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.

Chaleunsak v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 21, 2018

NATHAN CHALEUNSAK
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs April 18, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-C-2449 Steve Dozier, Judge

         The Petitioner, Nathan Chaleunsak, appeals the denial of post-conviction relief from his 2015 guilty-pleaded conviction of second degree murder, for which he received an agreed, out-of-range sentence of thirty years to be served at 100%. The Petitioner sought post-conviction relief, asserting that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was not voluntarily and knowingly entered. Following a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. After review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

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

          Ryan Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nathan Chaleunsak.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Petitioner and a co-defendant forced their way in to the residence of the victim, Mr. Eric Torres, and robbed him at gunpoint. Mr. Torres later identified the Petitioner in a photographic lineup. After leaving Mr. Torres' residence, the Petitioner and the co-defendant went next door to Amkha Vetvong's residence. The Petitioner and the co-defendant attempted to force open the front door, but noticed that someone was behind the door on the inside of the residence. The Petitioner shot through the door, striking and fatally wounding Mr. Vetvong. The Petitioner and co-defendant then forced their way into the Mr. Vetvong's home in search of items to take.

         Based upon these actions, the Petitioner was indicted by a Davidson County grand jury for two counts of first degree murder and one count each of aggravated burglary, possession of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony, and aggravated robbery. Thereafter, the Petitioner pleaded guilty to second degree murder and received a thirty-year sentence to be served at 100% as a multiple offender. The plea called for an out-of-range sentence pursuant to Hicks v. State, 945 S.W.2d 706 (Tenn. 1997).

         During the plea hearing, the trial court thoroughly covered the rights the Petitioner would be waiving by pleading guilty, as well as the nature of the crime and potential sentences involved. The Petitioner expressed his intention to enter a guilty plea to an amended charge to one count of second degree murder, with a thirty-year sentence at 100%. After being advised by the trial court that the Petitioner may have only received a sentence of fifteen to twenty-five years if he was found guilty of second degree murder, the Petitioner agreed to accept the thirty-year sentence and further waive any issue about range of punishment in exchange for the State agreeing not to pursure a charge of first degree murder. The plea was accepted, and a judgment of conviction was entered against the Petitioner.

         Post-Conviction Proceedings

         The Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his plea was not entered knowingly and voluntarily because he received ineffective assistance of counsel. At the evidentiary hearing, the twenty-one-year-old Petitioner testified that trial counsel met with him three or four times prior to entry of his plea but that he "really didn't understand" his sentence. One month prior to the Petitioner's trial, trial counsel presented him with the thirty-year plea offer. The Petitioner initially asked trial counsel if he could get a lower offer, but trial counsel assured him that it would not be possible and that it would be in his "best interest" to accept the thirty years. The Petitioner stated that trial counsel told him he would be serving thirty years at 85% and that he was unaware that his plea required 100% ...


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.