11, 2017 Session
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 08-03864 Paula
Petitioner, Andrew Hayes, appeals the denial of his petition
for post-conviction relief from his first degree felony
murder and aggravated robbery convictions, arguing that the
post-conviction court erred in finding he received effective
assistance of trial counsel. Following our review, we affirm
the denial of the petition.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Jones, Jr., Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Muriel Malone,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Timothy L. Easter and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE
Petitioner was convicted by a Shelby County Criminal Court
jury of the August 2007 first degree felony murder and
aggravated robbery of the victim, Danny Harris. His
conviction was affirmed by this court on direct appeal, and
our supreme court denied his application for permission to
appeal. State v. Andrew Hayes, No.
W2010-02641-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 3192827, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Aug. 6, 2012), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov.
direct appeal opinion reveals that the victim's
decomposing body was discovered in his Memphis apartment on
October 26, 2007. Id. at *3. The medical examiner
ruled that the cause of death was "[b]lunt force
injuries of the head and asphyxia, " and a computer
analysis of the victim's pacemaker indicated that
"all heart activity had ceased on August 20, 2007."
Id. at *7. The Petitioner was developed as a suspect
after his girlfriend's mother, Janice Jefferson, who was
known as "Snow, "reported to the police that the
victim's girlfriend had been selling the victim's
possessions. Id. at *2. At the time, the Petitioner
lived in Snow's home with Snow and her daughter, Chawonna
Jefferson, who was the Petitioner's girlfriend. A short
while earlier, the home had also been occupied by the
following individuals: the victim's girlfriend, Tammy
Vance; Ms. Vance's daughter, Sarah Lucas; and Ms.
Lucas's boyfriend, Miguel. When Ms. Vance moved into the
home toward the end of August 2007, she had a black eye and a
scratch on her face. Ms. Vance informed Snow that the victim
"had hit her in the eye because he was drinking"
and that he had, as a consequence, recently entered
"rehab." Id. at *1.
the time they lived in the home, Ms. Vance and her daughter
were driving "a real nice truck." According to
Snow's trial testimony, the two women informed her that
the vehicle belonged to the victim, who had given them
permission to drive it while he was in rehab. Id.
Snow eventually asked the trio to move out because they were
not paying their portion of the utility bill. Id.
According to Snow, Ms. Vance offered her a handgun as payment
and also brought her a television that she claimed she had
been given by a woman who lived around the corner.
Id. Later, Ms. Vance sought Snow's assistance in
selling the handgun and the victim's truck, telling Snow
that the victim was going to be in rehab longer than
initially planned and had instructed her to sell the items.
Petitioner, who was not initially a suspect, was interviewed
by police detectives because they believed he "had
relevant information" due to his involvement with Ms.
Vance and her daughter. Id. at *4. Our direct appeal
opinion provides the following summary of the detectives'
trial testimony with respect to those interviews:
During that first interview, the [Petitioner's]
"story kept changing and changing and changing."
Lieutenant [Bart] Ragland [of the Memphis Police Department]
said that at that point, "it became obvious . . . that
he knew more than he was telling . . . and that he had more
involvement than just being a witness, " so they
provided the [Petitioner] with Miranda warnings. The
[Petitioner] had some difficulty reading the advice of rights
form, so Lieutenant Ragland "read the entire thing to
him and he understood it and we went over it." The
[Petitioner] executed a written waiver of his rights at 3:15
p.m. on November 2, 2007, and he provided a statement at 5:57
p.m. that same day implicating Ms. Vance in the victim's
murder, telling officers that he traveled with Ms. Vance and
Ms. Lucas's boyfriend, Miguel, to an apartment in Cordova
to get a 36 inch television. The [Petitioner] told officers
that he opened a closed bedroom door inside the apartment
because he "smelled the foul odor" and that he saw
the victim's "body laying in the bed." He said
Ms. Vance told him "not to worry" about the body
because she and Miguel "were going to take care of
it." The [Petitioner] described the body as "a
white male, he was laying on his left side. He was about in
his mid-fifties. He was medium build. His skin was turning
black. His hair was brown, and he had a mustache, too."
He said that he did not notice anything in the victim's
mouth or any blood in the room. He said that he and Miguel
loaded the television into the victim's truck and that
Ms. Vance also removed "a VCR and a DVD player that was
built together and DVD movies." He said that they left
the victim's apartment and traveled back to the Depass
Street residence to pick up Ms. Lucas so that Ms. Lucas could
pawn the items. The [Petitioner] told Lieutenant Ragland that
he did not tell anyone about seeing the corpse in the
apartment because he was afraid that he would be charged with
the victim's murder because he had helped move the
Lieutenant Ragland said the fact that the [Petitioner] was
able to describe the victim as a white male was suspicious
because "the state of decomposition of the victim at the
time" made it difficult "to tell that was indeed a
male white." Lieutenant Ragland said that he spoke with
the [Petitioner] on a second occasion and that the
[Petitioner] "gave a statement, but he stopped. . . .
And he refused to sign the statement." Between the
giving of the two statements, Lieutenant Mullins
"interviewed" the [Petitioner], and "it became
apparent that he had more involvement" than he had
originally admitted. During the taking of the second
statement, the [Petitioner] initially "admitted that he
had actually been involved and hit the victim with a steel
pipe" before he "recanted and said that, no, he
didn't actually do it." Following this recantation,
the [Petitioner] "became hysterical and started crying,
and at that point, it became obvious [that officers]
couldn't talk to him anymore." Shortly thereafter,
the [Petitioner] was booked into the jail "on a
forty-eight hour hold."
Lieutenant Ragland said that he became suspicious of the
[Petitioner] when the details of the [Petitioner's]
statement changed over tellings. Lieutenant Ragland admitted
that he was not present when the [Petitioner] first admitted
striking the victim with a pipe. He said that after recanting
his admission of murder, the [Petitioner] blamed the
victim's murder on Wayne Bobo, Snow, and Ms. Jefferson.
He said that the [Petitioner] became "hysterical"
and that it was impossible to continue the interrogation.
Lieutenant Ragland denied that the [Petitioner] was upset at
being accused of a crime he did not commit and said that the
[Petitioner] was upset "[b]ecause he had admitted to his
involvement and he knew he was up shit creek without a
paddle, that's why." He said that the [Petitioner]
immediately began recanting and blaming others "because
that's what criminals do."
[Memphis Police Department] Sergeant Anthony Mullins
testified that he became involved in the investigation when
he arrived at the scene. Later, Sergeant Mullins interviewed
the [Petitioner] after the [Petitioner] was "developed
as a possible suspect." He recalled that when he first
came into contact with the [Petitioner], the [Petitioner] was
in Lieutenant Toney Armstrong's office. During that
encounter, the [Petitioner] "could describe things in
the apartment and describe things that happened and the more
we asked him about what happened, he gave particular details
that no one would know[ ] unless they ...