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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 4, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Benjamin S. Burton, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin J. Branham.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; James B. (Jimmy) Dunn, District Attorney General; and Ashley D. McDermott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): THOMAS

The Defendant, Melvin J. Branham, pled guilty to robbery and received a sentence of fifteen years as a career offender to be served at sixty percent. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, he was ordered to report for incarceration thirty days following entry of his plea. Prior to the expiration of that thirty-day period, the State successfully sought to revoke the Defendant’s bond based upon the Defendant’s drug usage. The Defendant thereafter filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea or have his bond reinstated, arguing that he would not have pled guilty had he known his bond would have been revoked before the thirty days ran out. The trial court denied the motion, and the Defendant appeals. After review, we determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to withdraw the guilty plea where the Defendant failed to show a manifest injustice and that the proper avenue for review of the bond revocation was via Rule 8 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.