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Bell v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 8, 2018

RICKEY BELL
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs June 6, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-00529 John Wheeler Campbell, Judge

         Petitioner, Rickey Bell, appeals from the post-conviction court's dismissal of Petitioner's post-conviction petition following an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner asserts that he is entitled to relief because he received ineffective assistance of counsel in the proceedings leading to his convictions for one count of rape of a child, one count of aggravated sexual battery, one count of rape, and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Shannon M. Davis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rickey Bell.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Leslie Byrd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE

         Background

         Petitioner was convicted by a jury of rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, rape, and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. He was sentenced to a total effective sentence of forty-nine years in the Department of Correction.

         The proof at trial revealed that Petitioner and the victim are related to each other and that the victim resided in the same home with Petitioner during the time period when the sexual assaults occurred. The victim testified that prior to her thirteenth birthday, Petitioner "hunched" up and down on her "butt." Petitioner also had the victim masturbate him numerous times. Also, Petitioner on one occasion performed oral sex on her prior to her thirteenth birthday.

         The victim testified that after her thirteenth birthday, Petitioner would make her perform oral sex on him. The victim also described incidents when Petitioner forced her to have anal sex, and he rubbed her breasts the following morning. State v. Rickey Bell, No. W2014-00049-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 84675, at *3-10 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 26, 2015).

         Post-conviction Hearing

         Trial counsel testified that she had been employed as an Assistant Public Defender for twenty-one years, and she represented Petitioner from "arraignment on to certifying his appeal." She did not file a Rule 412 motion to explore the victim's sexual ...


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