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Evans v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

March 22, 2018

TIMOTHY EVANS
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs Date: January 24, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County Nos. 285646 & 285934 Tom Greenholtz, Judge

         The Petitioner, Timothy Evans, appeals from the Hamilton County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective (1) for failing to have the Petitioner "evaluated in order to present an insanity or diminished capacity defense"; (2) for failing to call "a psychological expert" to support the Petitioner's duress defense; (3) for failing to "adequately prepare" the Petitioner to testify on cross-examination; and (4) for "depriving [the] Petitioner of a review of his duress [defense] by the appellate courts" by failing to include portions of the trial transcript in the appellate record. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Donna Miller, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy Evans.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General; M. Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Bates W. Bryan, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Petitioner was convicted by a jury of first degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first degree premeditated murder, and "carrying a dangerous weapon." State v. Timothy Evans & Michael Daniels, No. E2009-01627-CCA-R3-CD, 2011 WL 3667722, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 22, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Mar. 27, 2013). The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of life imprisonment for the convictions. Id.

         The Petitioner was tried along with his co-defendant, Michael Daniels. Evans, 2011 WL 3667722, at *1. There was no dispute that on June 13, 2006, the Petitioner shot and killed the victim, Adrian "A.D." Patton, as there were several eyewitnesses to the killing. Id. at *1-6. The victim had been accused of shooting at the co-defendant's sister's house. Id. at *2. The co-defendant and the victim were discussing this when the co-defendant walked away from the victim and spoke to the Petitioner. Id. at *2, 4-5. One eyewitness overheard the co-defendant, who was a leader in the Petitioner's gang, tell the Petitioner to "handle that s--t" just before the shooting. Id. at *3.

         The Petitioner then walked up to the victim, who was sitting in the driver's seat of his truck, and fired eight or nine shots at the victim. Evans, 2011 WL 3667722, at *2. The victim said, "'[D]o you believe this mother f--kin['] s--t, '" and attempted to drive away. Id. at *6. Blood was "'shooting out [of the victim's] chest . . . like somebody shooting a water hose, '" and he drove only a short distance before the truck crashed into an apartment building. Id. The victim was dead before police were able to respond to the shooting. Id.

         The Petitioner testified at trial that his co-defendant was the leader of "the Skyline Bloods in Chattanooga." Evans, 2011 WL 3667722, at *8. The Petitioner explained that he had "'no choice'" and that "he would be punished if he did not do" what his co-defendant told him to do. Id. The Petitioner testified that his co-defendant told him to kill the victim and that when he hesitated, his co-defendant started "walking toward [the Petitioner] and reaching for [his] gun." Id. The Petitioner further testified that "the victim's death was not planned" and that after the shooting, "he could not eat, sleep, or stop moving" because "his conscience was bothering him . . . [for having] killed a man for no reason." Id. at *8-9.

         This court affirmed the Petitioner's convictions on direct appeal. Evans, 2011 WL 3667722, at *1. The Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief.[1]Subsequent amended petitions were also filed on the Petitioner's behalf. However, some of the amended petitions and portions of the Petitioner's original pro se petition were not included in the record on appeal.[2] The Petitioner was ultimately granted a delayed appeal to our supreme court, and his other post-conviction claims were held in abeyance. On March 27, 2013, our supreme court declined to review this court's decision on direct appeal. As we are able to glean from the post-conviction court's order denying relief and as is pertinent to our review, the petitions alleged that trial counsel was ineffective for failing "to request a forensic mental evaluation, ...


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