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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joshua L. Brand, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tarina Simmons.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Ben Ford and Janice Norman Ware, Assistant District Attorney Generals, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Tarina Simmons, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of her petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, entered best-interest guilty pleas to two counts of second degree murder and was sentenced to concurrent sentences of thirty-five years. Thereafter, she filed a post-conviction petition alleging that her guilty pleas were not knowingly and voluntarily entered based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel. Specifically, she contends that trial counsel was ineffective by: (1) failing to adequately consult with her about the plea process and review the evidence against her; (2) overemphasizing the possible number of years the petitioner could receive in jail, resulting in the pleas being coerced; and (3) allowing the petitioner to proceed when her mental state was not stable enough to allow her to properly participate in the process. Following review of the record, we find no error and affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.