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Pettie v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 27, 2018


          Assigned on Briefs August 8, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18247-PC F. Lee Russell, Judge.

         The Petitioner, Bobby Daniel Pettie, appeals from the Bedford County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner contends that he is entitled to post-conviction relief due to numerous instances of ineffective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          M. Wesley Hall IV, Unionville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Daniel Pettie.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Robert James Carter, District Attorney General; and Michael David Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.


          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE.


         Following a jury trial, the Petitioner was convicted of initiation of methamphetamine manufacture, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and possession of methamphetamine. State v. Bobby Daniel Pettie, No. M2014-00113-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 351229, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jan. 28, 2015), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 14, 2015). The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of twenty-two years, eleven months, and twenty-nine days. Id. This court affirmed the Petitioner's convictions and sentences on direct appeal. Id. Our supreme court declined to review this court's opinion on May 14, 2015.

         The evidence at trial established that a Shelbyville Police Department officer observed the Petitioner driving a motorcycle "wearing dark-colored sunglasses" even though it was dark outside. Pettie, 2015 WL 351229, at *1. The Petitioner also matched the description "of a person who had been observed by a Dollar General Market employee making suspicious purchases earlier in the day." Id. The officer followed the Petitioner and "initiated a traffic stop" after observing the Petitioner driving recklessly. Id.

         The Petitioner did not have a driver's license. Pettie, 2015 WL 351229, at *1. The Petitioner claimed that he had left his license at his mother's house, which was nearby. Id. The officer explained to the Petitioner that he could arrest the Petitioner for driving without a license, but that he would follow the Petitioner back to the Petitioner's mother's house to "resolve the issue." Id. At the Petitioner's mother's house, the officer smelled an odor consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine coming from inside the house. Id. at *2. The officer seized the Petitioner and advised him of his rights. Id. The Petitioner consented to a search of the house and a nearby truck. Id.

         A glut of material associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine was found in the truck and house. Pettie, 2015 WL 351229, at *2-3. The officer testified at trial that he believed that methamphetamine had recently been made and that the Petitioner had "intended to dispose of the evidence quickly but had not yet done so" due to the state in which he found the materials. Id. at *4. The officer also found "a loaded twelve-gauge shotgun under the rear passenger seat of the [Petitioner's] truck." Id. at *3. Additionally, a small amount of methamphetamine was seized from a jar. Id. at *5. The Petitioner confessed to manufacturing and using methamphetamine, but claimed that he had only done so in Alabama. Id. at *3-4.

         On April 8, 2016, the Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. Counsel was appointed to represent the Petitioner in this matter and an amended petition was filed on June 17, 2016. As pertinent to our review, [1] the petitions alleged that the Petitioner's original counsel failed to investigate several witnesses, failed to inform him of his confession prior to his having rejected a plea offer, and failed to prepare for and raise several legal arguments at his suppression hearing. The petitions also alleged that trial counsel[2] failed to file pretrial motions to dismiss claiming unnecessary delay and vindictive prosecution, failed to raise the issues of the ...

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