Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs January 24, 2018
from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 287505 Barry
A. Steelman, Judge
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.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court
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
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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