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Coleman v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

January 10, 2017

RANDALL COLEMAN
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 10, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2011-B-1027 Cheryl Blackburn, Judge

         The Petitioner, Randall Coleman, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions of one count of rape of a child and five counts of aggravated sexual battery and resulting effective sentence of fifty-five years. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Elaine Heard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randall Coleman.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Chad Butler, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE

         I. Factual Background

         In April 2011, the Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the Petitioner for one count of rape of a child, a Class A felony, and five counts of aggravated sexual battery, a Class B felony, for incidents that occurred between April 28, 2005, and February 14, 2007. The victim of the alleged crimes was J.R., [1] who was born on April 28, 1997.

         The following relevant facts underlying the Petitioner's convictions, as stated in this court's direct appeal opinion, are as follows:

J.R. testified that she was . . . fourteen years old at the time of the trial. She said that she lived with her mother and that her brothers and sisters lived with their father. J.R. recalled that she often spent time at her grandmother's house, whom she referred to as "Granny." Her granny's given name was Charmaine Rowan. J.R. said that, at the time of these incidents, Rowan lived in a large, three-bedroom apartment in the Spring Branch apartment complex with the Defendant, whom she called Pawpaw, and their two children, Kevin Coleman and Keisha Coleman. J.R. testified that the Defendant was like a grandfather to her.
While the Defendant and her granny lived at the Spring Branch apartment, J.R. visited the Defendant and Rowan frequently, as the apartment was close to J.R.'s school. On one occasion when she was at the apartment, she was on an air mattress between Kevin Coleman and the Defendant. Kevin Coleman kept scooting "his butt" back, in a playful manner, causing J.R. to scoot back also. She recalled that, as she was scooting back, the Defendant moved toward her. When the Defendant moved toward her, his "private part" touched her buttocks. Upon contact with the Defendant's body, the victim scooted away from the Defendant and back toward Kevin Coleman.
J.R. testified that, on another occasion, she was in Rowan's room asleep in the bed when the Defendant came into the room and pulled down her clothing. He then pulled down his own clothing, and put his "private part on [her] private part." J.R. said that, while her legs were spread apart, the Defendant touched his penis to the area where she "pee[d]." She described the Defendant as "going up and down." J.R. recalled that Rowan came in the main door to the apartment, so the Defendant pulled up his pants, and she pulled up her own pants.
J.R. testified about another incident when she was in Rowan's room, and the Defendant pulled his pants down. He told her to "touch it, " and he grabbed her hand. He assisted her in "going up and down" on his penis. J.R. testified that nothing came out of his penis on this occasion.
J.R. testified about another incident that occurred while the Defendant lived at the Spring Branch apartment. She said that she was in Kevin Coleman's room. J.R. said she knew that something happened while she was in that room, but she did not want to go into detail because she did not remember it clearly. J.R. said that there were other incidents that happened, but she did not remember them specifically.
J.R. said that the Defendant told her not to tell anyone "what [they had] been doing because, " he said, "pawpaw can get in real big trouble."
J.R. recalled that, when she was ten or eleven years old, Rowan and the Defendant moved into a different apartment in "Hallmark at the Park." This apartment had two bedrooms, and the couple lived there with three children, including Kevin and Keisha Coleman. J.R. said that Keisha Coleman did not have her own room and stayed in the same room with the Defendant and Rowan.
J.R. testified that, on one occasion while the Defendant and Rowan lived at "Hallmark, " the Defendant told Keisha Coleman to go and wash the dishes. After doing so, the Defendant pulled down his pants, pulled down J.R.'s pants, and pulled J.R. on top of him. J.R. said the Defendant put "his private part where [she] peed" and started moving up and down. J.R. said that she then got off of him.
J.R. testified about another incident at the Hallmark apartments. She said that she was alone in the apartment with the Defendant. She recalled that the Defendant pulled her pants down, pulled his pants down, and opened her legs, spreading them apart. He then put his "private part on [her] private part." The Defendant was "going up and down, " until J.R. told him that she needed to go to the bathroom.
J.R. said that, while the Defendant and Rowan lived at the Hallmark apartment, J.R. told Keisha Coleman about the Defendant's sexual conduct toward her. J.R. asked Keisha Coleman to tell her mother. To J.R.'s knowledge, Keisha Coleman did not respond to J.R.'s request and did not tell J.R.'s mother.
J.R. said that, when she was approximately eleven or twelve, Rowan and the Defendant moved to a duplex in the Westchester area ("Tuckahoe Square"). This was a three-bedroom home. When J.R. was visiting the Defendant and Rowan at the Tuckahoe Square duplex, the Defendant was in the room with J.R. He pulled down his pants and told J.R. to "touch it." He then grabbed her hand with his hand and assisted her in rubbing her hand up and down his penis. J.R. said she believed that something came out of the Defendant's penis on this occasion.
J.R. testified that, on another occasion, she was in the living room of the Tuckahoe Square duplex with Rowan and the Defendant. The Defendant told Rowan to go in her room, and Rowan complied with his request. The Defendant then pulled J.R.'s pants down and spread her legs apart. He then put his tongue in her private area and started licking her. The Defendant then put his private in that same place, and he "nutted in [her]." J.R. described the term "nutted, " a phrase she said she learned in school, as meaning that "something" came out of the Defendant's penis onto the victim's vagina. J.R. said that after the Defendant finished, she went to the bathroom to wipe herself off and then went to Keisha Coleman's room to lay down.
J.R. said that, at some point, her mother asked her if anyone was touching her. J.R. did not respond, which indicated to her mother that J.R. was, in fact, being inappropriately touched. J.R.'s mother inquired further, and J.R. told her about the interactions with the Defendant. J.R. said her mother called the police.
J.R. said that she then went to the Child Advocacy Center, and a woman named "Latoya" interviewed her. She also underwent a medical exam at the clinic. After speaking with a police detective, J.R. agreed to have a telephone conversation with the ...

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