Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Ross

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 4, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
LEONARD ROSS

          Assigned on Briefs April 24, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County Nos. 196241, 196244, 196247 Tom Greenholtz, Judge No. E2017-02087-CCA-R3-CD

         The Defendant, Leonard Ross, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary denial of his pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence for his 1993 convictions for especially aggravated robbery, attempted second degree murder, and burglary and his effective thirty-five-year sentence. The Defendant contends that the trial court court erred by summarily dismissing his motion. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Leonard Ross, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; and Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.

         The Defendant received consecutive sentences of twenty-two years for especially aggravated robbery, ten years for attempted second degree murder, and three years for burglary. The Defendant appealed his convictions, and this court denied relief. See State v. Leonard Lebron Ross, No. 03C01-9404-CR-00153, 1995 WL 357821 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 15, 1995). The supreme court granted the Defendant's application for permission to appeal and remanded his case to this court for reconsideration in light of the then-recent decision in State v. Wilkerson, 905 S.W.2d 933 (Tenn. 1995). See State v. Leonard Lebron James, No. 03C01-9404-CR-00153 (Tenn. Nov. 27, 1995) (order). Upon remand, this court affirmed the effective thirty-five-year sentence and denied relief. See State v. Leonard Lebron Ross, No. 03C01-9404-CR-00153, 1996 WL 467690 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 15, 1996).

         The Defendant sought post-conviction relief on the grounds that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that the trial court had committed various errors. The post-conviction court denied relief, and this court affirmed the post-conviction court's determinations. See Leonard Lebron Ross v. State, No. 03C01-9802-CR-00077, 1999 WL 357339 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 4, 1999), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 22, 1999). In 2003, the Defendant sought to "correct [an] erroneous sentence." He alleged that his effective thirty-five-year sentence violated the "sentencing guidelines" and that his enhanced sentence was imposed without notice from the prosecution. The trial court treated the motion as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and denied relief. The Defendant did not appeal but later unsuccessfully sought error coram nobis relief. See Leonard Lebron Ross v. State, No. E2007-01133-CCA-R3-PC, 2007 WL 3245422 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 5, 2007) (mem.).

         On August 23, 2017, the Defendant filed the instant "motion to correct an illegal sentence" pursuant to Tennessee Criminal Procedure Rule 36.1. The Defendant contended that the judgments were illegal because double jeopardy principles were violated and because he was deprived of his right to a trial by jury at sentencing. He alleged that his protection against double jeopardy was violated because the trial court unlawfully modified the especially aggravated burglary conviction to burglary without his consent and after jeopardy attached. He argued that the trial court denied him the right to a trial by jury at the sentencing hearing because the court "pronounced the charge burglary, never declaring the defendant guilty in open court." He requested the entry of amended judgments reflecting concurrent sentences for burglary and attempted second degree murder.

         The trial court entered a written order summarily denying relief. Relative to the Defendant's argument that the judgments were void because he did not consent to the "amendment" from especially aggravated burglary to burglary, the trial court determined that the Defendant's contention "depende[d] entirely upon the underlying conviction being vacated." T he court found that the Defendant's allegation was not that his burglary sentence was imposed in contravention of any statutory authority. As a result, the court determined that the Defendant had failed to state a cognizable claim for relief.

         The trial court also treated the Defendant's motion as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the basis that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to convict and sentence the Defendant. The court determined that the Defendant's motion did not state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. The court determined that the indictment count charging especially aggravated burglary was not improperly amended to burglary. The court stated that even if it determined that the indictment had been improperly amended, an improper amendment would have only rendered the judgment voidable, not void. This appeal followed.

         The Defendant states in his appellate brief that "[t]his is the appellant[']s second habeas corpus petition. The [trial court] elected to treat a misplaced Rule 36.1 motion as a habeas corpus [petition]. However, the issues at bar have yet to . . . [be] adjudicated." The legal authority cited by the Defendant is related to habeas corpus relief, not relief pursuant to Tennessee Criminal Procedure Rule ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.