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State v. Reynolds

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

April 27, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
WILLIAM LEWIS REYNOLDS

          Assigned on Briefs March 28, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Giles County No. 12478, 10519, 12790, 13020 Russell Parkes, Judge

         The Defendant, William Lewis Reynolds, appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1 in which he challenged his guilty-pled conviction for the sale of cocaine and resulting sentence of twelve years as a Range III, persistent offender, at 60%. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. However, we remand the judgment to the trial court for entry of a corrected judgment reflecting the convicted offense of sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine.

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

          William Lewis Reynolds, Clifton, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Brent A. Cooper, District Attorney General; and Jonathan Davis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On September 10, 2014, the Defendant was indicted for the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine in a school zone, a Class B felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-17-417(c)(2)(A), 39-17-432(b)(1). On November 3, 2015, the Defendant entered into a negotiated plea agreement whereby he agreed to plead guilty to the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine, a Class C felony, and to serve a sentence of twelve years as a Range III offender at 60%. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Defendant's twelve-year sentence was to run consecutively to his twelve-year sentence for another drug conviction. See T.C.A. § 39-17-417(c)(2)(A).

         The judgment reflects that the Defendant's indicted offense as the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine as a Class B felony and his convicted offense as the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine as a Class B felony. The judgment sets forth the Defendant's sentence and provides under the Special Conditions section that "[t]he defendant is agreeing to plea outside the range. It is a total sentence of 12 years to be served as range III with 60% eligibility." A knowing and voluntary plea waives any irregularity as to offender classification or release eligibility. Hicks v. State, 945 S.W.2d 706 (Tenn. 2000)."

         Shortly after entering the plea, the Defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. While the appellate record does not include the Defendant's motion, it does include the trial court's order entered on February 9, 2016, denying the motion. The trial court found that the judgment was correct and consistent with the plea agreement. While the trial court acknowledged that the back of the indictment included a clerical error erroneously listing the indicted offense as a Class C felony rather than a Class B felony, the trial court found that the body of the indictment correctly described the charge as a Class B felony since the offense occurred in a school zone and that the Defendant's guilty plea and the judgment cured any clerical error in the indictment. The Defendant did not appeal the trial court's denial of his motion.

         The Defendant also filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis in which he maintained that his sentence was imposed in direct contravention to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-417(a)(3) and (c)(2)(A). The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, and this court affirmed the dismissal on appeal. See William Reynolds v. Cherry Lindamood, Warden, No. M2016-01312-CCA-R3-HC, 2016 WL 6581927, at *3 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 7, 2016).

         On May 23, 2017, the Defendant filed a second Rule 36.1 motion to correct an illegal sentence in which he asserted that his guilty plea was not knowingly and voluntarily entered because he pleaded guilty to a greater amount of cocaine than what was initially charged. The Defendant also alleged that the sale of cocaine ...


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