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Underwood v. State

March 14, 2002


Post-Conviction Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. P-21303 Carolyn Wade Blackett, Judge


The appellant, Quantreal Underwood, was convicted of second degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. He received a Range I sentence of twenty-five years for the murder conviction and two concurrent eight year terms for the robbery convictions. His convictions and sentences were affirmed by this Court on direct appeal. State v. Quantreal Underwood, No. 02C01-9604-CR-00120, 1997 Tenn. Crim. App. Lexis 1018 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Jackson Oct. 9, 1997). The appellant filed a post-conviction petition in May, 1999, wherein he alleged that his trial counsel was ineffective and thus deficient within the meaning of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. That petition was denied, and the appellant now brings the instant appeal. We have reviewed the record and find no error. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerry L. Smith, Judge

Tenn. R. App. P. Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court is Affirmed.

Jerry L. Smith, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which David G. Hayes and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.


As background, the following is this Court's direct appeal summary of the facts leading to the appellant's conviction.

During the early morning hours of August 28, 1993, the victim, Dorrell Eggleston, was shot during a robbery of the Serve-Rite Market in Memphis. Twenty-three years of age at the time of the shooting, the victim died forty days later.

Jerome Bond, Jr., was attempting to leave the store when four or five armed males in black ski masks entered the store and ordered its occupants to the floor. According to Bond, four or five shots were fired. One of the robbers, who had a knee to Bond's back and a gun to his face, took his wallet, containing approximately $140.00. Bond recalled that another of the robbers, in response to a customer who was not cooperating, ordered another robber to "clock" the customer; however, no more shots were fired. It was only after the robbers left that Bond discovered that the victim had been shot.

Bond, who knew the defendant "by face," recalled seeing him standing outside the store just before the robbery; however, he was unable to identify any of the masked robbers. Bond remembered that one of the robbers had a .380 automatic pistol and that one of the shots sounded like a shotgun blast.

Andrew Bolden, the night manager at the market, was tending the cash register and talking on the telephone at the time of the robbery. He testified that there were about five customers in the store, including Bond and the victim, when three armed men wearing stocking masks entered the store and ordered the occupants to the floor. He recalled that one of the robbers ordered another to shoot a handicapped customer who was unable to lie on the floor. The customer was not shot. Bolden recalled that one of the robbers took money from the cash register.

After the robbery, Bolden discovered that the victim had been shot. Bolden recalled hearing four shots, some of which sounded different than others. He observed a bullet hole in the storage area near the victim and what appeared to be shotgun pellets above the door.

Caroline Hollister of the Memphis Police Department testified that when she arrived at the market, she asked the victim who had shot him. Describing the victim as scared and agitated, the officer recalled that the victim named the defendant and a Spencer Payne.

Anthony Yarborough witnessed the latter part of the Serve-Rite robbery. After hearing shots from his residence, he looked across the street in time to see some men exit the Serve-Rite and enter two different cars; one was a white Hyundai and the other a maroon Chevrolet. Yarborough recalled seeing a shotgun and observed that one of the men had a stocking over his head. He recognized one of the two getaway cars as that of Roderick Turner who lived in the neighborhood. Yarborough testified that he had observed the defendant, whom he did not know but had seen before, driving the white car earlier in the day. Explaining that he was nervous and afraid for his family, Yarborough was unable to point out the defendant from the witness stand.

Demetrius Henderson, who had pled guilty to second degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery because of this incident, testified for the state. He recalled that on the day of the robbery, the defendant, who was accompanied by his cousin, claimed that he had been robbed of his cocaine and would pay $700.00 and an ounce of cocaine for his assistance in this matter. Henderson testified that he joined with the defendant and six other men, all of whom were in two cars, a Hyundai and a Chevrolet, in an effort to find the defendant's robber. The defendant, Dennis Smith, and Demarcus Radliff were in the Hyundai. Henderson, Charles McGaughy, Thomas Watkins, Lee Antonio Boyd, and Carl Porter got into the Chevrolet.

Henderson testified that they first went to a residence but found no one at home. He stated that the men then proceeded to the Serve-Rite. According to Henderson, the defendant, who had purchased masks, handed them out to each of the participants before they went into the store. All but one was armed. The defendant, who gave Radliff .32 caliber bullets, had a .380 and another man had a shotgun. Porter, who was the only one without a gun, stayed in the car. Henderson said he had a .22, Boyd a .32, Radliff a .32, McGaughy a .380, and Watkins a 12 gauge shotgun. Henderson identified McGaughy as the robber who ordered the store occupants to the floor. He recalled that the robber with the shotgun, Watkins, fired before the others. Henderson, who denied firing a shot, testified that "a lot of people fired." He stated that Watkins and the defendant went to the back of the store during the course of the robbery.

By the time of this trial, McGaughy had also pled guilty to second degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. A witness for the state, he testified that the defendant claimed that he had been robbed and wanted some help. He recalled that the defendant stopped to acquire some stocking caps before the men entered the Serve-Rite. McGaughy claimed that he was without his mask and never fired his weapon, a .380, but conceded that he had "laid [two] people down" during the robbery. He claimed that he never received the quarter ounce of cocaine, the "juice" of crack, or the $700.00 the defendant represented he would pay. McGaughy admitted driving a burgundy Chevrolet and said the defendant was in a small white sports car. On cross-examination, McGaughy admitted that he had failed to mention to police that the defendant entered the store. He acknowledged that he had told officers that Watkins, who he said had shot the victim, and Henderson did the shooting during the robbery.

Dr. Jerry Francisco, the Shelby County Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy. He testified that the victim had two gunshot wounds which did damage to the spinal cord and his lungs, liver, and other internal organs. Dr. Francisco measured one of the bullets at 32/100 of an inch. He explained that the victim, who was paralyzed from ...

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