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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 5, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Kenneth E. Hill, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brent A. Blye.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Kyle Hixson, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and William B. Harper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Brent A. Blye, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. In this case, the petitioner was convicted by a jury of possession with intent to sell 26 grams or more of cocaine, a Class C felony, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of less that .05 ounces of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. Following the verdict, the parties reached an agreement on sentencing whereby the petitioner would serve twelve years as a Range II offender on the cocaine conviction and eleven months and twenty-nine days on each of the misdemeanors. As part of the same sentencing agreement, the petitioner entered guilty pleas and was sentenced in three unrelated cases at the same time. On appeal, he contends that the post-conviction court erred in denying him relief because he was denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Specifically, he contends that trial counsel was ineffective for: (1) failing to file a timely motion for new trial; and (2) failing to develop a theory of defense at trial arguing for a lesser-included offense when evidence was available to support such a defense. Following review of the record, we remand the case to the post-conviction for a determination of whether a delayed appeal is proper based upon deficient performance in trial counsel’s failing to file a motion for new trial. The denial of post-conviction relief is affirmed in all other aspects.