June 15, 2001
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Howard H. Vogel
HERSCHEL LEON COFFELT, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Joseph E. Ford, McBee & Ford, Winchester, Tennessee, for the Appellant Herschel Leon Coffelt, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Patricia C. Kussman, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; Steven Blount, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: The petitioner, Herschel Leon Coffelt, Jr., appeals the Franklin County Circuit Court's denial of his motion to re-open his post-conviction relief proceeding. His March 19, 1996 post-conviction petition challenged his guilty-plea based,1987 Franklin County conviction of selling marijuana. He received an incarcerative sentence of three years and a fine of $10,000 and did not appeal. On October 30, 1997, the lower court determined that the post-conviction petition was barred by the statute of limitations and dismissed it. See Tenn. Code Ann. S 40-30-202(a) (1997). The petitioner then filed affidavits of two persons who claimed to have been present during the drug transaction that resulted in the 1987 case. The affiants stated that the petitioner was not present when the offense was committed. Based upon their affidavits, the petitioner moved the lower court to reconsider its denial of the petition, but when his counsel appeared before the court to argue his motion, counsel asked the court to treat the motion as one to reopen the post-conviction proceeding. See Tenn. Code Ann. S 40-30-217 (1997). The lower court denied the motion, and the petitioner appealed. We conclude that the record supports the trial court's action, and accordingly, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/coffelthl.wpd
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