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Boyd v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

February 15, 2018

DE'QUON LETRAY BOYD
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs January 24, 2018

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 287505 Barry A. Steelman, Judge

         The petitioner, De'quon Letray Boyd, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which petition challenged the petitioner's 2011 convictions of attempted first degree premeditated murder, premeditated murder, felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and aggravated criminal trespass. In this appeal, the petitioner argues that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel at trial. We affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

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

          John G. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, De'quon Letray Boyd.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Anne Thompson, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Kevin Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.

         A Hamilton County Criminal Court jury convicted the petitioner of attempted first degree premeditated murder, premeditated murder, felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and aggravated criminal trespass in relation to the 2006 murder of Casey Woods. On April 3, 2006, Mr. Woods, his fiancee, Darlisa Wynn, and her grandchildren, spent the night at the home of her neighbor, Kysha Henderson so that Ms. Wynn could care for Ms. Henderson's children. State v. Dequon Letray Boyd and Jemarow Deverius Tillison, No. E2009-02071-CCA-R3-CD, slip op. at 2 (Tenn. Crim. App., Knoxville, Sept. 12, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Jan. 11, 2012). At approximately 3:00 a.m., several armed men broke into the apartment and began shooting. Mr. Woods and Ms. Wynn were both struck. Ms. Wynn identified the petitioner as one of the shooters. "Officer Adam Emery of the Chattanooga Police Department was finishing a call on a nearby street when he heard a loud succession of gunshots." Id., slip op. at 3. Officer Emery went to the scene, and, after a brief chase, Officer Emery arrested the defendant. Mr. Woods succumbed to his wounds following a two-day stay in the hospital. Id., slip op. at 4.

         The petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief on April 1, 2013, along with a notice that he had placed his original petition for post-conviction relief with prison authorities for mailing on January 4, 2013, but that the petition had been lost in the mail. As proof of the time of the original filing, the petitioner appended to his pleading a copy of the withdrawals from his inmate trust account that he claimed reflected a withdrawal for postage to mail the petition. The petitioner alleged that he mailed a copy of his original petition to the State on January 4, 2013, and moved the post-conviction court to cause the State "to finish it for proper filing and/or allow" the petitioner to submit a backdated petition as timely. In his petition, the petitioner claimed that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel.

         At the August 23, 2013 evidentiary hearing, the petitioner testified that he was charged with the offenses in this case when he was "16 going on 17." The petitioner said that he did not believe that his trial counsel represented the petitioner "to his best ability" because of "the money situation." He recalled that he asked trial counsel to call certain witnesses, including Regina Orr, and to investigate "the criminal procedures that the police have to take." As to Ms. Orr's potential testimony, the petitioner said, "I actually don't know what she was going to testify to, but at the same time, she was a witness, so she was supposed to testify and could have . . . shed a whole lot of light on the case."

         The petitioner testified that counsel did not visit him "on a regular basis, " having visited him between five and 10 times, and did not let him "really know what the case was going for." He claimed that counsel "took advantage" of his age and "mental health status." The petitioner said that he discussed with counsel his right to testify but that counsel had recommended that he not take the stand. The petitioner also said that counsel discussed with him the potential testimony of the State's witnesses as well as the evidence likely to be offered by the State at trial.

         The petitioner admitted that he was apprehended near the scene of the home invasion but insisted that the State "never had any hard evidence or nothing to link" him to the crime. He expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that his co-defendant, Jemarow Tillison, was convicted of less serious charges despite that the same evidence was presented as to both men at the joint trial.

         The petitioner admitted that counsel correctly informed him as to the appellate process but claimed that after counsel initiated the direct appeal, he did not hear from counsel. He acknowledged, however, that counsel told him which issues would be raised on appeal. The petitioner testified that he wanted counsel to challenge the show up that occurred immediately following the offenses at which Ms. Wynn initially identified him as one of the perpetrators. He ...


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