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Price v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 30, 2015

WILLIE PRICE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs November 04, 2014

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 0508423, 0508424 Glenn Ivy Wright, Judge

Joseph S. Ozment, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Willie Price.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Tracy L. Alcock, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Rachel Russell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

OPINION

THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

Trial

A summary of the facts underlying Petitioner's convictions can be found in this court's opinion in State v. Willie Price, No. W2009-00083-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 376625 (Tenn. Crim. App., Feb. 3, 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn., June 17, 2010). In that opinion, this court gave the following synopsis of the facts:

This case involves a man who became known in the Memphis-area media as the "Hacks Cross Creeper." On February 11, 2003, a man broke into the Germantown home of the victim, D.W. (footnote omitted), robbed her, extracted her promise that she would not call the police, and then left through the back door. Despite her promise, the victim called the police as soon as her husband returned home. Less than a month later, on March 8, 2003, the same man broke into the victim's home again, awakened her from her sleep, accused her of lying to him by calling the police, demanded more money, and raped her. The victim fought against the attack and the man bit her arm during the struggle. Approximately two and a half years later, investigators matched the DNA profile of saliva obtained from the victim's wound to the defendant.
Following his arrest, the defendant gave a statement to police in which he admitted that he had twice burglarized the victim's home and robbed her. He also admitted that he had penetrated the victim's vagina with his penis, but he claimed that the sexual contact had been consensual.

Id., at *1.

Post-conviction hearing

In his Amended Petition for Post-Conviction Relief, Petitioner asserted 14 examples of trial counsel's ineffectiveness; however, on appeal, Petitioner makes only the following assertions: trial counsel was ineffective for failing "to call any witnesses, known or that should have been known to counsel, who had relevant information to the defense and their theories at trial[;]" trial counsel was ineffective for "failing to send an investigator to interview the police officers who transported Appellant from Mississippi after a DNA 'reverse hit[;]'" and "[t]rial counsel failed to file any motion to suppress the DNA identification." We therefore limit our summary of the evidence presented at the post-conviction hearing and our discussion of the issue to those claims.

Petitioner testified at the post-conviction hearing that his relationship with trial counsel was "pretty good." He communicated with trial counsel in jail and in court. Petitioner could not recall whether trial counsel reviewed with him the State's discovery response or whether there was a suppression hearing. When asked what more trial counsel could have done to defend him, Petitioner responded, "I'm just believing ...


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