Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs January 24, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Blount County No. C25082 David R.
Petitioner, Asata Dia Lowe, appeals the Blount County Circuit
Court's summary denial of his petition for a writ of
habeas corpus from his 2000 convictions for two counts of
first degree murder and one count of especially aggravated
robbery and his effective sentence of life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole plus twenty-five years. The
Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred by
summarily dismissing his petition. We affirm the judgment of
the habeas corpus court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Dia Lowe, Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew
C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; and Mike L. Flynn,
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., joined. D. Kelly
Thomas, Jr., J., not participating.
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.
Petitioner received concurrent sentences of life imprisonment
without the possibility of parole for the murder convictions
and an additional twenty-five years for the especially
aggravated robbery conviction. T he Petitioner appealed his
convictions, and this court denied relief. See State v.
Asata Lowe, No. E2000-01591-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 31051631
(Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 16, 2002), perm. app. denied
(Tenn. Feb. 3, 2003).
Petitioner sought post-conviction relief, in relevant part,
on the grounds that he found exculpatory evidence, that the
prosecution failed to disclose favorable evidence to the
defense, and that he received the ineffective assistance of
counsel. T he post-conviction court denied relief, and this
court affirmed the post-conviction court's
determinations. See Asata Lowe v. State, No.
E2006-02028-CCA-MR3-PC, 2008 WL 631169 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar.
10, 2008), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug. 25, 2008).
The Petitioner unsuccessfully sought to reopen the
post-conviction proceedings. See Asata Lowe v.
State, No. E2011-01640-CCA-R28-PC (Tenn. Crim. App.
Sept. 16, 2011) (order), perm. app. denied (Tenn.
Nov. 17, 2011).
Petitioner unsuccessfully sought habeas corpus relief, and he
appealed the denial of relief. However, the Petitioner failed
to file an appellate brief, and this court dismissed the
appeal for want of prosecution. See Asata D. Lowe v.
State, No. M2008-01291-CCA-R3-HC (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec.
9, 2008) (order). The Petitioner subsequently sought habeas
corpus relief, alleging that he was entitled to relief
because he received the ineffective assistance of counsel and
because of various trial-related errors. The habeas corpus
court summarily dismissed the petition without a hearing, and
this court affirmed the dismissal because the Petitioner
failed to state a cognizable claim for relief. See Asata
D. Lowe v. State, No. M2009-00444-CCA-R3-HC, 2010 WL
143781 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 13, 2010). The Petitioner later
filed a third petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the
grounds that his right to a fair trial was violated by the
State's failure to disclose favorable evidence and by the
trial court's failure to instruct the jury properly, that
his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by an unlawful
search and seizure, that he received the ineffective
assistance of counsel, and that the indictment was
multiplicitous. The habeas corpus court denied relief after a
hearing, and this court affirmed the habeas corpus
court's determinations. See Asata D. Lowe v. James
Fortner, Warden, No. E2011-00048-CCA-R3-HC, 2012 WL
1080274 (Tenn. Crim. App. Mar. 30, 2012).
April 13, 2017, the Petitioner filed the present petition for
a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the State unlawfully
detained him for the purpose of collecting evidence, that
"the State illegally issued a warrant against [him]
without the aid of counsel to help prepare a defense, "
that the State unlawfully presented "perjured and/or
false statements to obtain an indictment, conviction,
judgment, and sentence, " and that the
"indictments, convictions, judgments, and sentences are
void . . . for interfering with [his] rights and
privileges." The Petitioner also submitted additional
pleadings, including but not limited to, a motion for a
restraining order, a request for the habeas corpus court or
court clerk to issue writs and subpoenas, a motion for the
production of documents, and a motion for the appointment of
counsel. On April 20, 2017, the Petitioner wrote a letter to
the habeas corpus judge entitled, "Letter to Cease and
Decease [sic] violation of Federal Rights." The
Petitioner's letter alleged that the court and the court
clerk were "intentionally failing to process [his] court
filings as required by the law" and were depriving him
of "rights, privileges, and immunities secured and
protected by the constitution."
1, 2017, the habeas corpus court summarily denied relief. T
he court initially noted the Petitioner's continuous
filings challenging his underlying convictions. R elative to
the present petition, the court found that the allegations
raised in the petition had been previously litigated and that
the Petitioner failed to show that his judgments were void,
that his sentences had expired, and that he was being
illegally detained. Relative to the Petitioner's
allegations regarding his seventy-two hour initial detention
in 1998 and his criminal arrest warrant, the court found that
the Petitioner's present confinement was not based upon
his initial confinement and arrest but rather his conviction
after a jury trial. Relative to the Petitioner's
remaining allegations, the court found that Petitioner was
attempting to relitigate matters already determined by the
trial and appellate courts. The court determined that the
Petitioner failed to state a cognizable claim for habeas
corpus relief. This appeal followed.
Petitioner contends that the habeas corpus court erred by
summarily dismissing his petition. He argues that he raised
colorable claims for relief, including that the State failed
to present him before a magistrate without unnecessary delay,
that the State deprived him of his constitutional right to
counsel at the initial appearance or preliminary hearing,
which occurred in his absence, that he received the
ineffective assistance of counsel, and that evidence obtained
in violation of his constitutional protection against