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Jones v. Minter

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

February 2, 2018

LATISHA JONES
v.
TRINITY MINTER, WARDEN

          Assigned on Briefs November 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 04-02523 Glenn Ivy Wright, Judge.

         The Petitioner, Latisha Jones, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court's denial of her petition for a writ of habeas corpus, wherein she sought relief from her convictions for first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. In this appeal as of right, the Petitioner alleges that her convictions are void because she was illegally extradited from Mississippi to Tennessee, depriving the trial court of lawful jurisdiction. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

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

          Monica A. Timmerman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Latisha Jones.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Austin B. Scofield, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On June 28, 2003, the Petitioner and three other individuals-James Thacker, Delshaun Epps, and Kymetra Gates-were involved in robbing the victim, Gregory Smith, at his Memphis home. The Petitioner, as the one who knew the victim, arranged a meeting on the night of the offense. See State v. Latisha Jones, No. W2005-02673-CCA-R3-CD, 2007 WL 241023, at *4 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 25, 2007), perm. app. denied (Tenn. June 25, 2007). As co-defendants Thacker and Epps struggled with the victim, the Petitioner struck the victim over the head with a beer bottle. Id. She then retrieved a hammer from the floor and struck the victim over both kneecaps. Id. The Petitioner observed both co-defendants Gates and Epps remove certain of the victim's possessions from the house. Id. The Petitioner took some beers and left the victim's house with the others. Id. Additionally, the Petitioner had previously told a neighbor that evening that the group intended to rob the victim. Id. at *1.

         In August 2003, the Memphis Police Department ("MPD") located the Petitioner in Greenville, Mississippi, so they requested the Greenville Police Department's ("GPD") assistance with arresting the Petitioner. After her arrest, the Petitioner signed a Waiver of Extradition form on September 8, 2003, which noted the charge as "first degree murder in the perpetration of a felony to wit: aggravated robbery 39-13-202." She was extradited to Tennessee.

         A Shelby County grand jury indicted the Petitioner on March 23, 2004, for first degree felony murder during the perpetration of a robbery and especially aggravated robbery. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-11-403, -13-202. In the same indictment, co-defendant Gates was charged with facilitation of a felony, to wit: robbery. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-403. Later, a superseding indictment was filed; the only apparent change being to add an alias of one of the co-defendants.[1]

         A Shelby County jury convicted the Petitioner in November 2005 as charged. The Petitioner was sentenced to concurrent terms of life imprisonment for her felony murder conviction and twenty-three years for her especially aggravated robbery conviction. See State v. Latisha Jones, No. W2005-02673-CCA-R3-CD, 2007 WL 241023, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 25, 2007), perm. app. denied (Tenn. June 25, 2007). On direct appeal, this court affirmed the Petitioner's judgments. See Jones, 2007 WL 241023, at *1. Additionally, the Petitioner's subsequent pursuit of post-conviction relief was unsuccessful. See Latisha Jones v. State, No. W2009-02057-CCA-R3-PC, 2010 WL 5276886, at *1-3 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 17, 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 13, 2011).

         On May 28, 2015, the Petitioner, pro se, filed the instant petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus. After counsel was appointed, an amended petition was filed. In the amended petition, the Petitioner argued that the trial court was without jurisdiction to convict or sentence her because she was transported to Tennessee in violation of the Criminal Extradition Act and because she unknowingly and involuntarily signed a waiver of extradition without the advice of counsel. The Petitioner acknowledged that challenges to the extradition process normally must be raised prior to trial to avoid waiver of personal jurisdiction but prayed for relief because her presence was acquired by "government conduct of a most shocking and outrageous character" in violation of her right to due process of law. The Petitioner pointed to the following facts as supporting her request for relief: The paperwork sent to the GPD by the MPD consisted of a memo requesting the GPD's help in apprehending the Petitioner, an ...


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