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State v. Buchanan

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

April 17, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CAMERON BUCHANAN

          Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 98-09629, 98-09630, 98-09631, 98-09632, 98-09633, 98-09634, 98-09635, 98-09636, 98-09637, 98-09638, 98-09639, 98-09641 James M. Lammey, Judge

         "The Movant, " Cameron Buchanan, filed a "Motion to Vacate, Correct Clerical Error, and/or, otherwise Set Aside an Illegal Sentence" ("the motion"). The gist of the Movant's claim is that his fifteen-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping in case 98-09641 was ordered to be served concurrently, not consecutively, with his fifteen-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping in case 98-09629, and therefore, his effective sentence was twenty-five years, not thirty years. The trial court treated the motion as a Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36 motion to correct clerical mistakes in the judgments and summarily dismissed the motion finding "that there [we]re no clerical errors as alleged by [the Movant]." We determine that there are clerical errors in the judgments for cases 98-09635 through 98-09639 and case 98-09641. The errors in the judgments also correspond with the language of the "Negotiated Plea Agreement" forms for cases 98-09635 through 98-09639 and case 98-09641. Additionally, the trial court did not address the Movant's Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 claim that his sentence was illegal. The judgment summarily dismissing the motion is reversed, and the case remanded for correction of the clerical errors, which may require appointment of counsel and a hearing, and for determination as to whether or not the motion stated a colorable claim under Rule 36.1.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Reversed and Remanded

          Cameron Buchanan, Memphis Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Stephanie Johnson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE.

         The Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Cameron Buchanan, "the Movant, " in thirteen separate cases with three charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, six charges of aggravated robbery, three charges of aggravated burglary, and one charge of reckless endangerment. The Movant pled guilty on April 28, 2000, in cases 98-09629 to -38 and on May 1, 2000, in cases 98-09639 and 98-09641. A nolle prosequi was entered in case 98-09640. The record on appeal contains twelve judgments and eleven "Negotiated Plea Agreement" forms ("plea forms").[1]

         In August 2017, the Movant filed a pro se "Motion to Vacate, Correct Clerical Error, and/or, otherwise Set Aside an Illegal Sentence" ("the motion"). The motion stated that it was filed "pursuant to Tn. R. Crim. P. Rule 36.1" and asked the trial court to enter "an Order vacating and/or setting aside or correcting the illegal sentence(s) and judgments in this particular cause." The motion also stated that Movant "would show the following [grounds] for § 4923 Motion to Correct Clerical Error in the judgment[.]"[2] The gist of the Movant's claim is that his fifteen-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping in case 98-09641 was ordered to be served concurrently, not consecutively, with his fifteen-year sentence for especially aggravated kidnapping in case 98-09629, and therefore, his effective sentence was twenty-five years, not thirty years.

         The trial court treated the motion as a Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36 motion to correct clerical mistakes in the judgments and summarily dismissed the motion finding "that there [we]re no clerical errors as alleged by [the Movant]." The trial court did not address the Movant's claim that the sentence was illegal under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1.

         For the reasons set forth below, we determine that there are clerical errors in the judgments for cases 98-09635 through 98-09639 and case 98-09641 and the corresponding "Negotiated Plea Agreement" forms for cases 98-09635 through 98-09639 and case 98-09641.

         The following chart, with emphasis added to show the clerical errors in overlapping case numbers, is taken from the State's brief and provides information gleaned from the judgments.

Case No.

Offense

Concurrent With

Consecutive With

Years Sentenced

98-09629

Especially Aggravated Kidnapping

98-09630 to -31

98-09632 to -41

15

98-09630

Aggravated Robbery

98-09629, 98-09631

98-09632 to -41

10

98-09631

Aggravated Burglary

98-09629 to -30

98-09632 to -41

3

98-09632

Aggravated Robbery

98-09633 to -41

98-09629 to -31

10

98-09633

Aggravated Burglary

98-09632, 98-09634 to -41

98-09629 to -31

3

98-09634

Aggravated Robbery

98-09632 to -33 98-09635 to -41

98-09629 to -31

10

98-09635

Reckless Endangerment

98-09629 to -41

98-09629 to -31

2

98-09636

Aggravated Robbery

98-09629 to -41

98-09629 to -31

10

98-09637

Aggravated Burglary

98-09629 to -41

98-09629 to -31

3

98-09638

Aggravated Robbery

98-9629 to -41

98-0929 to -31

10

98-09639

Aggravated Robbery

98-09629 to -41

98-09629 to -31

10

98-09641

Especially Aggravated Kidnapping

98-09629 to -41

98-09629 to -31

15


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