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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Aug 28, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Lance Randall Chism, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Lewis Webb.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Alana Dwyer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Pursuant to the terms of a negotiated plea agreement, Petitioner, Robert Lewis Webb, pled guilty to first-degree murder, aggravated rape, aggravated burglary, and aggravated robbery, and was sentenced to an effective life sentence without the possibility of parole. Petitioner subsequently filed an untimely pro se petition for post-conviction relief. He asserted, among other things, that the guilty plea was involuntary. Appointed counsel filed an amended petition, alleging that the statute of limitations should be tolled due to a new constitutional ruling, Petitioner’s mental incompetence, and misconduct on the part of Petitioner’s trial attorney. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner appealed. The State concedes that Petitioner is entitled to a hearing on whether the statute of limitations should be tolled. We determine that the post-conviction court erred by summarily dismissing the petition without an evidentiary hearing to determine whether due process requires that the statute of limitations be tolled. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.