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Crenshaw v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 13, 2017

TORNITA N. CRENSHAW
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs January 10, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2007-A-591 Steve R. Dozier, Judge

         In 2008, a jury found the Petitioner, Tornita N. Crenshaw, guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, and one count of coercion of a witness. The jury also convicted three co-defendants related to these offenses. On joint direct appeal, this Court affirmed the Petitioner's convictions. See State v. Lance Sandifer, Stephon Dante Cunningham, Tornita Crenshaw, & Glenard Thorne, No. M2008-02849-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 5343202, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Dec. 21, 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 26, 2011). On April 11, 2016, the Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of error coram nobis alleging numerous errors. The trial court issued an order on April 25, 2016, dismissing the petition as time-barred. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

          Tornita N. Crenshaw, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

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

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         A Davidson County jury convicted the Petitioner of two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, and one count of coercion of a witness, and the trial court sentenced her to an effective sentence of twenty-three years. The case arose out of the Petitioner and her co-defendants breaking into the victims' residence in November 2006. The victims had a recording studio in the residence, and the Petitioner and co-defendants, Lance Sandifer, Stephon Dante Cunningham, and Glenard Thorne, stole the equipment and sexually assaulted both victims while in the residence. On direct appeal, this Court summarized the Petitioner's participation while in the victims' house as follows:

Throughout the sexual assaults, Sandifer was brandishing a weapon, and Appellants were carrying recording equipment and various items out of the apartment. Appellants were trading the weapons back and forth amongst themselves. While she was being raped, A.B.[1] stated that [the Petitioner] came into the room and said, "Damn, you guys have her naked." [The Petitioner] smirked as she spoke. [The Petitioner] also pointed a gun at A.B.'s head during the rapes and demanded R.N.'s car and alternatively A.B.'s car. A.B. stated that the three other Appellants were laughing and joking about her situation while they carried the recording equipment out to the cars in the parking lot.
When A.B. returned to the living room from changing her clothes, R.N. was tied to a chair. R.N. testified that Appellants tied him to the chair with electrical cord. Sandifer and Cunningham were beating R.N. [The Petitioner] forced A.B. to strike R.N.
Thorne asked A.B. if she wanted to leave with them. Because A.B. was fearful that Appellants would kill her if she stayed behind, she asked where they were going. [The Petitioner], who was holding a gun at the time, stated that A.B. was coming with them. Cunningham and [the Petitioner] led A.B. to her own car and placed her in the backseat. When A.B. left the apartment with Cunningham and [the Petitioner], R.N. was still tied to the chair. R.N. overheard Sandifer and Thorne arguing about whether to shoot him. R.N. was able to work his way out of the electrical cord and ran out of a back door in the apartment. Shortly thereafter, Thorne accidentally shot himself in the foot when he put the gun into the waistband of his pants. While Cunningham, [the Petitioner], and A.B. were leaving the apartment, A.B. heard the gunshot and thought that Sandifer and Thorne had shot R.N.

See State v. Lance Sandifer, Stephon Dante Cunningham, Tornita Crenshaw, & Glenard Thorne, No. M2008-02849-CCA-R3-CD, 2010 WL 5343202, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Dec. 21, 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 26, 2011). Co-defendant Cunningham and the Petitioner held A.B. against her will while Thorne and Sandifer went to the hospital seeking treatment for Thorne's self-inflicted gunshot wound. Co-defendant Cunningham and the Petitioner forced the victim to use her credit card to pay for a hotel room that night and forced her to use her ATM to access money for them the following day ...


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