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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 14, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Blake D. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Joe Ross.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and J. Ross Dyer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Petitioner, Joe Ross, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Petitioner entered guilty pleas to five counts of aggravated robbery, four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, and one count of aggravated rape, for which he received an effective sentence of 25 years confinement. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that his sentence is illegal on the face of the judgment because it does not include mandatory supervision for life. Because the Petitioner’s judgment does not reflect the statutory requirement of mandatory lifetime community supervision, we conclude that the judgment for aggravated rape is illegal and void. We vacate the Petitioner’s sentence for aggravated rape and remand to the habeas court for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the illegal sentence was a bargained-for element of the Petitioner’s plea agreement.