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Roberts v. Minter

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 29, 2018

MISTY ROBERTS
v.
TRINITY MINTER, WARDEN

          Assigned on Briefs February 6, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lauderdale County No. 6993 Joe H. Walker, III, Judge

         In 1994, the Petitioner, Misty Roberts, pled guilty to four counts of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping, and she received an effective sentence of thirty-three years. On August 23, 2017, the Petitioner filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus, alleging that she remained in custody despite the expiration of her sentences and citing alleged errors in the calculation of her release eligibility and the award of pretrial behavior credits. The trial court dismissed the petition, concluding that the sentences were not expired. On appeal, we conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the Petitioner's sentences were not expired, and we accordingly affirm the trial court's denial of relief.

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

          Misty Roberts, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; and David H. Findley, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On October 3, 1994, the Petitioner pled guilty to four counts of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping. See Misty Laverne Roberts v. Donal Campbell, Comm'r, No. 03C01-9803-CC-00124, 1999 WL 281084, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 30, 1999). According to the judgment forms attached to her petition, [1] the Petitioner was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for each aggravated rape conviction, all to be served concurrently. She was sentenced to serve eight years for the aggravated kidnapping conviction, and the aggravated kidnapping conviction was to be served consecutively to the first count of aggravated rape, for an aggregate sentence of thirty-three years. See id. (noting that the Petitioner's aggregate sentence was thirty-three years). The judgment forms indicate that each sentence had a thirty percent release eligibility date.

         Approximately five years after the plea, the Petitioner sought to hold the Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") in contempt for "incorrectly calculating her sentence and failing to correct the error once notified of it." Id. This petition was dismissed on the basis that the trial court had no authority over the application of sentencing credits. Id.

         On August 4, 2017, the Petitioner filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus, asserting that her sentences for aggravated rape in Counts 2-4 had expired and that she was denied pretrial behavior credits to which she should have been entitled. She alleged that a Tennessee Offender Management Information System ("TOMIS") report from the TDOC reflected that Count 1 had already expired but that Counts 2-4 incorrectly reflected that they must be served at one hundred percent with no release eligibility. She did not, however, attach any judgment forms, and the August 4, 2017, petition was denied on this basis.

         The Petitioner then filed a second petition seeking habeas corpus relief on August 23, 2017. In her second petition, the Petitioner did not include information regarding the aggravated kidnapping conviction which was part of the plea agreement, instead noting that she was sentenced to serve an effective sentence of twenty-five years for four counts of aggravated rape. The Petitioner again alleged that her sentences incorrectly reflected a release eligibility of one hundred percent, rather than thirty percent, and that she was not awarded pretrial behavior credits. On September 12, 2017, the trial court entered an order denying relief on the basis that failure to grant parole is not a cognizable ground for habeas corpus relief and that any allegations regarding the improper calculation of sentencing ...


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