Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
TIMOTHY DUNN, SR.
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Session: June 18, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Robertson County No.
74CC2-2014-CR-144 William R. Goodman III, Judge
Petitioner, Timothy Dunn, Sr., appeals from the Robertson
County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief. The Petitioner contends that his
trial counsel was ineffective in failing to explain to the
Petitioner the possible sentence he could receive if
convicted at trial. Discerning no error, we affirm the
judgment of the post-conviction court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Jonathan B. Miley, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Timothy Dunn, Sr.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M.
Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney
Jr., District Attorney General; and Jason Christian White,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which John Everett Williams, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway,
Jr., J., joined.
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
Petitioner was convicted by a jury of sale of cocaine within
1000 feet of a school and delivery of cocaine within 1000
feet of a school. State v. Timothy Dunn, No.
M2016-00469-CCA-R3-CD, 2017 WL 652215, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Feb. 17, 2017), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May
18, 2017). The trial court merged the convictions and imposed
a sentence of seventeen years. Id. This court
affirmed the Petitioner's conviction and sentence on
direct appeal. Id. On May 18, 2017, our supreme
court declined to review this court's decision.
Petitioner's conviction arose out of a controlled buy of
cocaine performed by a confidential informant. Dunn,
2017 WL 652215, at *1. The confidential informant called a
co-defendant asking to purchase a gram of cocaine for fifty
dollars. Id. The co-defendant instructed the
confidential informant on where to meet for the exchange.
Id. Once the confidential informant arrived at the
location, the Petitioner drove up in a van. Id. The
Petitioner gave the confidential informant .76 grams of
cocaine. Id. at *1-2. The confidential informant
gave the Petitioner sixty dollars. Id. at *1. The
Petitioner went back to his van and then returned with the
confidential informant's change. Id. This
exchange was recorded on a video camera hidden in the
confidential informant's car and observed by several
police officers. Id. at *2.
Petitioner filed a timely pro se petition for post-conviction
relief. Counsel was appointed to represent the Petitioner in
this matter and an amended petition for post-conviction
relief was filed. As pertinent to our review, the amended
petition alleged that trial counsel was ineffective in
failing to inform the Petitioner of his "sentencing
exposure if [a] plea offer was rejected and trial
Petitioner testified that the State initially offered to
dismiss the cocaine charges against him if he testified
against his co-defendant and did not "catch another
theft charge." That offer was withdrawn after the
Petitioner pled guilty to domestic assault. The State then
offered the Petitioner an eight-year sentence without the
school zone enhancement and with a release eligibility of
Petitioner admitted that he was aware that he was charged
with a Class A felony with a school zone enhancement. The
Petitioner also admitted that he and trial counsel had
reviewed the evidence against him. However, the Petitioner
claimed that trial counsel told him that he "could
probably beat the case" because he "didn't see
[any] drugs" on the video recording. The Petitioner also
claimed that trial counsel never informed him that he could
receive a sentence of between fifteen and twenty-five years
to be served at 100% if he was convicted at trial. The