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Crews v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 16, 2017

CARROLL CREWS
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs July 11, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Dyer County No. 14-CR-78 R. Lee Moore, Jr., Judge

         The Petitioner, Carroll Crews, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief by the Dyer County Circuit Court. In this appeal, she argues that she received ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Danny H. Goodman, Jr., Tiptonville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Carroll Crews.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; C. Phillip Bivens, District Attorney General; and Karen W. Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE

         The Petitioner was originally convicted by a jury of selling dihydrocodeinone, a Class D felony, and was sentenced as a career offender to twelve years' incarceration to be served at sixty percent. This court affirmed her conviction and sentence on direct appeal. State v. Carroll Renee Crews, No. W2015-01683-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL 3216046, at *l-2 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 2, 2016). The following proof was adduced at trial:

Officer Lynn Waller of the Dyersburg Police Department (DPD) testified that he was on patrol with another DPD officer, Charlie Cox, on September 28, 2013, when they drove by the H & S Market. As they were driving by, Officer Waller saw the [Petitioner] "lean[ing] into the window" of a red pickup truck and "talking to the driver of the pickup truck." Officer Waller drew Officer Cox's attention to the truck. Officer Waller testified that he saw what appeared to be a "hand to hand" drug transaction. Officer Cox testified that he "saw money being transferred" from the [Petitioner] "back and forth to the guy driving the truck."
Officers Waller and Cox pulled into the store's parking lot. As they did, the [Petitioner] quickly walked away from the red truck and back to her car. Officer Waller stopped the [Petitioner] as she got into her car and confronted her with what he had seen. The [Petitioner] denied selling pills to the driver of the pickup truck. The [Petitioner] told Officer Waller that the driver was a family member whom she was giving "some Xanax" to because a mutual relative had "just died." However, Officer Waller testified that the [Petitioner] was unable to tell him the name of the driver of the truck. Officer Waller found an empty "pill bottle" with the [Petitioner's] "name on it" when he searched her.
Officer Waller then spoke to the occupants of the red pickup truck. The driver was a man named Brandon Williams. The passenger was a man named Kenneth Connell. Officer Waller testified that Mr. Williams was "cooperative" and gave him "four [h]ydrocodone pills" from "[h]is pocket." (footnote omitted). Subsequent forensic testing by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the pills were dihydrocodeinone. Officer Waller also found a twenty-dollar bill, two one-dollar bills, and eight quarters in "[t]he pocket" of the driver's side door of the pickup truck. Officer Waller testified that he found a small amount of marijuana on the persons of both Mr. Williams and Mr. Connell but that he let them "thr[o]w [it] out" rather than charge them for simple possession.
Mr. Williams testified that he was giving a ride to "a friend" when he stopped at the H & S Market to purchase some cigarettes. According to Mr. Williams, the [Petitioner] approached him in the parking lot of the store. Mr. Williams described the [Petitioner] as an "acquaintance" of his. Mr. Williams testified that the [Petitioner] asked him if he wanted to buy "some [h]ydros." The [Petitioner] offered the pills to Mr. Williams for four dollars per pill, sixteen dollars total. Mr. Williams claimed that he agreed to buy the pills because the [Petitioner] had "said she needed some money." Mr. Williams testified that he gave the [Petitioner] a twenty-dollar bill and that she was in the process of giving him his change, two one-dollar bills and eight quarters, when Officers Waller and Cox pulled up. When the officers pulled up, the [Petitioner] dropped all of the money and tried "to get back to her car." Mr. Williams admitted that he had a small amount of marijuana on him that day. Mr. Williams testified that he was honest with Officer Waller and that he had testified truthfully about what had happened that day.
Mr. Williams admitted that he had prior convictions for driving under the influence, driving with a revoked license, and simple possession of marijuana. On cross-examination, Mr. Williams further admitted that he had a recent conviction for misdemeanor theft, a prior conviction for criminal impersonation for giving a police officer a false name, and a prior charge of filing a false report for reporting his car stolen after he had wrecked it. Mr. Williams also admitted on cross-examination that Officer Waller had told him that day that he could have been charged with simple possession and that the truck he was driving could ...

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