Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs June 20, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2012-C-1981
Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge.
Tut Mayal Tut, appeals the denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief from his guilty-pleaded convictions
for two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two
counts of especially aggravated robbery, and four counts of
aggravated rape. Petitioner alleges that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel during both the juvenile
court transfer hearing and the criminal court plea
proceedings. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
B. Russ (on appeal) and Brian M. Griffith (at hearing),
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tut Mayal Tut.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia
S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney
General; and Megan King, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Alan E. Glenn and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ.,
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
March 17, 2012, Petitioner and his codefendants, Yangreek Tut
Wal, Duol Tut Wal, and Peterpal Tutlam, kidnapped, robbed,
and brutalized the male victims, P.T. and R.W. Petitioner was
fifteen years old at the time. A delinquency petition was filed
in the Davidson County Juvenile Court charging Petitioner
with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two
counts of especially aggravated robbery, and four counts of
aggravated rape. The Juvenile Court eventually transferred
the case to the Davidson County Criminal Court. Petitioner
pled to the offenses as charged in exchange for a sentence of
30 years to be served at 100% in the Department of Correction
and lifetime supervision as a sex offender.
to the evidence presented by the State, the victims went to
the Tennessean distribution center around 3:00 a.m.
on March 17, 2012, to pick up newspapers to deliver. Because
the papers would not be ready for some time, the victims
decided to go to R.W.'s apartment. As they were walking
up the stairs toward the apartment, the victims were
approached by four individuals asking for the location of a
specific apartment. As the victims tried to give the men some
directions, the men "charged at" the victims and
hit them. One of the assailants placed a knife at R.W.'s
throat. P.T. threw his coffee at one of the assailants. The
assailants continued to assault the victims and rummaged
through their pockets, removing their wallets. The victims
were then forced into the back seat of a small car with one
of the assailants while the other three sat in the front
seat. As the car was driven around, the victims were beaten
and repeatedly stabbed with the assailants passing the knife
back and forth among themselves. The assailants demanded the
PIN numbers for the victims' bank cards and withdrew
money from ATMs. The assailants then ordered the victims to
perform fellatio on each other. After approximately
forty-five minutes to an hour of this ordeal, the assailants
forced the victims to strip naked, exit the car, and get on
the ground where they were again severely beaten. As the
assailants fled in the vehicle, they threatened to kill the
victims. The victims were able to walk to a nearby house to
seek assistance and were eventually taken to the hospital.
the investigation, the police were able to obtain security
footage of one of the codefendant's withdrawing money
from an ATM. A search warrant was obtained for Duol and
Yangreek Wal's house. There, the police found some of the
victims' belongings as well as a "large amount of
blood evidence" in the back seat of a car in the
driveway. Petitioner's DNA was also discovered on some of
the items. P.T. was able to identify Petitioner in a
photographic lineup as the assailant at whom he had thrown
March 19, 2014, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for
post-conviction relief. Counsel was appointed, and amended
petitions were filed on August 29, 2014, and November 6,
2015. Petitioner alleged that he received ineffective
assistance of both juvenile and trial counsel. Evidentiary
hearings were held on August 26, 2015, November 10, 2015, and
January 19, 2016. On July 13, 2016, the post-conviction court
entered an order denying relief. The post-conviction court
concluded that Petitioner failed to prove either deficient
performance or prejudice with regard to both juvenile and
trial counsel. Petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal.
appeal, Petitioner alleges that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel during both the juvenile court transfer
hearing and the criminal court plea proceedings.
Specifically, Petitioner alleges that juvenile counsel was
ineffective for failing to present proof at the transfer
hearing that would have persuaded the juvenile court to deny
the transfer to criminal court. Additionally, Petitioner
alleges that trial counsel failed to convey accurate
information concerning his bond, failed to provide all of the
discovery material to Petitioner, and failed to accurately
convey the length of Petitioner's plea-bargained
sentence. Petitioner contends that but for these deficiencies
of trial counsel, he would not have pled guilty but would
have insisted on going to trial.
Standard of Review
relief is available for any conviction or sentence that is
"void or voidable because of the abridgment of any right
guaranteed by the Constitution of Tennessee or the
Constitution of the United States." T.C.A. §
40-30-103. In order to prevail in a claim for post-conviction
relief, a petitioner must prove his factual allegations by
clear and convincing evidence. T.C.A. § 40-30-110(f);
Momon v. State, 18 S.W.3d 152, 156 (Tenn. 1999).
"Evidence is clear and convincing when there is no
serious or substantial doubt about the correctness of the
conclusions drawn from the evidence." Hicks v.
State, 983 S.W.2d 240, 245 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998).
appeal, this Court will review the post-conviction
court's findings of fact "under a de novo standard,
accompanied with a presumption that those findings are
correct unless the preponderance of the evidence is
otherwise." Fields v. State, 40 S.W.3d 450, 458
(Tenn. 2001) (citing Tenn. R. App. P. 13(d); Henley v.
State, 960 S.W.2d 572, 578 (Tenn. 1997)). This Court
will not re-weigh or re-evaluate the evidence presented or
substitute our own inferences for those drawn by the
post-conviction court. Id. at 456. Questions
concerning witness credibility, the weight and value to be
given to testimony, and the factual issues raised by the
evidence are to be resolved by the post-conviction court.
Id. However, ...