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Booker v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

August 7, 2017

DONNELL V. BOOKER
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs June 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 96-A-493 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge.

         Petitioner, Donnell V. Booker, appeals the denial of his second petition for habeas corpus relief in which he argues that his guilty plea to an "out of range" sentence was illegal. Because Petitioner's claim has been previously determined and he fails to state a cognizable claim, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Donnell V. Booker, Hartsville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Megan King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.

         Factual Background

         Petitioner pled guilty to one count of aggravated robbery in February of 1997. In exchange for the guilty plea, the remaining charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment were dismissed. As part of the plea, Petitioner agreed to be sentenced "out of range to 15 years at 35%." The judgment form's special conditions box included the following notation: "defendant waives range."

         In November of 2004, Petitioner sought habeas corpus relief on the basis that the trial court imposed a sentence beyond that for which he was eligible and that he did not enter his guilty plea knowingly and voluntarily. Petitioner also alleged that the State failed to give notice that it would seek enhanced punishment and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, determining that the judgment was not void and that the remaining claims were not proper grounds for habeas corpus relief. This Court affirmed the dismissal of the petition on appeal. See Donnell Booker v. Howard Carlton, Warden, No. E2005-00231-CCA-R3-HC, 2005 WL 1812285, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 1, 2005), no perm. app. filed.

         In January of 2017, Petitioner filed a second petition for habeas corpus relief. In this petition he alleged that his sentence was illegal because he did not knowingly and voluntarily "waive jurisdiction as to range" when he was sentenced and that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to sentence him outside the range. The habeas corpus court denied the petition on January 18, 2017, noting that Petitioner raised an identical claim in the 2004 petition and failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. Petitioner appeals the denial of habeas corpus relief.

         Analysis

         On appeal, Petitioner insists that the habeas corpus court abused its discretion in ...


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