Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs September 20, 2017
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Cumberland County No.
10-0008 David A. Patterson, Judge.
Cumberland County jury convicted the Petitioner, Joshua Paul
Lewis, of two counts of rape of a child and one count of
attempted rape of a child, and the trial court sentenced him
to serve an effective sentence of twenty-five years. This
court affirmed the Petitioner's convictions and sentence.
State v. Joshua Paul Lewis, No.
E2014-00918-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 795856 (Tenn. Crim. App., at
Knoxville, Feb. 25, 2015), no Tenn. R. App. P. 11
filed. The Petitioner subsequently filed a petition for
post-conviction relief, alleging that he received the
ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court
held a hearing on the petition and denied relief. We affirm
the post-conviction court's judgment.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Jonathan R. Hamby, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Joshua Paul Lewis.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David
H. Findley, Senior Counsel; Bryant C. Dunaway, District
Attorney General; and Amanda M. Worley, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Norma McGee Ogle and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.
Facts and Procedural History
case arises from the Petitioner's multiple rapes of the
victim, a nine-year-old boy, who was the child of the
Petitioner's friend. For these offenses, a Cumberland
County grand jury indicted the Petitioner for two counts of
rape of a child and one count of attempted rape of a child.
When the Petitioner appealed his convictions and sentence,
this court recited the following facts presented at the
pretrial hearing and at trial:
Investigator Jeff Slayton with the Cumberland County
Sheriff's Department testified that he was one of the
officers who interviewed the [Petitioner] on December 9,
2009. He identified an "Admonition and Waiver and Waiver
of Rights" document bearing the same date and signed by
the [Petitioner]. The document also indicates a time of 9:07
p.m. This document was subsequently admitted into evidence.
Investigator Slayton stated that, earlier that day, he had
been in a "lengthy . . . vehicle pursuit" of the
[Petitioner]. During the [Petitioner]'s apprehension, he
was pepper-sprayed at some time late in the afternoon, but
before 6:00 p.m. Investigator Slayton stated that he had been
pepper-sprayed as part of his training and that the effects
last from thirty to forty-five minutes.
Investigator Slayton interviewed the [Petitioner] together
with Investigator Chad Norris. A "DCS" agent, whose
name he could not remember, was also present. The interview
took place in the training room of the justice center. The
[Petitioner] was in custody at the time.
Investigator Slayton read the Admonition and Waiver to the
[Petitioner], and the [Petitioner] then read the Waiver of
Rights out loud. According to Investigator Slayton, the
[Petitioner] had no trouble reading the document. The
[Petitioner] did not complain about being unable to read
because of the pepper-spray. After the [Petitioner] had read
the Waiver of Rights out loud, he signed it. Investigators
Slayton and Norris both witnessed the [Petitioner]'s
Investigator Slayton proceeded to question the [Petitioner]
about the pursuit. He also questioned him about the instant
allegations, of which Investigator Slayton had just learned.
At no time did he promise the [Petitioner] a lower bond if he
confessed to the sex offense charges. After Investigator
Slayton finished his oral interview of the [Petitioner],
Investigator Norris reduced the [Petitioner]'s statement
On cross-examination, Investigator Slayton maintained that
the [Petitioner]'s eyes were not "irritated"
during the interview and that the [Petitioner] had been able
to look at and focus on Investigator Slayton. He also
maintained that the [Petitioner] was "calm" and
"understanding" while the Admonition and Waiver was
read to him. Investigator Slayton described this information
as the [Petitioner]'s Miranda rights. The [Petitioner]
did not have on handcuffs, but Investigator Slayton did not
remember if the [Petitioner] had on leg-shackles. According
to Investigator Slayton, there was no audio-recording of the
Investigator Chad Norris with the Cumberland County
Sheriff's Department testified that he witnessed the
[Petitioner] sign the Waiver of Rights. He also stated that
he reduced the [Petitioner]'s statement to writing. He
identified the document and explained his process for
The way I do my statements is, I will write a portion of it,
after what they've told me what they want to say,
I'll write their words and I'll read back what
I've wr[itten]; and then I'll continue on with it,
write a small-another portion of it, read it back, and all
the time asking them, "Is this what you want me to say?
Is this correct?" And I do that throughout the whole
statement. Then I give them the statement and have them read
Investigator Norris confirmed that he followed this process
with the [Petitioner]'s written statement. He then read
the statement into the record:
I had several sexual contacts with [the victim] after he came
on to me. I touched his penis several times, I'm not sure
exactly how many times. He played with my penis several times
as well. I never came/ejaculated while he played with my
penis. When it first started we were both into it, but in the
later part of the relationship [the victim] was more into it
than me. I gave him a blow job more than one time, but
I'm not sure exactly how many times. Most of the sexual
acts occurred at Valerie Ds' house on Old Highway 70.
On one occasion while at the cemetery on POW Camp Rd not too
far from Valerie's house [the victim] wanted to have sex
in Valerie's van. He got in the back seat and took his
pants off. He had his legs raised up and I had my pants
unzipped with my penis out. I had a condom on and was about
to put my penis in his butt, but decided [to] stop before we
had intercourse. At a house on Old Mail Road where I was
doing work me and [the victim] laid on top of each other, but
nothing happened there. I wish these things hadn't
happened and I would take them back if I could.
Investigator Norris testified that the [Petitioner] signed
this written statement at 10:45 p.m. He also testified that
he did not promise the [Petitioner] a lower bond if he
confessed to these crimes.
On cross-examination, Investigator Norris stated that it was
"typical" for him to write a suspect's
statement. Investigator Norris also affirmed that the
[Petitioner] had been taken into custody on unrelated
charges. He stated that he had previously interviewed the
[Petitioner] on the instant charges on August 11, 2009, in
the [Petitioner]'s driveway. He did not obtain a
statement from the [Petitioner] on that day.
The [Petitioner] testified at the suppression hearing that he
had run from the police on December 9, 2009, because he had
been told they were going to beat him up. He also stated that
he "remember[ed] getting beat up by most of the
sheriff's department and maced a couple of times."
His eyes were burning, and he tried to rinse them with water,
but "that made it a hundred times worse." He did
not remember at what time he was sprayed because he "was
on Xanax, " but he stated that it was "dark
out." He described the sensation of being sprayed as
"someone was jabbing a knife in [his] eye."
When asked about the interview, the [Petitioner] stated that
all he could remember talking about was "running from
the cops." He did not remember Investigator Norris
presenting him with the written statement. He acknowledged
having signed some "papers" but stated that he was
not sure what they were and that he did not read them. He
testified that the officers told him "that if [he]
signed the paper that they would make sure [he] got the
lowest bond possible to get out." He stated that he had
not been capable of reading during the interview because his
eyes were still burning. He also stated that he did not
remember his Miranda rights being read to him.
On cross-examination, the [Petitioner] stated that he was
twenty-eight years old and could read and write. When shown
his statement, he acknowledged that the signature
"look[ed] pretty close to" his own. He also averred
that he ...