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State v. Williams

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

April 11, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
KENNETH O. WILLIAMS

          Assigned on Briefs February 6, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 04-02649 W. Mark Ward, Judge

         The Defendant, Kenneth O. Williams, entered a guilty plea to second degree murder and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. The Defendant filed a motion to correct his sentence under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1, asserting that the trial court was without jurisdiction to sentence him as a Range II, multiple offender or to enhance his sentence above the minimum in the sentencing range. The trial court denied the motion for failure to state a colorable claim, and the Defendant appeals. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the Defendant has not articulated a colorable claim that his sentence is illegal, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Kenneth O. Williams, Whiteville, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Tracye Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, 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

         In April 2004, the Defendant was charged with first degree murder after firing a fatal shot into a crowd. Kenneth Williams v. State, No. W2007-01876-CCA-R3-PC, 2008 WL 5058007, at *1, 2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 1, 2008), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Apr. 27, 2009). On the day of trial, the Defendant signed a plea agreement with the State in which he agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder in exchange for a thirty-year sentence, which was to be served one hundred percent in confinement. Id. at *1. During the plea colloquy, the Defendant was told that the sentence required one hundred percent service by law, and he subsequently expressed a desire to go to trial. Id. However, as the potential jurors entered the courtroom, the Defendant again changed his mind, and he ultimately entered a guilty plea after an "extensive" plea colloquy. Id. at *3.

         The Defendant subsequently filed a post-conviction petition, asserting that his plea was not entered knowingly and voluntarily. Id. at *1. At the post-conviction hearing, the Defendant testified that "he understood that the sentence for second degree murder was thirty years, but he later learned that the sentencing range was fifteen to twenty-five years for a standard Range I offender." Id. at *2. This court denied post-conviction relief, concluding that the Defendant entered his plea knowingly and voluntarily. Id. at *3.

         On June 28, 2016, the Defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. The trial court denied the motion because the motion merely alleged that the Defendant's plea was not knowing and voluntary and did not allege that it was illegal. See Kenneth Williams v. State, No. W2016-01858-CCA-MR3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 26, 2016) (order). This court denied the Defendant's motion seeking to submit a late-filed notice of appeal. Id.

         On July 27, 2017, the Defendant again filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence under Rule 36.1. He alleged that his sentence was illegal because the trial court sentenced him outside the appropriate sentencing range without a proper waiver of offender classification pursuant to Hicks v. State, 945 S.W.2d 706, 709 (Tenn. 1997). He also argued that his sentence was illegal because the sentence was above the minimum in the range and the trial court did not make any findings regarding enhancement factors. The Defendant did not attach ...


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