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King v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 5, 2019

STEVEN PADGETT KING
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs February 12, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County No. 40300049 Jill Bartee Ayers, Judge

         Petitioner, Steven Padgett King, appeals the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, in which he sought application of the rule announced in Ward v. State, 315 S.W.3d 461 (Tenn. 2010). We reverse the judgment of the post-conviction court and remand to the post-conviction court for a new evidentiary hearing to determine whether Petitioner is entitled to relief pursuant to Ward.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Reversed and Remanded

          Gregory D. Smith, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Padgett King.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Arthur Beiber, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE

         Procedural history

         On January 15, 2004, Petitioner pleaded guilty to especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape and received an effective 40-year sentence. During the guilty plea colloquy, the trial court did not inform Defendant that he would be subject to lifetime community supervision as to the aggravated rape conviction. The judgment form did not reflect that Defendant was sentenced to lifetime community supervision.

         In May, 2015, Petitioner filed a pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Rule 36.1 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. Relying upon the Tennessee Supreme Court's decision in Ward v. State, 315 S.W.3d 461, 476 (Tenn. 2010), Petitioner alleged that he did not agree to be sentenced to lifetime community supervision. Following a hearing on August 19, 2016, the trial court dismissed Petitioner's Rule 36.1 motion on the basis that the holding in Ward did not apply retroactively, as decided in Bush v. State, 428 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2014). The trial court entered amended judgments to reflect the statutory requirement of lifetime community supervision. Petitioner did not appeal from the trial court's dismissal of his Rule 36.1 motion.

         Petitioner subsequently filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that "his [p]lea agreement was not knowingly nor intelligently entered because the original judgment has now been amended to include [c]ommunity [s]upervision for life, a punitive element that he did not agree to when he originally accepted his plea in 2004." Steven Padgett King v. State, No. M2017-00058-CCA-R3-PC, 2017 WL 3741408, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 30, 2017), no perm. app. filed. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition as untimely, and Petitioner appealed. A panel of this court reversed the post-conviction court's order dismissing the petition as untimely, concluding that the one-year statute of limitations was reset by the entry of the amended judgments. Id. We obtained the procedural history of Petitioner's Rule 36.1 proceedings from this opinion. Steven Padgett King, 2017 WL 3741408, at *1, n.1.

         On remand, Petitioner was appointed post-conviction counsel. The record does not contain an amended post-conviction petition. The post-conviction court conducted a "status hearing," at which Petitioner was the only witness to testify. Petitioner testified that he would be 82 years old when his sentence expired. He testified, "my problem would be how to deal with community supervision for life on a very limited income, if any income, and not be violated and sent back to prison again because I was unable to meet the state's restrictions on me." Petitioner testified that he did not know that community supervision for life would be part of his sentence. He testified, "none of this was ever discussed with me."

         In a written order denying relief, the post-conviction court concluded that Petitioner failed to state a colorable claim for relief. The court noted that the "holding in State v. Bush [sic] is clear that the Ward case is not retroactive and that no previous failure to advise a defendant of community supervision for life as a consequence of a plea will invalidate a prior plea or sentence." The post-conviction court further concluded that "all matters raised in the [post-conviction] ...


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