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Duclair v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

January 5, 2017

STEVE DUCLAIR
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs December 20, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. C64525 R. Jerry Beck, Judge

         The 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.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          David S. Barnette, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve Duclair.

          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 of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and John Everett Williams, J., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.

         A 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).

         In 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, Tennessee.
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 petitioner].
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 grams.
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 ...

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