Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session: January 16, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 17127 Forest A.
Durard, Jr., Judge
Eddie Readus, appeals the length of his effective sentence
following a resentencing hearing that was granted by the
trial court in response to Defendant's motion to correct
an illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1 of the Tennessee
Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 36.1). The State responds
that Defendant failed to state a colorable claim for relief
in his Rule 36.1 motion, and therefore, the trial court
should have dismissed the motion, rather than granting a new
sentencing hearing. We agree with the State. Accordingly, we
reverse the judgment of the trial court granting relief
pursuant to Rule 36.1, vacate the amended judgment as to the
Class C felony conviction, and reinstate the original
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender; and Michael J.
Collins, Assistant Public Defender, Shelbyville, Tennessee,
for the appellant, Eddie Readus.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia
S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Robert James Carter,
District Attorney General; and Michael Randles, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert L. Holloway, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
T. WOODALL, JUDGE.
was convicted by a jury of the sale and delivery of less than
0.5 grams of cocaine (counts one and two), both Class C
felonies, and possession with intent to sell and possession
with intent to deliver 0.5 grams or more of cocaine (counts
three and four), both Class B felonies. The trial court
merged count two into count one and count four into count
three. Defendant was sentenced as a career offender in count
one to 15 years and as a Range II multiple offender in count
three to 15 years, to be served consecutively, for a total
effective sentence of 30 years. On direct appeal, a panel of
this court affirmed Defendant's convictions. Defendant
did not raise as issues on direct appeal either his
classification as a career offender in count one or the trial
court's imposition of consecutive sentencing. State
v. Eddie L. Readus, No. M2011-01918-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL
4055343 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 17, 2012), perm. app.
denied (Tenn. Jan. 22, 2013).
sought post-conviction relief, alleging that he received the
ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal.
Defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for
failing to explain sentencing to him or challenge consecutive
sentencing on appeal. The post-conviction court concluded
that Defendant did not receive the ineffective assistance of
counsel but ruled sua sponte that he was entitled to a
delayed appeal so that this court could determine whether his
effective 30-year sentence was excessive. A panel of this
court affirmed the post-conviction court's denial of
post-conviction relief and reversed the court's granting
of a delayed appeal. Eddie L. Readus v. State, No.
M2013-01856-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 1494086 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr.
15, 2014). This court determined that Defendant was not
denied his right to appeal from his original convictions.
Id. at *6.
November 16, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to correct an
illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1 of the Tennessee Rules
of Criminal Procedure. The trial court entered an order to
set a hearing on the motion, finding that Defendant had met
"the minimum threshold of a colorable claim for
relief." In reviewing the presentence report and the
sentencing transcript, the trial court determined that the
sentencing court relied on eight prior felony convictions in
classifying Defendant as a career offender for the Class C
felony and a multiple offender for the Class B felony. The
trial court noted, "[w]ithout more specificity as to
some of [D]efendant's conviction classes contained in the
[State's] Notice of Enhancement[, ] the Court cannot
ascertain the merits of [D]efendant's allegations."
The trial court appointed counsel to represent Defendant.
Appointed counsel subsequently filed an amended motion to
correct illegal sentence.
hearing on Defendant's Rule 36.1 motion, the court
entered as exhibits the judgments of conviction, a transcript
of the sentencing hearing, the State's notice of
enhancement, the post-conviction court's order, and the
opinions of this court on direct appeal and ...