Assigned on Briefs February 6, 2018
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 10-00509 James
C. Beasley, Jr., Judge.
Petitioner, Charles McClain, appeals the Shelby County
Criminal Court's denial of post-conviction relief from
his convictions for first degree premeditated murder and
especially aggravated kidnapping, for which he received
concurrent sentences of life imprisonment and twenty-five
years, respectively. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that
he was denied effective assistance of counsel because trial
counsel failed to object to the introduction of evidence that
had been ruled inadmissible. We affirm the denial of
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
A. Timmerman, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the Petitioner,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Michael R. McCusker,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which John Everett Williams and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE.
Petitioner and three co-defendants were charged with first
degree premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, and
especially aggravated robbery. State v. Charles
McClain, No. W2013-00328-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 4754531, at
*1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 24, 2014), perm. app.
denied (Tenn. Jan. 15, 2015).
to trial, the Petitioner filed a motion to suppress a cell
phone that was in his possession at the time of his arrest,
some jailhouse letters attributable to him, and his statement
to police. After the State elected not to contest the motion
to suppress, the trial court entered an order suppressing
this evidence. At some point before trial, one of the
Petitioner's co-defendants agreed to testify for the
State, and the Petitioner and the remaining two co-defendants
proceeded to trial. Id.
trial, the State presented proof that the Petitioner planned
the robbery that resulted in the death of victim Tederrial
Hancock. Evidence showed that the Petitioner knew the victim
because the victim had a child with the Petitioner's
estranged girlfriend and that the Petitioner provided the gun
used during the offense. The Petitioner texted the victim the
day of the offense claiming to be a girl named
"Diamond" and set up a meeting between
"Diamond" and the victim at a library parking lot,
where the Petitioner's co-defendants robbed and killed
the victim while the Petitioner waited across the street.
Cell phone records revealed that the Petitioner texted the
victim prior to the shooting and called or texted his three
co-defendants before and after the shooting and that all of
these calls and texts were made in the vicinity of the
library where the victim was killed. Id. at *1-3.
After hearing the evidence presented at trial, the jury
convicted the Petitioner and his two co-defendants as
charged, and the trial court merged the felony murder
convictions with the first degree premeditated murder
convictions. Id. at *1.
Petitioner then filed a direct appeal, arguing that the
evidence was insufficient to corroborate the testifying
co-defendant's testimony, that he was prejudiced by the
State's use of a hypothetical during voir dire when
discussing criminal responsibility, and that the trial court
should have allowed him to rehabilitate a prospective juror
during voir dire. Id. at *6-11. This court affirmed
the judgments of the trial court, and the Tennessee Supreme
Court denied the Petitioner's application for permission
to appeal. Id. at *12.
his unsuccessful direct appeal, the Petitioner timely filed a
pro se petition for post-conviction relief and, after the
appointment of counsel, filed two amended post-conviction
petitions. The Petitioner alleged, in part, that trial
counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the