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Brewer v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 16, 2018

JOSEPH CORDELL BREWER, III
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Obion County No. CC-16-CR-49 Jeff Parham, Judge

         Petitioner, Joseph Cordell Brewer, III, appeals from the denial of relief following a hearing on his petition for post-conviction relief. Only Petitioner and his trial counsel testified at the post-conviction hearing. Since Petitioner failed to present evidence of any prejudice to him as a result of trial counsel's alleged deficient representation, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Megan B. Allen, Martin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joseph Cordell Brewer, III.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General; and Jim Cannon, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

         Background

         Following a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of the Class C felony theft of a 2009 Honda Odyssey minivan, one count of Class D felony evading arrest, and one count of Class A misdemeanor evading arrest. On direct appeal to this Court, the conviction for Class D felony evading arrest was reduced to a conviction for Class E felony evading arrest, the other two convictions were affirmed, the Class E felony evading arrest conviction was remanded for resentencing, and the other sentences were affirmed. State v. Joseph Cordell Brewer, III, No. W2014-01347-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 4060103 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 1, 2015).

         Relevant to the issues raised in this post-conviction appeal, Petitioner was identified as the driver of the stolen vehicle by a police officer. The officer observed Petitioner driving the vehicle just prior to a high speed chase that began after the same officer turned on his blue lights to initiate a stop of the vehicle. When the vehicle drove through a red light at approximately 100 miles per hour, the officer backed off the chase until he could safely cross the same intersection. After the officer saw the vehicle make a turn, the officer also turned, and he found the vehicle crashed into a chain link fence with the engine running and the car in the drive gear. However, the vehicle was unoccupied, and nobody was at the scene. State v. Joseph Cordell Brewer, III, 2015 WL 4060103 at *1-3.

         Post-Conviction Proceedings

         Petitioner argues on appeal that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by: (1) failing to present an expert witness to testify about the problems with eyewitness testimony, and (2) failing to raise a challenge to the constitutionality of the racial makeup of the jury venire, pursuant to Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

         Called by Petitioner at the post-conviction hearing, trial counsel testified that he had been an attorney for twenty-nine years and had been a criminal defense attorney for all but three years. Trial counsel stated that he cross-examined Officer Buchanan, the policeman who ...


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