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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 20, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

C. Dudley Lightsey, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brandon Ostein.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): PAGE

Petitioner, Brandon Ostein, pleaded guilty to possession of over 300 grams of cocaine with intent to sell in a drug-free school zone. In accordance with petitioner’s plea agreement, the trial court imposed the minimum sentence of fifteen years to be served at one hundred percent in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Petitioner filed the current petition for post-conviction relief, in which he alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that his guilty plea was not entered knowingly, voluntarily, or intelligently. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when trial counsel: (1) failed to communicate with petitioner prior to his entering the guilty plea and (2) failed to properly advise him regarding his sentencing range. He further argues that these errors, compounded with the trial court’s failure to inform him of the applicable range of punishment, rendered his guilty plea involuntary. Following our review of the parties’ arguments, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.