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Smith v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 14, 2017

JEWELL WAYNE SMITH, JR.
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs October 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Robertson County No. 2011-CR-690 William R. Goodman III, Judge

         The Petitioner, Jewell Wayne Smith, Jr., appeals from the Robertson County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2013 best interest guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter, for which he is serving a thirteen-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that (1) his guilty plea was involuntary and (2) he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Joe R. Johnson II, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jewell Wayne Smith, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; John W. Carney, District Attorney General; and Jason White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         This case arises from the Petitioner's April 1, 2013 best interest guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter. See North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970). Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Petitioner was sentenced as a Range III offender, with the length of the sentence to be determined by the trial court. The court sentenced the Defendant to thirteen years' incarceration and ordered consecutive service with an unrelated sentence.

         Guilty Plea Proceedings

         At the guilty plea hearing, the State's recitation of the facts was as follows:

The facts would show . . . the victim and the defendant had once been friends, but had developed a disagreement over some money and the night of the homicide that occurred on Blair Street, about 2005 Blair, about an hour or so before that homicide . . . the defendant pulled up in a green, I believe a Pontiac and got out and then probably thirty minutes or so, twenty minutes or so before the homicide, and Martel (phonetic) Black would say [that he] and the defendant and . . . Terrence Bigby, were in a car smoking marijuana when . . . the victim came by on his bicycle and bumped the car[.] [Martel Black would say] that [the victim] went on down the street. The [d]efendant got out of the car and had a weapon in his hand, he would describe it as a Smith and Wesson, .40 caliber and that [the defendant] made some comments about the victim and . . . Mr. Black would say that he called the victim multiple times to warn [the victim] about [the defendant] and this is corroborated by phone records[.]
The proof would show that the victim . . . went to April Davis' house to see, to sit for phone calls and finally picked up on[ ]the last one and after talking, left to head back down the street to 2005 Blair. Ms. Davis will say that when [the victim] came in, he took a gun out and put it on the dresser drawers and when he left, he picked that gun back up[.]
[Corroborating witnesses] would then say . . . that the victim came down on his bicycle, got off his bicycle at 2005 Blair, it's a housing authority duplex. There's a tree there and . . . a couple of witnesses would say at that time that [the defendant] was . . . behind the tree, kind of in a dark area and that the victim got [off his bicycle] and [witnesses] could tell a conversation occurred and that shortly thereafter, a ray [sic] of gunfire, describe[d] anywhere between four to six . . . [and one witness] told me seven[, ] shots. Everybody described the gunfire going in one direction from the defendant to the victim. Nobody [saw] any gunfire coming back the other way and describes the victim is ...

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