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Miller v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 30, 2019

JAFARRIS MILLER
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 17-00809 Jennifer Johnson Mitchell, Judge

         Petitioner, Jafarris Miller, appeals from the dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief. On appeal and in his pro se petition, Petitioner argues that his convictions for intentionally evading arrest in a vehicle, a Class E felony, and theft of property less than $500.00 in value, a Class A misdemeanor, are void because the arrest warrant was invalid. After review of the record and the briefs, we affirm the judgment of the habeas corpus court.

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

          Jafarris Miller, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Leslie Byrd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE

         According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant submitted by a police detective, the detective observed Petitioner and his accomplice sprint out of a retail store in Collierville. One of the two carried a 55-gallon garbage sack that was extremely full. It was ultimately determined the sack contained over $500.00 worth of merchandise that had not been purchased. Believing a theft had occurred, the detective activated his emergency equipment and initiated a stop of the vehicle that Petitioner and his cohort had entered. Petitioner was the driver, and he disregarded the detective's orders to stop. Petitioner drove the vehicle in a manner that caused a forearm abrasion and a bruise to the detective's left side. A chase began when Petitioner drove out of the parking lot. Petitioner's car promptly wrecked and he and his passenger fled on foot but were soon taken into custody by other police officers.

         Subsequently, Petitioner was charged by the Shelby County Grand Jury in a five-count indictment with two counts of aggravated assault upon the detective based upon alternate theories, two counts of intentionally evading arrest in a motor vehicle based upon alternate theories, and one count of Class E felony theft of property.

         In a negotiated plea agreement, Petitioner pled guilty to one count of intentionally evading arrest in a motor vehicle, and the lesser included offense of theft of property less than $500.00 in value.

         Peititoner alleged in his petition and again in his brief, that he was afforded a preliminary hearing, after which he was indicted. He further alleges that his motion to dismiss the charges at the preliminary hearing, due to a void affidavit of complaint, was denied.

         Petitioner's legal claim for habeas corpus relief is that no valid affidavit of complaint or arrest warrant was issued in his case, and therefore all subsequent proceedings including the indictment and the judgments of ...


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