Assigned on Briefs December 6, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C15-229 Donald
H. Allen, Judge
Petitioner, James Hardin, appeals the Madison County Circuit
Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief
from his convictions of two counts of aggravated robbery and
one count of aggravated burglary and resulting effective
sentence of twenty-two years in confinement. On appeal, the
Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective
assistance of counsel. Based upon the record and the
parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
William J. Milam, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert
W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry G. Woodall,
District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE
January 12, 2013, Dr. Allyson Anyanwu and Lorenzo Amador were
robbed inside Dr. Anyanwu's home. State v.
Christopher Lee Cunningham and James Cleo Hardin, No.
W2014-00230-CCA-R3-CD (C), 2015 WL 1396441, at *1 (Tenn.
Crim. App. at Jackson, Mar. 24, 2015), perm. to appeal
denied, (Tenn. July 20, 2015). Dr. Anyanwu had recently
purchased the home and had hired Mr. Amador to perform minor
renovations. Id. Dr. Anyanwu was in the kitchen when
two African-American men led Mr. Amador into the kitchen at
gunpoint. Id. At trial, Dr. Anyanwu testified that
the two men were wearing hooded sweatshirts with the hoods
pulled up on their heads and that she could see their faces
clearly. Id. However, Mr. Amador testified that they
were wearing masks and that he could see only their eyes.
Id. One of the gunmen, later identified as the
Petitioner, took Mr. Amador's cellular telephone and
wallet and Dr. Anyanwu's cellular telephone. Id.
He then ordered Dr. Anyanwu and Mr. Amador to kneel on the
floor, and the two gunmen left. Id. As they were
leaving the house, the Petitioner took Dr. Anyanwu's
purse that had been on the kitchen counter. Id.
Anyanwu called the police from a neighbor's house.
Id. The police interviewed the victims and searched
for the gunmen but were unable to find them. Id. A
few days later, Mr. Amador recognized one of the gunmen
walking down the street and telephoned the police.
Id. The police detained Christopher Cunningham and
the Petitioner, and Mr. Amador identified Cunningham as one
of the robbers. Id. Mr. Amador was unable to say
with certainty whether the Petitioner was the second robber.
Id. Several days later, the police showed a
photograph array to Dr. Anyanwu, and she selected the
Petitioner's photograph and identified him as one of the
defendants were tried jointly, and the jury convicted them as
charged of two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of
aggravated burglary. Id. at *2. After a sentencing
hearing, the trial court sentenced them to eleven years for
each aggravated robbery conviction, to be served
consecutively, and five years for the aggravated burglary
conviction, to be served concurrently, for a total effective
sentence of twenty-two years. Id. On direct appeal
of their convictions to this court, the defendants argued
that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions
and that the trial court erred by ordering consecutive
sentencing. Id. at *1. This court affirmed the
convictions and sentences. Id.
August 7, 2015, the Petitioner filed a pro se petition for
post-conviction relief, alleging that he received the
ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court
appointed counsel and held an evidentiary hearing.
hearing, the Petitioner testified that trial counsel
represented him at trial and on appeal. He said that counsel
met with him only twice before trial and that both meetings
occurred the day before trial. Counsel told the Petitioner
about an offer for the defendants to plead guilty in exchange
for a six-year sentence to be served at thirty percent
release eligibility. Counsel told the Petitioner that the
offer was a "package deal" and that both defendants
had to accept it. The defendants rejected the offer. The
Petitioner said that ...