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Holley v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 9, 2017

JASON LEE HOLLEY
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs at Knoxville September 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-A-378 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge.

         Petitioner, Jason Lee Holley, entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell in exchange for the dismissal of other charges. Petitioner received a twelve-year sentence as a Range II offender and was ordered to serve one year of the sentence day-for-day prior to being released to community corrections for the balance of the sentence. Petitioner sought post-conviction relief on the basis that his guilty plea was unknowing and involuntary and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court denied relief after a hearing. Because Petitioner failed to show that he received ineffective assistance of counsel or that his guilty plea was unknowingly and involuntarily entered, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Lee Holley.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Anne Thompson, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Doug Thurman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.

         Factual Background

         In January of 2014, Petitioner was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury in case number 2014-A-378 for one count of possession of .5 grams of more of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of evading arrest, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of driving on a suspended license. Petitioner subsequently entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell, a Class B felony. He agreed to a sentence of twelve years in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts of the indictment. The sentence was ordered to be served twelve months "day for day" and eleven years on Community Corrections. The sentence was ordered to be served consecutively to the sentence in case number 2014-B-1231.[1]

         Counsel for the State explained the factual basis for the plea as follows:

[O]n October 30, 2013, Metro police were patrolling around the area of South 5th Street here in Davidson County. They observed a white Chrysler Sebring make a traffic violation. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle. They slowed down for a period of time but then accelerated away from the officer. At some point the officer did not pursue any further[;] however, other officers found the vehicle abandoned a short distance later and also saw an individual who was later identified as [Petitioner] running in the area. He was apprehended on a porch near the area and admitted that he ran because he did not have a driver's license. After patrolling the scene in the area of where he was running, they found cocaine in two separate bags, one with some scales, weighing approximately twenty grams and also found some currency, which was broken into small denominations, on his person.

         Petitioner agreed to the factual basis of the plea, told the trial court he was not under the influence of medication, and informed the trial court that trial counsel discussed all aspects of the case with him prior to the entry of the plea.

         One year later, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief with respect to his conviction in case number 2014-A-378. In the form petition, Petitioner checked the following as "possible grounds for relief":

(1) Conviction was based on unlawfully induced guilty plea or guilty plea involuntarily entered without understanding of the nature and consequences of the plea.
(3) Conviction was based on use of evidence gained pursuant to an unconstitutional ...

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