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Wren v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

September 28, 2017

CURTIS WREN
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs August 1, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 05-03251 Chris Craft, Judge

         Petitioner, Curtis Wren, filed a petition for post-conviction relief and a motion to correct an illegal sentence. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the pleading, finding that the petition for post-conviction relief was untimely, that the petition failed to allege a sufficient factual basis for a motion to reopen prior post-conviction proceedings, and that the petition failed to state a colorable claim of an illegal sentence. On appeal, Petitioner only challenges the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. Upon our review of the record, we determine that this is Petitioner's second such petition and that dismissal was proper on that ground. Thus, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Curtis L. Wren, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Karen Cook, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Nearly ten years ago, Petitioner was convicted of attempted especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, and intentionally evading arrest in a motor vehicle. He received a total effective sentence of 30 years. No direct appeal was filed.

         Thereafter, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The record presently before this Court contains a copy of the order dismissing the petition filed on March 31, 2009, but does not contain a copy of the petition itself. The order states that after consideration of "the petition, the State's Motion to Dismiss, and the entire record, " the petition was dismissed for "fail[ure] to contain clear and specific statements of all grounds upon which relief is sought, including a full statement of the factual basis underlying these grounds." No appeal from this order was filed.

         Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, challenging his mental competency to stand trial, the effectiveness of counsel, and the voluntariness of his guilty pleas. Curtis L. Wren v. David Osborne, Warden, No. E2012-00072-CCA-R3-HC, 2012 WL 3201906, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 8, 2012) (memorandum opinion), no perm. app. filed. This Court affirmed the dismissal of the habeas corpus petition pursuant to Rule 20 of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Id. at *2.

         The present petition, styled "Petition for Post-Conviction Relief and/or Motion Pursuant to Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36.1 to Correct Illegal Sentence, " was filed on January 30, 2017. Petitioner alleged that he was entitled to post-conviction relief because he was not mentally competent at the time he entered his guilty pleas; because his trial counsel improperly advised him that he could be subject to a life sentence if he did not plead guilty, even though, according to Petitioner, there is a new constitutional rule that prohibits an intellectually disabled person from being subject to a life sentence; and because his trial counsel should have argued that the two aggravated robbery convictions violated the prohibition against double jeopardy. Petitioner also alleged that the statute of limitations should be tolled due to his mental incompetence and because there was a new rule of constitutional law. Further, citing the statute for a motion to reopen post-conviction proceedings, Petitioner claimed that he possessed "new scientific evidence" of his intellectual disability, attaching to his pleading copies of a petition for the appointment of a conservator and a report of a guardian ad litem that were filed in 2013 with regard to administering medications to Petitioner while in the Department of Correction's custody. As for his claim under Rule 36.1, Petitioner claimed without further elaboration that he received "an illegal sentence in direct contravention of T.C.A. [§] 40-35-501, " which addresses parole release eligibility. Additionally, Petitioner elaborates on his claim that his dual convictions for aggravated robbery violate double jeopardy principles as a basis for his claim of an illegal sentence.

         On February 2, 2017, the post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief, finding that it was filed well outside of the one-year statute of limitations. Treating the petition as a motion to reopen, the court found that Petitioner had not satisfied any of the statutory grounds to reopen his previous post-conviction proceedings. Finally, the court found that Petitioner failed ...


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