Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs August 15, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Sullivan County No. C64574 R.
Jerry Beck, Judge
David Michael Blevins, appeals the Sullivan County Criminal
Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief. On appeal, he contends that the post-conviction court
improperly found: (1) that he had waived his independent
claim regarding a speedy trial violation and (2) that trial
counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel by
failing to raise the speedy trial issue. Having reviewed the
record before us, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
Randall D. Fleming, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant,
David Michael Blevins.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Barry Staubus; District Attorney
General; and Julie Canter, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE
a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of three counts of
aggravated sexual battery as lesser-included offenses of the
indicted charges of rape of a child. He was sentenced to
serve thirty years in confinement. Petitioner appealed his
convictions and sentence, and this court affirmed the
judgments of the trial court. State v. David Michael
Blevins, No. E2013-01976-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 2170073
(Tenn. Crim. App. May 23, 2014).
testified that he was originally charged with additional
offenses in Hamilton County, and served eighteen months in
jail. He estimated that he was in jail from 2009 until April
or May of 2011, awaiting disposition of the charges.
Petitioner was not aware that he had been indicted in
Sullivan County for three counts of rape of a child while he
was incarcerated in Hamilton County. While in custody in
Hamilton County, he was never served with a warrant for his
arrest or notified of the Sullivan County charges. Petitioner
testified that in 2011 he pled guilty to the Hamilton County
charges, which consisted of five counts of sexual battery,
and he received a sentence of one year for each count to be
served consecutively for an effective five-year sentence as a
Range I offender. The victim in the Hamilton County cases is
the same victim in the Sullivan County cases.
testified that he became aware of the Sullivan County
presentment in August 2011 when he "was up for
parole[.]" He said that someone from the parole board
told him that the board would grant parole but "there
were people from Sullivan County who wanted to speak
first." Petitioner testified that he was presented with
the Sullivan County presentment charging him with three
counts of rape of a child when he was booked into the
Sullivan County Jail on September 2, 2011. Petitioner claimed
that if he had known about the charges in Sullivan County he
would not have accepted the plea deal in Hamilton County.
testified that he informed trial counsel in the Sullivan
County case that he was unaware of the Sullivan County
presentment while he was incarcerated in Hamilton County. He
also said that he would have asked for a speedy trial in
Sullivan County if he had known about the Sullivan County
presentment in October of 2009. Petitioner did not recall why
the Sullivan County case's trial dates were reset.
Petitioner testified that he did not ask trial counsel to
file a motion for speedy trial in Sullivan County because he
did not know that he could. He felt that he was prejudiced in
his Hamilton County cases because he did not know of the
Sullivan County charges.
cross-examination, Petitioner agreed that trial counsel in
the Hamilton County case told Petitioner that he was getting
a good deal and that "I would go over, get classified
with the State of Tennessee. They would give me a number, and
I would be out on parole immediately." Petitioner
claimed that he and the Hamilton County trial counsel did not
review everything in the Hamilton County plea agreement, and
he only signed the plea agreement because his counsel told
him that it was a good deal. However, he would have requested
a trial if he had known about the Sullivan County charges at
County trial counsel testified that he had been practicing
law for thirty-nine years. He represented Petitioner in
Sullivan County on three counts of rape of a child, and after
a two-day trial, Petitioner was convicted of the
lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual battery on each
count. Trial counsel testified that he first learned of the
Sullivan County indictment in September or October of 2011,
and he subsequently learned of the Hamilton County case from
Petitioner. Trial counsel testified that he did not argue the
speedy trial issue on appeal because he did not think of it.
He said, "I - I can see that that would be a possibility
now, but I - at the time I did not think of it, quite
cross-examination, trial counsel testified that
Petitioner's cases in Hamilton County concluded in March
2011. Petitioner arrived in Sullivan County approximately six
months later, and his case went to trial in "just a
little over a year."
appellate record shows the following. Petitioner was indicted
by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on October 12, 2009, for
seven counts of aggravated sexual battery. On March 31, 2011,
Petitioner pled guilty to five counts of sexual battery and
was sentenced to an effective five-year sentence.
was indicted on October 27, 2009, by a Sullivan County Grand
Jury for three counts of rape of a child. A capias
was issued, and the court set bail at $35, 000. Following the
completion of the Hamilton County case, Petitioner was
transported to the Department of Correction and later to
Sullivan County. On September 6, 2011, Petitioner was served
with the capias while at the Sullivan County Jail.
Trial counsel was appointed, and on October 25, 2011, a
hearing was held to discuss the status of Petitioner's
case. During that hearing, the following exchange took place:
[Trial counsel]: Judge, discovery's still ongoing in this
case. And though it's set for announcement, I was just
conferring with [Petitioner]. He is serving another sentence
from the DOC, and he says right now his release date is May
of 2014. And I know the State needs some time to get some
more . . .
[Prosecutor]: Right. We're waiting on some information
from the Chattanooga Police Department so . . .
[The Court]: Suggestions?
[Prosecutor]: Probably after the first of the year.
[Trial Counsel]: After the first of the year, Judge.