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State v. Woods

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 29, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
REBA NELL WOODS

          Assigned on Briefs August 15, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2010-B-1000 Mark J. Fishburn, Judge

         Pro se Defendant, Reba Nell Woods, appeals the denial of her "Motion to Modify Judgment, " which was interpreted by the trial court as a motion to reduce sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35. In this appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court retained jurisdiction to decide her motion, even though she was in custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction. In response, the State contends that the Defendant's motion was untimely by 118 days, an alternative basis upon which the trial court relied in denying relief. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Reba Nell Woods, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

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

          Camille R. MCMULLEN, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. MCMULLEN, JUDGE

         On June 23, 2011, a Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the Defendant of three counts of selling twenty-six grams or more of cocaine within 1, 000 feet of a school and two counts of selling twenty-six grams or more of cocaine within 1, 000 feet of a park. The trial court sentenced her as a Range III, career offender to an effective sentence of ninety years' imprisonment. On direct appeal, this court held that the trial court erred by failing to sever counts three, four, and five and reversed and remanded those convictions for a new trial on the charges. This court affirmed the Defendant's convictions in counts one and two, which were also remanded to the trial court to reflect that the offenses did not occur in a drug-free zone. In addition, this court instructed the trial court to consider whether the Defendant's mandatory thirty-year sentences should be served consecutively. See State v. Reba Nell Woods, No. M2012-01922-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 6406275 at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 9, 2013). On remand, the trial court resentenced the Defendant on June 29, 2016, to concurrent sentences of thirty years' incarceration in counts one and two, to be served consecutively to an unrelated parole violation.

         On February 27, 2017, the Defendant filed the instant pro se "Motion to Modify Judgment, " which failed to cite any legal authority or basis upon which relief was sought. The four paragraph motion asserted as follows:

Petitioner was sentenced to thirty years at 60% as a Range III offender. Petitioner submits that her charges are to be served concurrently however she was previously sentenced as a Range III offender at a 45% range. The Petitioner was resentenced on June 29, 2016 pursuant to the Court of Criminal Appeals opinion under citation M2012-019222-CCA-R3-CD. Both active charges are under case number 2010-B-1000, counts 1 and 2, are to be run concurrent to each other and to run consecutive to case numbers 99-D-2260 and 99-B-867. The Petitioner submits that both of these charges have since expired, the respective expiration dates being December 14, 2015 for case number 99-D-2260 and December 23, 2011 for case number 99-B-867.
Petitioner . . . is eligible to be sentence[d] at a 45% range under the Tennessee Sentencing Guidelines for a Range III offender. The Petitioner submits that she would also be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing under Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Petitioner has been disciplinary free since 2012. The Petitioner has taken her incarceration seriously and has tried to maintain a good behavior record and attends school working on obtaining her education.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petitioner hereby respectfully requests that her judgment be modified to allow for her all of her charges to [sic] served as a Range III offender where all charges would ...

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