a Hamilton County grand jury indicted the Petitioner for burglary of an automobile and theft of property.

         A. Guilty Plea

          Prior to entering a plea, the Petitioner complained that he had not received the effective assistance of counsel from his attorney ("Counsel") and asked to be appointed a new attorney. The trial court denied his request and set a trial date. On that date, the trial court informed the Petitioner that it had reconsidered his request to have a new attorney appointed, but the Petitioner informed the trial court that a new attorney would not be necessary and that he would like to resolve his case while represented by Counsel. Counsel informed the trial court that it was her understanding that the Petitioner wished to plead guilty. The Petitioner affirmed that was his decision.

         The State then recited the following facts as a basis for the trial court's acceptance of the Defendant's guilty plea:

[The] State's proof would have been that on December the 2nd, [the Petitioner] burglarized a vehicle belonging to Derek Weaver, and took a laptop.
And the State's proof . . . [would have been] the police made contact on December the 9th with [the Petitioner] and he was found to be in possession of a GPS belonging to Dr. Tom Bibler, a former professor at UTC, and ...

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