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Curry v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 5, 2017

RONALD CURRY
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-00365 Chris Craft, Judge

         The petitioner, Ronald Curry, pled guilty to rape of a child for which he received a sentence of twenty-five years. He filed the instant post-conviction petition, and following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, the petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to adequately evaluate the mental health issues of the petitioner and for failing to secure and present evidence of his innocence. The petitioner also claims trial counsel coerced him into pleading guilty. Upon review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Constance Wooden Alexander, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald Curry.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Melanie Cox, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J. and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts from the Guilty Plea Hearing

         On December 17, 2013, the petitioner, who was twenty-one at the time of the offense, pled guilty to rape of a child for which he received a sentence of twenty-five years in confinement to be served at 100%. The facts underlying the plea, as explained by the State, were as follows:

Had this matter gone to trial, the State's proof would have been that on July 23[], 2012, Memphis Police Department responded to a complaint. And the complainant in this case advised that his 11 year-old daughter, initials A.T., was the victim of a rape by [the petitioner].
Apparently, [the petitioner] had been staying with their family. And during the course of that, the child disclosed that [the petitioner] waited until all of the adults in the house left. There were other children. [The petitioner] told all the kids to go outside except for [the victim]. [The petitioner] told [the victim] to go get on the bed. And on June the 17th, or thereabout, 2012, [the petitioner] forced penile/vaginal penetration on [the victim]. [The victim] also disclosed that she told [the petitioner] to stop because it hurt, but he would not and he finished.
[The victim] was taken both to a doctor and to Rape Crisis. She was found to be pregnant. The pregnancy was terminated. DNA was performed on the tissue and it was found that [the petitioner] was the father of that baby.
In addition, [the petitioner] was interviewed by the Memphis Police Department . . ., and he confessed. As I stated earlier, however, [the petitioner] did try to put some responsibility [on the victim] by ...

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