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Prewitt v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

March 27, 2018


          Assigned on Briefs November 14, 2017

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2012-A-48 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge

         The Petitioner, Quanya Revell Prewitt, appeals the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief from her conviction for possession of dihydrocodeinone in a school zone with intent to sell. She argues that she received ineffective assistance of counsel and that the State committed prosecutorial misconduct. After review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

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

          Andrew Chad Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Quanya Revell Prewitt.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Megan M. King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.


          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE


         In 2012, the Petitioner was indicted and convicted of possession of dihydrocodeinone in a school zone with intent to sell, and she was sentenced to three years in confinement at 100% followed by one year of probation. The Petitioner appealed, and this court affirmed the judgment of the trial court on June 26, 2013.

         The underlying facts of the case were recited by this court on direct appeal as follows:

On July 12, 2011, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department ("Metro") Officer Charles Large was on patrol when an employee of the Z-Mart gas station approached him in the parking lot of the station and made a complaint. Based upon the information he received, Officer Large asked the [Petitioner] and another individual, Tory Crawley, to come to his car. Mr. Crawley showed Officer Large "a bunch of pills, " and Officer Large confiscated the 12 pills.
During this time, the [Petitioner], who had not complied with the officer's request to come to the car, walked to "the side of the building next to a dumpster and a light pole." After standing there for 20 or 30 seconds, she then walked to where Officer Large stood with Mr. Crawley. After the [Petitioner] denied any knowledge of the pills confiscated from Mr. Crawley, Officer Large walked to the area where the [Petitioner] had gone after exiting the store and "found a prescription pill bottle sitting on a light post base with her name on them." The bottle was labeled with the [Petitioner]'s name and the prescription name "hydrocholorothiazide, " and it contained 17 hydrocodone pills identical to those taken from Mr. Crawley.
Officer Large placed both individuals under arrest, and as they drove to the police station, the [Petitioner] "said that she just wanted to trade the pills for beer because she had been drinking and wanted more to drink."
Officer Large utilized a map prepared by Metropolitan Planning Department cadastral analyst Thomas Corcoran and which highlighted a 1, 000 foot "buffer" around Cameron Middle School to demonstrate that the Z-Mart parking lot was located inside the buffer.
Mohammed Ayesh was working at the Z-Mart on July 12, 2011, when the [Petitioner] came to the counter, placed some pills on the counter, and asked if she could trade the pills for beer. The cashier asked the [Petitioner] to leave, and then either Mr. Ayesh or the cashier reported the incident to Officer Large.
Chemical testing by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ("TBI") established that the pills confiscated from the [Petitioner] and Mr. Crawley were hydrocodone, the same chemical compound also known as dihydrocodeinone and sold under the brand name Vicodin. Hydrocholorothiazide, the medication for which the bottle was labeled, does not contain dihydrocodeinone but is instead a diuretic.
The [Petitioner] testified that she was prescribed hydrocodone on July 1, 2011, for pain associated with an injury. She said that she went to the Z-Mart on July 12, 2011, to purchase cigarettes and that when she got inside, she saw Mr. Crawley "in it seemed like an altercation with the clerk, " so she left the store. She claimed that she did not see Officer Large and did not hear him call to her the first time. She said that she stopped when the Officer called a second time and that she placed the pill bottle next to the light post because she was aware that she had hydrocodone in the wrong prescription bottle. She claimed that the hydrocodone pills got into the hydrochlorothiazide bottle when all her pills spilled into her purse.
The [Petitioner] denied drinking on the night of the offense and maintained that she did not attempt to trade her pills for beer. She claimed that she was simply walking to a friend's house and not trying to evade Officer Large.
During cross-examination, the [Petitioner] said that when her friend telephoned and asked the [Petitioner] to come to her house, she "picked up a pill bottle and put it in [her] purse" and headed to the friend's house despite the late hour. She insisted that she grabbed the pills because she thought they were either for her hypertension or hyperthyroid and that she intended to take them the following morning. She said that, inexplicably, two bottles of medication had emptied into her purse at the same time and became mixed together. Despite having said during direct-examination that she combined the pills into a single bottle, she claimed that she randomly returned the pills to two bottles. She could not explain how the bottle for hydrochlorothiazide came to contain only hydrocodone pills.
The [Petitioner] said that she used her cellular telephone to call her friend from the parking lot of the Z-Mart just after she exited the store ahead of Mr. Crawley. She denied that she and Mr. Crawley exited the store together and insisted that Officer Large was lying when he said that they did. Despite having claimed on direct examination that she put the pill bottle on the ground because she knew that the pills were in the wrong bottle, she denied knowing that hydrocodone pills were in the bottle. The [Petitioner] also confusingly claimed that she "didn't have nothing but one bottle" and that her other pills must have been "in the other bottle." She claimed that the officer lied when he testified that she told him that she had tried to trade the pills for beer.

State v. Quanya Revell Prewitt, No. M2012-01627-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 3282869, at *1-2 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 26, 2013), perm. app. dismissed (Tenn. Oct. 20, 2014), perm. app. ...

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