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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 22, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Gene L. Humphreys, Jeffrey P. Yarboro, and Cecil W. VanDevender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Detrick Cole.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Counsel; and Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Shelby County jury found the Defendant, Detrick Cole, guilty of first degree premeditated murder and imposed a sentence of death. The Defendant’s conviction and sentence were affirmed by this Court, State v. Detrick Cole, No. W2002-01254-CCA-R3-DD, 2003 WL 22848969 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Nov. 24, 2003), and by our Supreme Court, State v. Cole, 155 S.W.3d 885 (Tenn. 2005). The Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, which was denied after a hearing. On appeal, this Court agreed with the Defendant’s contention that he had received the ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase of his trial and remanded the case to the trial court for a new penalty phase proceeding. Detrick Cole v. State, No. W2008-02681-CCAR3- PC, 2011 WL 1090152, at *56 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, March 8, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn. July 14, 2011). On remand and prior to the new penalty phase proceeding, the Defendant filed a motion challenging the State’s introduction of his 1997 convictions in support of the prior violent felony aggravating circumstance, arguing that the violence of these convictions was ambiguous. See T.C.A. § 39-13-204(i)(2). The trial court denied the Defendant’s motion, concluding that the issue had been previously litigated and decided in the Defendant’s prior appeal. The Defendant then filed an extraordinary appeal, pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 10, which this Court denied. Thereafter, the Defendant agreed to accept a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, and a hearing was held to enter that sentence and a judgment of conviction reflecting that sentence. The Defendant appeals this judgment, contending that his sentence is illegal and void and should be set aside. He again argues that he is ineligible to receive this sentence because his 1997 convictions were insufficient to support the prior violent felony aggravating circumstance. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we dismiss the appeal.