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Schreane v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 25, 2019

CLARENCE D. SCHREANE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs April 23, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 304344 Thomas C. Greenholtz, Judge

         The Petitioner, Clarence D. Schreane, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis from his first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery convictions, for which he received an effective sentence of life plus sixty years. We affirm the judgment of the coram nobis court.

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

          Clarence D. Schreane, Terre Haute, Indiana, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, 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 Thomas T. Woodall and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         This case relates to the 1991 robbery and killing of Marcus Edwards. In 1999, the Petitioner confessed to participating in the robbery of the victim's place of business and to striking the victim with a rock before the Petitioner's codefendant, Charles Turner, shot the victim and took the victim's firearm and a cigar box that contained money. The men fled the scene in the Petitioner's car. See State v. Clarence David Schreane, No. E2005-00520-CCA-R3-CD, 2006 WL 891394, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 5, 2006), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug. 28, 2006). On appeal, the Petitioner contended that his confession should have been suppressed because he was not "given his Miranda warnings in time" and because he confessed in exchange "for certain concessions and a promise of leniency." Id. at *3. This court determined that the Petitioner initiated contact with the police to discuss the victim's murder, that the Petitioner was not subjected to a custodial interrogation before the officers advised him of his Miranda rights and obtained a waiver of rights form, and that the Petitioner's statement was voluntary and was not the result of improper promises. Id. at *5-6.

         The Petitioner unsuccessfully sought post-conviction relief on the basis that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel, in relevant part, because trial counsel did not seek to suppress his confession on the basis that he was denied the right to counsel. See Clarence David Schreane v. State, No. E2009-01103-CCA-R3-PC, 2010 WL 3919264, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 7, 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Jan. 18, 2011). Again, this court determined that the Petitioner was not questioned in a custodial interrogation and that, as a result, his right to counsel was not violated. See id. at *9. The Petitioner unsuccessfully sought to reopen his post-conviction proceedings. See Clarence D. Schreane v. State, No. E2012-00954-CCA-R3-CO, 2013 WL 5516430 (Tenn. Crim. App. Oct. 2, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Jan. 14, 2014).

         Likewise, the Petitioner sought error coram nobis relief on the basis that he had obtained newly discovered evidence showing his confession should have been suppressed. See Clarence D. Schreane v. State, No. E2012-01202-CCA-R3-PC, 2013 WL 173193 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 16, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 7, 2013). He alleged that his confession was involuntary, that he had invoked his right to counsel, and that the prosecution violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963). Id. at *1-5. The Petitioner's alleged newly discovered evidence was in the form of "eight legal tapes" that contained recordings of suspects who had been interviewed by the police before the case "became cold" and before the Petitioner contacted the police to discuss the victim's killing. Id. at *5-8. The Petitioner argued the tapes showed his confession was involuntary. Id. at *8. This court determined that the Petitioner failed to present newly discovered evidence that would entitle him to error coram nobis relief. Id.

         The Petitioner later sought habeas corpus relief on the basis that the indictment should have been dismissed because the prosecution "violated Brady by not informing the grand jury of the audiotape recordings of statements by other witnesses and/or potential suspects." Clarence D. Schreane v. State, No. E2013-01161-CCA-R3-HC, 2013 WL 6229527, at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 2, 2013). The Petitioner alleged that, without the recordings, the grand jury had been unable to investigate whether sufficient proof supported an indictment. Id. This court affirmed the habeas corpus court's determination that the indictment was facially valid and that the allegation related to the grand jury investigation was not a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief. Id. The Petitioner was likewise unsuccessful in obtaining federal habeas corpus relief. See Schreane v. Ebbert, 864 F.3d 446 (6th Circ. 2017).

         In January 2018, the Petitioner filed the instant petition for a writ of error coram nobis. In the petition, he stated that he was entitled to relief, in relevant part, because (1) the trial court judge violated his right to due process by "allowing the jury to hear the tape [of his confession] before a determination was made" regarding its voluntariness, (2) the prosecution violated Brady by failing to provide discovery materials before the trial related to the recordings of suspects' 1991 police interviews, and (3) his confession was involuntary in that the police failed to advise him fully of his Miranda rights and violated his right to counsel.

         The coram nobis court concluded that the Petitioner's allegations that (1) his confession was involuntary due to improper promises by the police, (2) his confession was obtained in violation of Miranda, (3) the trial court erred by failing to review the circumstances of the confession outside the presence of the jury and to suppress the confession, and (4) the prosecutor's failure to provide the recordings of other suspects' police interviews violated Brady had been previously determined. The court ...


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