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Gunn v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

April 30, 2018

DEMOND HUGHES GUNN
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs January 4, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hardeman County No. CC-17-CR-102 Joe H. Walker, III, Judge

         The pro se Petitioner, Demond Hughes Gunn, appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.

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

          Demond Hughes Gunn, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; 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

         In 2012, the Petitioner pled guilty in the Shelby County Criminal Court to especially aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery, and aggravated rape in exchange for an effective sentence of twenty-five years in the Department of Correction. His subsequent post-conviction petition based on ineffective assistance of counsel was denied, and this court affirmed the judgment of the post-conviction court. See Demond Hughes v. State[1], No. W2016-00414-CCA-R3-PC, 2017 WL 1290850, at * 1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 6, 2017).

         On June 2, 2017, the Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in which he alleged that he was entitled to habeas corpus relief because counts three and four of the indictment failed to name the victim, whose identity is an essential element of aggravated rape.

         On June 8, 2017, the habeas court entered an order summarily dismissing the petition on the grounds that the Petitioner failed to attach a copy of the indictment or the judgments. The Petitioner then filed a motion to supplement the record, accompanied by copies of the judgments and indictment. On June 28, 2017, the habeas corpus court entered another order of summary dismissal in which it noted that someone had apparently "blacked out" the name of the victim on the copy of the indictment the Petitioner attached to his motion to supplement the record. The court further noted that "defenses and objections based on a defective indictment" are generally waived if not raised prior to trial and concluded that the Petitioner was not entitled to habeas corpus relief. This appeal followed.

         ANALYSIS

         It is well-established in Tennessee that the remedy provided by a writ of habeas corpus is limited in scope and may only be invoked where the judgment is void or the petitioner's term of imprisonment has expired. Faulkner v. State, 226 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2007); State v. Ritchie, 20 S.W.3d 624, 629 (Tenn. 2000); State v. Davenport, 980 S.W.2d 407, 409 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998). A void, as opposed to a voidable, judgment is "one that is facially invalid because the court did not have the statutory authority to render such judgment." Summers v. State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 256 (Tenn. 2007) (citing Dykes v. Compton, 978 S.W.2d 528, 529 (Tenn. 1998)). A challenge to the sufficiency of an ...


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