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Patrick v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

November 24, 2014


Assigned on Briefs October 7, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Dyer County No. 08-CR-71 R. Lee Moore, Jr., Judge

Danny H. Goodman, Jr., Tiptonville, Tennessee, for the petitioner, Mariet L. Patrick.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Lance E. Webb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the respondent, State of Tennessee.

Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.



Factual and Procedural Background

On October 25, 2007, a "concerned citizen" called Officer Mason McDowell of the Dyersburg Police Department, reporting that Petitioner possessed marijuana and cocaine and that he was using his girlfriend's maroon Buick sedan. Based on this tip, Officer McDowell discovered that Petitioner's driver's license was suspended and reviewed a picture of Petitioner. Officer McDowell then corroborated a portion of the caller's information by personally verifying that the Buick was parked at the reported location.

The following day, Officer McDowell and his partner positioned their patrol car in a parking lot beside Jenkinsville-Jamestown Road, near the location where the Buick was parked the evening before. Eventually, the Buick drove in front of the patrol car, and Officer McDowell, familiar with Petitioner's appearance, identified Petitioner as the driver of the vehicle. The officers immediately began following the Buick and initiated a traffic stop for the offense of driving on a suspended license. Once the emergency lights were activated, the Buick accelerated and failed to stop. After leaving Jenkinsville-Jamestown Road, the Buick navigated several streets before turning onto a gravel driveway and cutting through a field.

While driving through the field, Petitioner stuck a plastic Ziploc bag out of the driver's window and emptied white powder from the bag onto the ground. The Buick reentered the roadway and drove approximately a quarter of a mile before stopping. The officers removed Petitioner and his passenger, Brandon Lewis, from the Buick. The subsequent search of the vehicle yielded what proved to be cocaine and marijuana, in addition to digital scales and $1, 683 in cash. The white powder dumped onto the field was also confirmed to be cocaine.

On June 30, 2010, Petitioner was convicted by a jury of (1) evading arrest in a motor vehicle, a Class E felony; (2) possession of .5 ounces or more of marijuana with intent to sell or deliver, a Class E felony; and (3) possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, a Class B felony. For the cocaine conviction, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to twenty years as a persistent offender. For the other convictions, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to six years each, as a career offender, to run concurrently with the twenty-year sentence.

Petitioner's convictions and sentences were affirmed by this Court on direct appeal. State v. Mariet L. Patrick, No. W2010-02074-CCA-R3-CD, 2011 WL 3276192 (Tenn. Crim. App. July 28, 2011), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Nov. 16, 2011).[1] On November 19, 2012, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, asserting numerous grounds, including the State's failure to provide notice of intent to seek sentence enhancements, defective indictments, and ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and sentencing. On April 9, 2013, Petitioner filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief through appointed counsel. The amended petition focused solely on Petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, arguing that trial counsel "[f]ailed to meet with the petitioner prior to trial to develop a defense for trial, " "[f]ailed to interview witnesses prior to trial, " "failed to present prospective evidence during trial, " "failed to advise the petitioner of the proper [s]entencing [r]ange for which he would be tried, " and "[f]ailed to argue that the indictments are unconstitutional." However, the amended petition also incorporated all other grounds asserted in the original petition.

After the State filed its response, the post-conviction court held an evidentiary hearing on June 4, 2013. At the hearing, Petitioner's counsel argued that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by: (1) failing to challenge the sufficiency or constitutionality of the indictments; (2) failing to investigate or obtain additional evidence; (3) failing to contest the jurisdictional validity of the traffic stop; and (4) failing to request that the State disclose the identity of the informant whose phone call to the Dyersburg police initiated the sequence of events leading to Petitioner's arrest.

Petitioner testified that, after being indicted, he was appointed counsel for trial. Regarding the alleged deficiencies with the indictments, Petitioner stated his belief that it was inappropriate for the indictment to charge him with two counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver because the State should have had to specify whether it was charging him with intent to sell or intent to deliver, each as a separate offense. Petitioner testified that he was primarily concerned about the effect that this deficiency had on his sentencing range, but he also admitted that ...

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