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Braison v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

April 30, 2018

MELVIN BRAISON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Session: January 3, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 15-00611 James M. Lammey, Judge

         The Petitioner, Melvin Braison, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and his guilty pleas were therefore unknowing and involuntary. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Kirk W. Stewart, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin Braison.

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

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE

         FACTS

         This case arises out of the Petitioner's participation with his brother, Reggie Taylor[1], and a third man, Leotha Hampton, in two aggravated robberies in Memphis that occurred within thirty minutes of each other on October 7, 2014. Mr. Hampton was shot by the victim of the second robbery and died from his injuries. The Petitioner and his brother were arrested after the police found the Petitioner reversing his vehicle, in which the Petitioner's brother and Mr. Hampton were passengers, down the street on which the second robbery occurred. The victims' possessions were inside the Petitioner's vehicle, and the Petitioner's brother gave a statement implicating the Petitioner in both robberies. On February 5, 2015, the Petitioner and Mr. Taylor were indicted together for the aggravated robbery of Charles Bridgewater, the attempted aggravated robbery of Cassandra Bradford, and the aggravated robbery of Durrell Davis.

         On November 2, 2015, the Petitioner pled guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery in exchange for concurrent terms of 7.2 years at 85% for each count. Pursuant to the terms of his negotiated plea, the criminal attempt count of the indictment was nolle prosequied. At the guilty plea hearing, the prosecutor recited the following factual basis for the pleas:

Had these matters gone to trial, the [S]tate's proof would have been that on October 7th, 2014, Memphis police officers received a robbery call to Jackson Avenue and Speed (phonetic) here in Shelby County. Upon arrival, officers spoke to the victim who advised that after they left - the name of the bar is, quote, Our Bar, unquote. A man approached him. The suspect said, "Give me all that money you old man." The victim stated that the suspect had a black handgun. He stated that he gave the suspect his billfold containing a hundred dollars, his credit cards, personal I.D., and a cell phone.
This victim stated that the robber demanded - the female victim stated that the other robber demanded her purse, and she told him she did not have a purse. [The robber] grabbed the gold chain from around the male victim's neck and ran across the street.
On the same night of October 7th, 2014, this is approximately 1:00 o'clock in the morning, this other victim was leaving the same [b]ar with two friends. The victim got into his vehicle and drove around the corner to his home [on] . . . North Claybrook. As the victim started to get out of his vehicle, he saw two suspects rushing up to his car with a handgun. As the victim attempted to run away, the suspects - one of the suspects, rather, fired two or three shots at him hitting him in the right leg causing him to fall. The suspects ran up to the victim, pulled - the victim pulled his own pistol and fired at the ...

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