Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs October 29, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2008-A-88 Cheryl Blackburn, Judge
The Petitioner, Reginald Maurice Adkins,  appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his 2010 convictions for first degree murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery and his life-plus-twelve-years sentence. The Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and that the post-conviction court erred by denying him relief. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed
Kara Everett, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Reginald Maurice Adkins.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Roger A. Page, JJ., joined.
ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE
This case arises from the Petitioner and his two codefendants' killing Jared Collins. The Petitioner appealed his convictions, and this court affirmed the convictions and summarized the facts of the case as follows:
On November 6, 2007, Jared Collins ("the victim"), a white male, was shot and killed outside a market located at 839 Dickerson Pike in Nashville. In January 2008, a Davidson County grand jury returned a two-count indictment relating to the victim's death, charging that the Defendant, Brandy Lea Birdwell, and Darryl Dekezz Thompson committed the offenses of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. The Defendant's trial, which was severed from that of his co-defendants, was conducted on January 11-13, 2010.
Annthonett Bethea testified that, on November 6, 2007, she waited in her car while her son went into the market on Dickerson Pike. Ms. Bethea saw a white male get out of his vehicle and have a brief conversation with two black men, approximately between the ages of seventeen and nineteen, who had approached from the alley between the market and the liquor store. She said that the white male walked toward the liquor store and that the shorter of the two black men also proceeded toward the liquor store. Ms. Bethea recalled that the taller black male went to the white male's car, opened the driver's door, and began searching for something. She said that the white man then came back from the liquor store and saw the black man in his car.
At this point, all three men converged and had a conversation, although Ms. Bethea could not hear what they said. However, she witnessed one of the black men hold one side of the white man, while the other black man patted his body as if he was looking for something. She testified that she thought it was the shorter black male that was more aggressively touching the white man. She recalled that, when her son opened the door to get back in the car, she heard one of the black men say, "[G]ive me the damn money." Ms. Bethea also testified that she then saw that the shorter black man had a gun. She testified that she started moving her vehicle at that time because she was afraid.
After she drove out of sight of the altercation, she heard a gunshot. Ms. Bethea testified that, as she drove around the store, she then saw the two black males jump into the bed of a white pickup truck. She recalled that she had seen the pickup truck parked on the side of the market when she arrived. Ms. Bethea stated that she saw a white female driving the pickup truck and that the vehicle left the parking lot very quickly. Ms. Bethea testified that she went back to the front of the store to see what happened to the white male. She went into the market and saw that he had been shot in his lower back.
Tearra Mayfield testified that, on November 6, 2007, she went to the market at 839 Dickerson Pike with the Defendant, Darrell Thompson, and Brandy Birdwell. Ms. Mayfield said that the Defendant is her stepbrother and that they lived in the same household. She stated that the foursome, whom had been together since about 1:00 p.m. that day, went to the market in Ms. Birdwell's white pickup truck and that she sat in the front passenger seat while the Defendant and Mr. Thompson sat in the fold-out seats in the extended cab. Ms. Mayfield testified that she saw the Defendant with a black revolver in his pocket that day. She recalled that she heard the Defendant and Mr. Thompson say that they were broke and needed some money. She said that they were "talking foolishness" and that she assumed they were going to get money by robbing someone.
Before heading to the market, Ms. Mayfield, the Defendant, Mr. Thompson, and Ms. Birdwell were at Ms. Mayfield's grandmother's house, located on Pennock Avenue. According to Ms. Mayfield, the Defendant and Mr. Thompson saw some people, one of whom was the victim, leave from across the street. Ms. Mayfield said that the four of them then left to go to the market. She recalled that Ms. Birdwell parked on the side of the market and the Defendant and Mr. Thompson got out of the truck. Although Ms. Mayfield could not see what happened, she heard "some tussling" and then a gunshot. Afterward, the Defendant and Mr. Thompson got into the bed of the pickup truck and yelled at Ms. Birdwell to leave the parking lot. The sliding back window between the cab and the bed was open, and Ms. Mayfield heard the Defendant and Mr. Thompson laughing and giggling. Then, she heard the Defendant say, "[D]id you see what I did to the n[ ----- ]." When the group got to Cedar Hill Park, Ms. Mayfield saw the gun again, still in the Defendant's possession.
Christy Dean testified that she was with the victim on November 6, 2007, shortly before he was shot and killed. She recalled that the victim came over to her house on Pennock Avenue to visit with her then-fiancé and that the victim said he was going to go to the market. Ms. Dean accompanied the victim and went to a flooring store near the market.
As Ms. Dean returned from the flooring store, she saw that the victim was out of his vehicle and was scuffling with two black men, who were between the approximate ages of nineteen and twenty-five years old. She said that the victim had one hand in his pocket and was fighting them with one hand. She testified that the two men kept hitting the victim but that eventually he was able to run toward the market. She testified that, when the victim opened up the door to the market, he was shot in the back. Although she did not see the shooter's face, Ms. Dean testified that the shorter black man fired the shot.
Ms. Dean stated that she witnessed a white truck approach from the side of the store and that the two guys jumped into the bed of the truck. She testified that the driver of the truck was a white female that she recognized as someone who had visited Ms. Dean's neighbor's house before. Ms. Dean also said that she identified the driver of the white truck in a photo lineup.
On cross-examination, Ms. Dean admitted that she had bought prescription drugs from her neighbor, Ms. Mayfield's grandmother. She also acknowledged that the victim was addicted to pills.
Officer Po Cheng, employed by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, testified that, as he was responding to another call around 4:30 p.m. on October 6, 2007, he drove by the market at 839 Dickerson Pike and was flagged down by a large group of people, who told him that someone had been shot. Officer Cheng said that he went inside the market and located the victim, whom he described was "in bad shape." He recalled that the victim was making some gurgling noises and was not able to respond to questions.
Detective Paul Harris, of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, testified that he investigated the [victim's] homicide. Detective Harris recalled that, as a result of Ms. Dean's identification of the driver of the pickup truck, he obtained a search warrant for Ms. Birdwell's residence. As a result of the search, he obtained a Colt revolver. Detective Harris stated that the revolver was loaded with six live rounds. He ...