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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Jul 19, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James R. Hickman, Jr. (on appeal) and Samantha A. McCammon (at trial), Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Eslinger.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; and Ronald C. Newcomb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Paul Samuel Eslinger, the Defendant, pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance, both Class C felonies, and one count of sale of a Schedule I controlled substance, a Class B felony, and was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement to three thirty-year concurrent sentences. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred when it did not allow him to withdraw his guilty pleas. Upon review, we conclude that the Defendant’s negotiated sentences were illegal and the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it accepted the negotiated sentences as part of the plea agreement. Therefore, the trial court should have allowed him to withdraw his guilty pleas. The judgments of the trial court are reversed, and the case is remanded.