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State v. Williams

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

May 31, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
LEONARDO WILLIAMS

          Assigned on Briefs March 13, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 09-00026, 06-01192 James C. Beasley, Jr., Judge

         The pro se Defendant, Leonardo Williams, appeals from the trial court's denial of his "Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct an Illegal Sentence." Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Leonardo Williams, Yazoo City, Mississippi, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ronald L. Coleman, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Michael McCusker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE

         FACTS

         On May 1, 2009, the Defendant pled guilty to charges pending in two separate cases. See State v. Leonardo Williams, No. W2015-02434-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL 6078565, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 14, 2016), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Jan. 20, 2017). He pled guilty to one count of solicitation of the sale of cocaine in Case Number 06-01192, and he pled guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine with intent to sell in Case Number 09-00026. Id. The sentences for the two drug convictions were aligned consecutively for a total effective sentence of four years on probation. Id. On January 4, 2013, the Defendant's probation was revoked. Id.

         The Defendant subsequently filed a pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1. Id. The trial court summarily dismissed the motion, finding that it failed to state a colorable claim, as the Defendant's sentences were not illegal. Id. The Defendant appealed, arguing that "his three-year sentence had expired and that he was 'four months into [his] one-year sentence' when his probation was revoked." Id. This court determined that the Defendant's sentences were not illegal and affirmed the ruling of the trial court. Id. at *2.

         On October 31, 2016, the Defendant filed a pro se motion entitled "Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct an Illegal Sentence." In his motion, the Defendant challenged the calculation of his probationary period and essentially argued that, in revoking his probation, the court reinstated a sentence that had already expired. On February 21, 2017, the trial court found that the motion failed to state a colorable claim and summarily dismissed the motion, noting that the Defendant had filed the exact motion in 2015.

         The Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erroneously construed his motion as a Rule 36.1 motion and not as a petition for post-conviction relief as he had indicated in the body of the motion. Lending to the confusion, in his motion and briefs, the Defendant cites legal authority relevant to Rule 36.1 motions, as well as writs of habeas corpus. As we understand it, the gist of the Defendant's argument is that the trial court violated his protection against double jeopardy "by revoking his probation, and resentencing him to serve a custodial ...


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