Assigned on Briefs Date: June 6, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 12-05320 J.
Robert Carter, Jr., Judge
Petitioner, Devaughn Edwards, filed for post-conviction
relief from his convictions of facilitation of kidnapping,
facilitation of robbery, and facilitation of aggravated
burglary, alleging that his trial counsel was ineffective.
The post-conviction court denied the petition, and the
Petitioner appeals. Upon review, we affirm the judgment of
the post-conviction court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
McAfee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Devaughn
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Dru Carpenter and
Carrie Shelton, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., joined.
the Petitioner and three co-defendants participated in a home
invasion on Mud Island in Memphis, the Petitioner was charged
with three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping,
especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated
burglary, aggravated robbery, and employing a firearm during
a felony. On direct appeal, this court summarized the proof
adduced at trial as follows:
Tad Robbins testified that he was a lieutenant in the United
States Navy and was living on Mud Island on April 11, 2012.
That evening, he and his wife heard a commotion coming from a
neighbor's house, and he saw a Lincoln automobile backed
into the driveway of a nearby vacant house. He observed two
men entering "quickly" into the garage and went out
his back door because he thought "there was something
weird." He noticed that the car was "running"
and returned to his house to call 911. As he watched, the
garage door opened, and he saw two men leaving a house
carrying a television set, a guitar, and a bag of other
items. Two more men came out of the house, and they
"loaded up" in the car to leave.
Jaredan Braal testified that he was a mechanical engineer for
Medtronic. On April 11, 2012, he was living on Mud Island and
returned home "around 10:45 or 10:50 at night" from
teaching a dance class. He pulled into his garage, which was
in an alley behind his house. As he was unloading items from
his car, he saw a vehicle in front of the neighbor's
house behind him. One of the two men at the car said he
wanted to ask Mr. Braal a question, adding that he was
looking for a particular street. They were joined by another
man who soon produced a pistol, which he pointed at Mr.
Braal. Mr. Braal then threw down his cell phone and wallet
and ran into his garage but was hit in the head multiple
times and fell to his hands and knees. Two of the men then
entered Mr. Braal's house, while a third kept watch on
him. Mr. Braal's roommate was brought from the house and
made to lie down beside him. After the men loaded their
vehicle with items from the victims' house, they asked
for the PIN number for Mr. Braal's debit card, and he
made up a number. The four men then left, and the victims
telephoned 911 from a neighbor's telephone. Mr. Braal was
hospitalized for twelve days as a result of his injuries. He
identified the [Petitioner] as the person who hit him with
Frederick Krafcik, Jr. testified that he was living on Mud
Island on April 11, 2012, and was employed by the University
of Tennessee Health Science Center, working at St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital. He said that, during that
evening, he was on the bed in his room when the door was
kicked open and two men entered at pistol-point. They took
different items, including cash, and ordered him to go
downstairs to the garage, where he found his roommate already
lying facedown and blood on the floor. He said that as
"the criminals were still going back and forth in the
house, removing items, " he stayed facedown on the
garage floor, as they ordered. After the men left, the two
victims ran to neighbors for help, "knocking on doors,
looking bloody and beaten up, [but] people weren't
Mr. Krafcik said that he at first thought it was his roommate
coming up the stairs, but then his door was kicked in. The
man who came through the door pointed a pistol at him, and
another man then came in, the two of them asking,
"[W]here is the cash?" He said that the two men
took his DVD player and computer, the cash from his wallet
and, later, he discovered they had taken his cell phone. At
gunpoint, he was made to go down the stairs to the garage
[where he saw Mr. Braal lying face down on the garage floor.
Mr. Braal's face was beaten and bloody.]
Mr. Krafcik said that at least three men came into the house,
but "it sounded like there was a fourth person." He
said that he had paid between $3000 and $3500 for the items
the men took.
Officer Robert Forbert of the Memphis Police Department
testified that he received a prowler call on April 11, 2012,
to the victims' residence. Upon their arrival, officers
found the door was open, the residence was ransacked, and
there was a pool of blood in the garage. Officer Forbert
learned that Mr. Braal was at a nearby address, where he went
and found him on the floor, with others trying to stop the
bleeding from his nose. Mr. Braal said his iPhone had been
taken, and information was entered into Officer Forbert's
iPhone to locate Mr. Braal's phone. An exact address was
provided by the iPhone application, which was 2423 Manchester
Road. Officer Forbert then went to that address, where he
observed traveling south on the street a tan Lincoln Zephyr
automobile, which matched the description the victim gave of
the car the defendants were operating. Two African-American
males were in the automobile, which the officer stopped. The
vehicle was being driven by the [Petitioner], whom the
officer identified in the courtroom. At the residence, a male
and female came to the door and were detained while a search
warrant was obtained to search for the iPhone.
Officer Terrell Hunt of the Memphis Police Department
testified that he was assigned to the Felony Response Unit.
On April 12, 2012, he responded to a call to a residence on
Manchester Road. A search warrant was obtained, and Officer
Hunt entered the residence where he located a large
television, matching the description of the one taken from
the victims' residence. He also found at the residence an
iPhone, a Mac 10 Notebook computer, a bulletproof vest, and a
guitar. All of these were found in the bedroom of Adrian
Henderson, one of the co-defendants.
Officer Justin Edward Sheriff, a crime scene investigator
with the Memphis Police Department, testified that on April
12, 2014, he was called to photograph a 2006 Lincoln Zephyr
and items taken from it at an auto shop located at Alcy and
Manchester. He took photographs of the vehicle and a wine
bottle which was inside it.
Sergeant Velynda Thayer of the Memphis Police Department
testified that on April 12, 2012, she was assigned to
investigate the home invasion and robbery that occurred on
Mud Island, for which two suspects, one of whom was the
[Petitioner], were in custody. She advised the [Petitioner]
of his Miranda rights, which he waived. The
[Petitioner] gave a statement, admitting his participation in
Patrece Edwards, the [Petitioner's] mother, was the only
witness testifying in his behalf. She said she had not known
that he was spending time with the three co-defendants.
State v. Devaughn Edwards, No.
W2013-02009-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 6792747, at *1-3 (Tenn. Crim.
App. at Jackson, Dec. 3, 2014). The jury convicted the
Petitioner of three counts of facilitation of kidnapping, two
of which were merged; two counts of facilitation of robbery,
and one count of facilitation of aggravated burglary.
Id. at *1. He received a total effective sentence of
sixteen years. Id. On appeal, this court affirmed
the Petitioner's convictions and sentences. Id.
the Petitioner, acting through counsel, filed a timely
petition for post-conviction relief and an amended
post-conviction petition, alleging numerous ways in which his
trial counsel was ineffective. ...