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State v. Wilson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

August 13, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JAMES R. WILSON

          Assigned on Briefs July 24, 2019

         James R. Wilson, Defendant, pled guilty to two counts of sale of more than five grams of a Schedule II controlled substance in case number 97-D-2596. Defendant received concurrent sentences of ten years with release eligibility after service of thirty percent of the sentence; Defendant was to serve one year in confinement and the remainder on community corrections. Defendant filed a Rule 36.1 motion and alleged that his sentences were illegal because he did not receive a Momon colloquy or sentencing hearing. The trial court found that the sentences had expired and summarily dismissed the motion for failure to state a colorable claim. We affirm.

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

          James R. Wilson, Only, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and J. Wesley King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         In October 1997, the Davidson County Grand Jury indicted Defendant for sale of less than five grams of a Schedule II controlled substance, five counts of sale of more than five grams of a Schedule II controlled substance, and conspiracy to sell more than five grams of a Schedule II controlled substance in case number 97-D-2596. On June 24, 1999, Defendant pled guilty to counts four and six, sale of more than five grams of a Schedule II controlled substance.[1] For both counts, Defendant received concurrent sentences of ten years in the Tennessee Department of Correction with release eligibility after service of thirty percent of the sentence. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve one year in confinement and to serve the remainder of his sentences on community corrections. The plea agreement and plea submission hearing transcript were not included in the record on appeal.

         On January 7, 2019,[2] Defendant filed a pro se Rule 36.1 Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence. In his motion, Defendant asserted that his sentences were illegal because of the following:

Defendant was indicted December 4th, 1997 in case no. 97-D-2596. On September 17, 1998, . . . [Defendant] and the [S]tate[] made a tentative agreement presented to him by, defense attorney, Mr. Glenn Funk, to plead guilty to ten (10) years. [Defendant] initially agreed to accept the plea and signed the written agreement. A few days afterwards, . . . [Defendant] became unsettled with the plea offer, due to the lack of understanding and decided to proceed to trial. Later, [Defendant] found out that he had been illegally sentenced to the ten year sentence without actually accepting the plea.

         Defendant asserted that the trial court did not comply with Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(d) during his guilty plea submission hearing.

         On February 7, 2019, the trial court entered an order that summarily dismissed Defendant's Rule 36.1 motion. The trial court noted that the Tennessee Supreme Court has previously held that "Rule 36.1 does not authorize the correction of expired illegal sentences[,]" citing State v. Brown, 479 S.W.3d 200, 211 (Tenn. 2015). The trial court found that Defendant's sentences "appear[ed] to have expired approximately one decade ...


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