Assigned on Briefs November 7, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-15-206 Donald
H. Allen, Judge
Steed ("the Petitioner") petitioned for
post-conviction relief from his convictions of first degree
felony murder, second degree murder, felony reckless
endangerment, convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and
attempted second degree murder. Following a hearing, the
post-conviction court denied relief. On appeal, the
Petitioner claims that he was denied effective assistance of
counsel as a result of trial counsel's failure to
interview and call certain witnesses that the Petitioner
contends were critical to his defense. After a thorough
review of the appellate record and applicable law, we affirm
the judgment of the post-conviction court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Travis Steed.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert
W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens, District
Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ.,
L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
night of February 26, 2012, a party at the Karma Lounge in
downtown Jackson ended in gunfire, leaving over a dozen
people injured and one man, LeCarlos Todd, dead. State v.
Travis Lamonte Steed, No. W2014-00146-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL
2258405, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 14, 2015). The
Petitioner was indicted by the Madison County Grand Jury for
the premeditated first degree murder of Mr. Todd; the first
degree felony murder of Mr. Todd in perpetration of the
attempted first degree premeditated murder of Triveno
Freeman; the attempted first degree premeditated murder of
Mr. Freeman; the aggravated assault of Jarvis Rockamore, the
aggravated assault of Solomon Robinson; and being a felon in
possession of a handgun. Id. Following a jury trial,
the Petitioner was convicted of first degree felony murder;
second degree murder; felony reckless endangerment; convicted
felon in possession of a handgun; and attempted second degree
murder. Id. The court sentenced the Petitioner to
serve an effective life sentence plus twenty-four years.
Petitioner timely filed a pro se "Petition for
Post-Conviction Relief, " claiming numerous grounds,
most of which involved issues which were raised or could have
been raised on direct appeal. Counsel was appointed, but no
amended petition was filed. At the post-conviction hearing
and on appeal, the Petitioner argued only one ground-that he
was denied the effective assistance of counsel because trial
counsel failed to interview certain witnesses and to call
those witnesses during the trial. The Petitioner claims that
the witnesses were critical to his defense.
Petitioner's trial counsel was the only witness called by
the Petitioner at the post-conviction hearing. The State
called no witnesses.
counsel testified that he was appointed to represent the
Petitioner a few months after the Petitioner was indicted. He
filed a motion for discovery and as far as he knew was
provided all of the information the State had concerning the
case. Either trial counsel or his co-counsel visited the
Petitioner about six times while he ...