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Wallace v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 22, 2017

ERIC DEWAYNE WALLACE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2017

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lake County No. 17-CR-10314 R. Lee Moore, Jr., Judge

         Eric Dewayne Wallace, Petitioner, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus claiming that he was being illegally detained because his fifteen-year sentence for attempted first degree murder, which was ordered to be served consecutively to his life sentence for felony murder, has expired. The habeas corpus court summarily dismissed the petition. We affirm.

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

          Eric Dewayne Wallace, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

         Following a jury trial in 1995, Petitioner was convicted of murder in the perpetration of a felony ("felony murder") and attempt to commit first degree murder. Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment for felony murder and to a consecutive sentence of fifteen years as a Range I, standard offender for attempted first degree murder. Both judgments provided pretrial jail credit of 1, 174 days. This court affirmed Petitioner's convictions and sentences. See State v. Eric D. Wallace, No. 02-C-01-9604-CR-00125, 1997 WL 421011, at * 1 (Tenn. Crim. App. July 28, 1997), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 6, 1998).

          Petitioner has filed numerous pleadings since his convictions, all of which have been denied and dismissed. See Eric Wallace v. State, No. W2000-02854-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1483204, at *7 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 19, 2002) (post-conviction relief denied after hearing), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Sept. 9, 2002); Eric D. Wallace v. James M. Dukes, Warden, No. W2002-00882-CCA-R3-CO, 2002 WL 31895727, at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 31, 2002) (first petition for habeas corpus relief), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Mar. 10, 2003); Eric D. Wallace v. Stephen Dotson. Warden, No. W2006-00908-CCA-R3-HC, 2007 WL 852173, at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 22, 2007) (second petition for habeas corpus relief), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug. 13, 2007); Eric Dewayne Wallace v. State. No. W2008-00867-CCA-R3-PC, 2009 WL 321294, at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 6, 2009) (petition to reopen his post-conviction proceedings); Eric D. Wallace v. Stephen Dotson, Warden, No. W2010-01784-CCA-R3-HC, 2011 WL 2120103, at *11 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 17, 2011) (third petition for habeas corpus relief), no perm. app. filed; Eric D. Wallace v. Avril Chapman, Warden, No. M2012-00749-CCA-R3-HC, 2012 WL 5543055, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 9, 2012) (fourth petition for habeas corpus relief), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Mar. 5, 2013); Eric Dewayne Wallace v. State, No. W2013-02761-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 6634436, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 24, 2014) (second post-conviction relief petition), no perm. app. filed; State v. Eric D. Wallace, No. W2016-00907-CCA-R3-CD, 2017 WL 429573, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 31, 2017) (Rule 36.1 motion), no perm. app. filed.

         In the petition sub judice, his fifth seeking habeas corpus relief, Petitioner claims his fifteen-year sentence for attempted first degree murder has expired because he is entitled to jail credit for 1, 174 days. He therefore claims "he is being illegally and unlawfully restrained of his freedom." He also claims that the Department of Correction is improperly crediting the 1, 174 days only to the life sentence.

         The habeas corpus court found that "[t]he judgment [for attempted first degree murder] is not void nor has the sentence expired" and summarily dismissed the petition. Concerning the jail credits, the habeas corpus court found that "[a]ny type of relief on this issue must be obtained through administrative means or by a lawsuit filed in the Chancery Court for Davidson County against the Tennessee Department of Correction[]" ("TDOC"). From the summary dismissal, Petitioner appealed.

         Analysis

         Habeas corpus relief may only be granted in limited circumstances. Edwards v. State, 269 S.W.3d 915, 920 (Tenn. 2008). "Habeas corpus relief is available in Tennessee only when 'it appears upon the face of the judgment or the record of the proceedings upon which the judgment is rendered' that a convicting court was without jurisdiction or authority to sentence a defendant, or that a defendant's sentence of imprisonment or other restraint has expired." Archer v. State, 851 S.W.2d 157, 164 (Tenn. 1993) (quoting State v. Galloway, 45 Tenn. (5 Cold.) 362, 336-37 ...


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