Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, At Jackson
26, 2016 Assigned on Briefs
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 1003485 James
C. Beasley, Jr., Judge
petitioner, Terrell Loverson, appeals the denial of his
petition for post-conviction relief, arguing the
post-conviction court erred by concluding that appellate
counsel rendered effective assistance. According to the
petitioner, appellate counsel should have raised, as an issue
on appeal, the trial court's denial of his request for a
self-defense jury instruction. Following our review, we
affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
B. Dougan, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terrell
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Alanda Dwyer,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen, and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
post-conviction appeal arises from a February 2010
altercation between the petitioner and a security guard at
the Southland Mall in Shelby County, Tennessee that resulted
in the security guard's death. The petitioner was
indicted for one count of first degree premeditated murder,
one count of assault by bodily injury, and one count of
resisting arrest. After a jury trial, the petitioner was
convicted of second degree murder, assault by provocative
contact, and resisting arrest. The trial court sentenced the
petitioner as a Range I, standard offender, and imposed an
effective sentence of twenty- five years. The petitioner
appealed, and in its opinion affirming the petitioner's
convictions, this Court offered the following summary of the
facts presented at trial:
Earl Jones, the security director for Southland Mall
("The Mall"), testified that he had twelve security
guards working under him in February 2010, including the
victim, Marques Rainey. The victim had been working at the
Mall since May 2007. Jones described him as "a good
employee, quiet, reliable . . . He was a huge man but he was
very quiet and he was educated." As part of their job,
the security guards, including the victim, wore uniforms
consisting of a gray long-sleeve shirt with
"security" designated on each shoulder and black
slacks. The guards did not carry weapons but did each carry a
On Saturday, February 27, 2010, the victim reported for duty,
in uniform, at 2:00 in the afternoon. Jones described the
Mall as "very busy" at that time. Shortly after
2:00, another security guard called in an emergency at the
north entrance of the Mall. Jones stated that all of the
guards were responding to that location and that, shortly
thereafter, "they just called officer down." By the
time Jones arrived a crowd had gathered. Jones found the
victim "lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to his
upper right chest." Jones stayed with the victim until
the ambulance took him away.
Chantrice Rainey, the victim's wife, testified that they
married in 2007. She identified a photograph of the victim on
their wedding day.
Jerren Rutherford testified, identifying the [petitioner] at
trial as his friend. On February 27, 2010, Rutherford and the
[petitioner] went to the Mall to go shopping. They went in
Rutherford's car and, after entering the Mall, "went
their separate ways." Rutherford went to a shoe store
and bought some shoes for his daughter. After he left the
store, he saw the [petitioner] running toward one of the Mall
exits. According to Rutherford, "[a]ll [of] a sudden the
security grabbed [the petitioner] and pinned him up against
the wall and was holding him." Rutherford told the
security guard, "[L]et my N[*****] go." At that
point, Rutherford testified, the guard "let him go, like
he barely let him go. He released because he thought I was
going to hit him or something. I don't know. It was like
he was scared, I don't know." After the guard let
the [petitioner] go, Rutherford saw "a gun go off."
Rutherford explained that, four or five seconds after the
guard let the [petitioner] go, the [petitioner] shot the
guard. Rutherford stated that the shooting "was real
quick" and that he "didn't have time to say
[sic] stop or nothing. It was just so fast. It was like you
couldn't like even try to stop it from happening."
The [petitioner] fired one shot. Rutherford stated that,
afterward, he stood there "in shock" and then he
"ran to the car." The [petitioner] went with him,
and they drove away together.
Rutherford testified that he had not known that the
[petitioner] was armed. The [petitioner] still had the gun
with him when the two men got in Rutherford's car.
Rutherford stated that the gun was black but that he did not
know what kind of gun it was other than an
"automatic." After they had driven several minutes,
Rutherford dropped the [petitioner] off near
"Ballenshire" in Memphis. The [petitioner] took his
gun with him. Rutherford then went home. He did not call the
Rutherford later gave a statement to the police and
identified a photograph of the [petitioner] in a photograph
array. On the array, Rutherford wrote, "This is
Terrell[, ] this [is] who shot the security guard."
Rutherford later learned that the incident had been
videotaped by the Mall's security camera. He reviewed the
video and acknowledged that it depicted what he saw. The
video was admitted into evidence and played for the jury.
On cross-examination, Rutherford agreed that the security
guard had thrown the [petitioner] "around like a rag
doll." Rutherford wanted to stop the
"man-handling" and told the guard to let the
[petitioner] go. Rutherford testified that, after the guard
let the [petitioner] go, and as the [petitioner] was backing
up, the guard was "going after him again." At that
point, the [petitioner] pulled a gun and shot the guard.
According to Rutherford, the [petitioner] looked "like
he had fear in his eyes."
Emory Hammonds testified that he worked in "the
Barbershop" in the Mall, located across the aisle from
Sweetness Sweets. Hammonds was at work on the 27th
and, at about 2:30 that afternoon, he "heard like kind
of a rumbling, a lot of people running, a little commotion
and you could tell it was coming from a little distant."
He saw several "guys" running and "saw one guy
hit a guy while they was running." Hammonds described
the commotion as looking "like a gang fight." Then
he saw the victim "grab one guy by the arm and they kind
of spun around." Hammonds heard a "pow" and
saw the victim rolling on the floor.
On cross-examination, Hammonds explained that the man that
the victim grabbed was headed out of the Mall.
James Allen testified that he worked at the Barbershop in the
Mall and that Hammonds was his boss. At about 2:30 in the
afternoon of the 27th, he was at work and saw
several "guys" running out of the Mall. He then saw
"another group of guys, " one of whom got into a
"scuffle" with the victim. He saw the two men
separate and then he "seen a gun raised up and pop pop
and he got on out the mall."
Allen subsequently identified two men from photograph arrays,
labeling one as "the guy who shot the man in the
mall" and the other man as "with the shooter in the
mall." Allen also identified the [petitioner] at trial
as the shooter.
Oscar Quinn testified that he was working at the Barbershop
when the victim was shot. He ...