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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 27, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Cameron L. Hyder, Elizabethton, Tennessee (on appeal) and Joseph O. McAfee, Greeneville, Tennessee (at trial) for the Defendant-Appellant, Marty E. Hughes.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy E. Wilber, Senior Counsel; Dan E. Armstrong, District Attorney General; M. Ryan Blackwell and Akiah C. Highsmith, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Marty E. Hughes, was convicted by a Hawkins County jury of two counts of aggravated assault. Although he was represented by appointed counsel at trial, Hughes signed a waiver of his right to appointed counsel prior to his sentencing hearing. He was subsequently sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender to concurrent sentences of ten and fifteen years for his convictions. Thereafter, Hughes filed a pro se notice of appeal before filing an untimely pro se motion for new trial. On appeal, Hughes argues: (1) the trial court violated his due process rights and committed plain error when it failed to expand the jury instruction on self-defense to include the rights of a person in a dwelling; (2) the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions for aggravated assault; (3) the trial court imposed an excessive sentence; and (4) his due process rights were violated when he proceeded to the sentencing hearing as a pro se defendant who was unaware and improperly advised of his right to file a motion for new trial. Because the record shows that Hughes did not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waive his right to counsel prior to his sentencing hearing, we vacate the judgments of the trial court and remand the case for appointment of new counsel and a new sentencing hearing.