Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs December 20, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. C64525 R.
Jerry Beck, Judge
petitioner, Steve Duclair, appeals the denial of
post-conviction relief from his 2011 Sullivan County Criminal
Court jury convictions of the sale and delivery of .5 grams
or more of cocaine and the sale and delivery of .5 grams of
more of cocaine within a drug-free school zone, for which he
received an effective sentence of 15 years. In this appeal,
the petitioner contends only that he was denied the effective
assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court
S. Barnette, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P.
Staubus, District Attorney General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and John Everett Williams, J.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
Sullivan County Criminal Court jury convicted the petitioner
of two counts of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, two
counts of the delivery of .5 grams or more of cocaine, one
count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine in a
drug-free school zone, and one count of the delivery of .5
grams or more of cocaine in a drug-free school zone. The
trial court merged the alternative counts and imposed an
effective 15-year sentence. This court affirmed the
convictions on direct appeal. See State v. Steve
Duclair, No. E2012-02580-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App.,
Knoxville, Apr. 23, 2014), perm. app. denied (Tenn.
Oct. 16, 2014).
Steve Duclair, this court stated the facts of the
case as follows:
In early 2008, Lisa Thompson was contacted by local
authorities about becoming a confidential informant. Ms.
Thompson, at the time, was selling cocaine out of her home to
support her own addiction to the drug. The home was located
next door to Holston View Elementary School in Bristol,
Ms. Thompson agreed to plead guilty to selling cocaine and
possession of drug paraphernalia in exchange for future
cooperation as a confidential informant. As a result, she
received a suspended sentenced of three years, to be served
on probation for six years. Ms. Thompson cooperated fully
with authorities, providing assistance with over 100 cases
for both the Sullivan County and Bristol vice squads. Among
these transactions were three controlled purchases from [the
On March 11, 2008, Ms. Thompson called [the petitioner] two
times, attempting to buy drugs. The calls were recorded. [The
petitioner] called her back and indicated that he would bring
the drugs to her house. Ms. Thompson was supplied with $200
by the police. The transaction was videotaped. [The
petitioner] came to the house; Ms. Thompson gave him the $200
in exchange for cocaine weighing 1.3 grams.
On March 19, 2008, Ms. Thompson called [the petitioner]
trying to purchase cocaine. The police again provided her
with $200. The transaction was videotaped. On this occasion,
Detective Dennis Lee Ford, Jr. hid in Ms. Thompson's
living room. [The petitioner] again came to the residence and
exchanged a package of cocaine with Ms. Thompson for the
$200. The cocaine in this instance also weighed in at 1.3
At some point after the March 19 incident, [the petitioner]
called Ms. Thompson to notify her that he had a new telephone
number. On August 15, 2008, Ms. Thompson made a phone call ...