Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs January 22, 2015.
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. C61, 340 Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., Judge.
Kenneth E. Hill, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Douglas Wayne Young.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and Teresa Nelson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.
JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
A Sullivan County Criminal Court jury convicted the petitioner of one count each of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, and especially aggravated kidnapping, and four counts of aggravated rape. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of 50 years' incarceration, and this court affirmed the judgments on direct appeal. See State v. Douglas Wayne Young, No. E2010-00027-CCA-R3-CD, slip op. at 1 (Tenn. Crim. App., Knoxville, May 23, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn., Sept. 21, 2011).
The Douglas Wayne Young case "relates to the [petitioner's] breaking into his estranged wife's home, forcing her to have intercourse with him, and forcing her to accompany him as he traveled between Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina." Id., slip op. at 1-2. The victim, who resided in Bristol, Tennessee, testified that she returned home from work on the afternoon of January 4, 2008, to find the petitioner holding a gun on her. Id., slip op. at 5. The petitioner punched her in the nose and then forced her into a bedroom at gunpoint. Id. The petitioner "ripped her pants off, continued hitting her, " and "penetrated her vaginally, orally, and anally without her consent." Id. "[A]s a result of the attack, she suffered a broken nose, two black eyes, a bruised face, and an injured mouth." Id.
After forcing the victim to get dressed and clean the blood from her injuries, the petitioner forced the victim at gunpoint into his vehicle. Id., slip op. at 5-6. The petitioner raped the victim in the vehicle twice at gunpoint while stopped along the road. Id., slip op. at 6. On January 5, the petitioner drove to Cherokee, North Carolina, and he instructed the victim to check into the Drama Inn using a false name and license plate information. Id. While waiting to check into the motel, the petitioner stood beside her, "showed her eight bullets in the gun and said,
'If you do anything, the first 4 are for you.'" Id.
Over the next five days, the petitioner continued to force the victim to have sexual intercourse with him, and he kept her physically restrained or held her at gunpoint at all times. Id., slip op. at 6-7. On January 11, the petitioner was captured by law enforcement officers as he and the victim were leaving a restaurant in Georgia. Id., slip op. at 7-8.
The petitioner testified at trial and denied all accusations against him, claiming that the victim went with him willingly on January 4 and that all sexual intercourse was consensual. Id., slip op. at 13-16. The petitioner stated that the victim's facial injuries were the result of his "accidentally hit[ting] her on the bridge of her nose with his head" when they were inexplicably struggling over a handgun at the victim's house on January 4. Id., slip op. at 13-14.
On September 5, 2012, the petitioner filed, pro se, a timely petition for post-conviction relief. Following the appointment of counsel, the post-conviction court held an evidentiary hearing on April 30, 2014. Before the hearing began, the petitioner's post-conviction counsel moved for a continuance on the basis that the prosecutor had just provided him with the notes of trial counsel's private investigator and that the notes included the identity of a previously-unknown motel clerk at the Drama Inn who was working on the day the petitioner and the victim checked in. Post-conviction counsel stated that, according to the notes, the clerk reported that the victim "looked fine when they checked in but later on another date that's when [the victim] appeared to have been beaten up." Post-conviction counsel stated that the clerk "might be a material witness" and that he needed time to speak with her.
The prosecutor responded that the clerk's potential testimony – that the victim appeared to have beaten – would have been inculpatory and that therefore her testimony would be irrelevant in assisting the petitioner's case. The post-conviction court determined that a continuance would be unnecessary at that time, explaining that post-conviction counsel could question trial counsel about his decision not to call the motel clerk as a witness at trial. The post-conviction court continued, explaining as follows:
I mean we can start the hearing today and I want to try to get as much testimony on today as I can whether it comes from your client or from [trial counsel] or whoever else we may be talking about and if you feel like that you need an additional 30 days to talk to that witness and see whether that witness is somebody that you would want to call for this court to hear with regard to the issue of whether or not [trial counsel] was ineffective in his representation of the [petitioner] ...