JEFFREY HENRY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 15, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Randal G. Rhea, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffrey Henry.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Leslie Byrd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

The Petitioner, Jeffrey Henry, pled guilty on January 12, 2015, to three counts of aggravated sexual battery and received an effective twenty-year sentence. Subsequently, on September 22, 2016, he filed an untimely petition for writ of error coram nobis, alleging as newly discovered evidence that the victim was taking medication for oppositional defiant disorder, which, he believed, raised questions as to whether her responses were true or, simply, impulsive responses. Not knowing the victim was taking this medication meant that the Petitioner’s pleas of guilty were unknowing and involuntary, according to his argument. Additionally, he asserts that the decision of the Tennessee Supreme Court in Frazier v. State, 495 S.W.3d 246 (Tenn. 2016), violates his right to due process, which, in his view, tolls the one-year statute of limitations for filing his claim. The coram nobis court dismissed the petition, finding that, pursuant to the holding in Frazier, the relief the Petitioner sought was not available because he had entered pleas of guilty. Further, the coram nobis court determined that the Petitioner had been aware that the victim was undergoing “some possible mental health treatment.” Accordingly, the coram nobis court denied relief, and we affirm that determination pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

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