United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Winchester
EDDIE L. READUS, Petitioner,
MIKE PARRIS, Respondent.
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
2011, Eddie L. Readus (“Petitioner”) was
convicted of the sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine,
delivery of less than .5 grams of cocaine, possession of .5
grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell, and possession
of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to deliver,
resulting in an effective thirty-year sentence. Petitioner
now brings this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the legality of his
confinement under that judgment [Doc. 1]. Warden Mike Parris
(“Respondent”) has filed an answer to the
petition [Doc. 15], arguing that relief is not warranted with
respect to Petitioner's claims and, in support of those
arguments, he has filed copies of the state court record
[Doc. 22]. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a reply to
Respondent's answer [Doc. 20].
reasons set forth below, the Court determines that no
evidentiary hearing is warranted in this case,
Petitioner's § 2254 petition [Doc. 1] will be
DENIED, and this action will be
was convicted by a Bedford County Circuit Court jury, in
count one, of sale of less than .5 grams of cocaine and, in
count two, of delivery of less than .5 grams of cocaine, as
well as, in count three, of possession of .5 grams or more of
cocaine with intent to sell and, in count four, of possession
of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to deliver.
State v. Readus, No. M2011-01918-CCA-R3CD, 2012 WL
4055343, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 17, 2012). The trial
court merged count two into count one and count four into
count three and sentenced Petitioner to fifteen years on the
two remaining convictions, to be served consecutively.
Id. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeal
(“TCCA”) affirmed the convictions and sentence,
and Tennessee Supreme Court denied Petitioner's
application for permission to appeal [Doc. 22, Exhibits 7 and
Petitioner filed a petition for state post-conviction relief
in the Bedford County Circuit Court. Readus v.
State, No. M2013-01856-CCA-R3PC, 2014 WL 1494086, at *1
(Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 15, 2014). A hearing on the matter was
held and the post-conviction court denied relief.
Id. The TCCA affirmed the post-conviction
court's ruling. Id. Petitioner did not seek
discretionary review of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Id. There followed this timely § 2254 habeas
following factual scenario has been drawn from the facts
contained in the TCCA's opinion on Petitioner's
On September 10, 2010, a confidential informant made a
controlled drug buy of crack cocaine from the defendant at
the home of Brenda Newman in Shelbyville, Tennessee. As a
result, the defendant was indicted for selling .5 grams or
more of cocaine and delivering .5 grams or more of cocaine.
Officers arrested the defendant later that day, finding in
his possession an amount of powder cocaine, resulting in his
also being indicted for possession of .5 grams or more of
cocaine with intent to sell and possession of .5 grams or
more of cocaine with intent to deliver.
According to the State's proof at trial, Deputy Tim
Miller, of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department and
17th Judicial District Drug Task Force, received information
in September 2010 that a lot of drug activity was taking
place at Brenda Newman's residence. In particular, Deputy
Miller was contacted by a paid confidential informant on
September 10 who told him specifically that the defendant was
selling crack cocaine out of Newman's residence. Deputy
Miller, along with Agent Shane George of the Shelbyville
Police Department and the 17th Judicial District Drug Task
Force, met with the informant and arranged for her to conduct
a controlled buy from the defendant. The officers searched
the informant beforehand to ensure she did not have any
contraband on her person and then issued her $100 with which
to purchase the drugs. The informant was also outfitted with
an electronic device to record her conversations.
Agent George drove the confidential informant to Newman's
residence, with Deputy Miller following behind them. When
they arrived in the area, the informant pointed out the
defendant walking away from Newman's apartment, toward a
market. However, by the time the officers moved into their
respective surveillance positions, they saw the defendant
walking back toward Newman's residence and entering the
Once the defendant was inside Newman's apartment, the
informant exited Agent George's vehicle and walked toward
Newman's apartment. As the informant neared the
apartment, a man wearing a brown outfit approached her and
they went into the apartment together. Inside, the informant
made contact with the defendant and gave him $100 in exchange
for a yellow bag containing “the dope, ” which
she put in her bra. After being inside only “a
relatively short period of time, ” the informant exited
the apartment and returned to Agent George's vehicle,
where she gave the bag of “dope” to Agent George.
Deputy Miller, Agent George, and the informant then met in
the parking lot of a nearby church, where Agent George handed
Deputy Miller a small yellow bag containing crack cocaine
that the informant had turned over to him. Deputy Miller
secured the contraband and sent it to the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation (“TBI”) Crime Laboratory for
chemical analysis where it was determined to be .4 grams of
crack cocaine. The officers searched and debriefed the
informant who identified the defendant as the person from
whom she purchased the crack cocaine.
Deputy Miller made the decision to arrest the defendant.
Therefore, he and Agent George returned to Newman's
address and conducted surveillance for approximately an hour
and a half, noting there was “a ton of foot
traffic” to and from Newman's residence. The
officers entered Newman's apartment and arrested the
defendant. When Agent George searched the defendant, he
recovered a bag of powder cocaine, a small amount of
marijuana, and two cell phones. He also recovered $411 cash,
$100 of which was confirmed as the currency the informant
used in making the controlled drug buy. The cocaine was
packaged and put into evidence and sent to the TBI for
testing, where it was determined to be powder cocaine in the
weight of 1.5 grams. The defendant was Mirandized,
waived his rights, and denied selling any drugs.
Following the conclusion of the proof, the jury convicted the
defendant as charged, except in counts one and two it found
that the amount he sold and delivered was less than .5 grams,
not more than .5 grams. The defendant's conviction in
count two was merged into count one, and his conviction in
count four was merged into count three.
On a later date, the trial court conducted a sentencing
hearing. The presentence report was admitted at the hearing
in which it was detailed that the forty-three-year-old
defendant had forty prior felony and misdemeanor convictions,
including nine drug-related convictions, nine theft or
property-related convictions, seven assault convictions, and
six weapons convictions. It was also noted in the report that
the defendant had numerous probation revocations, dropped out
of high school in ...