Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-00365 Chris
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.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
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
Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Thomas T. Woodall, P.J. and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.
ROSS DYER, JUDGE
Facts from the Guilty Plea Hearing
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
[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 ...