Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
ANTONIO L. FREEMAN
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs November 14, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Sumner County No. 149-2016 Dee
David Gay, Judge
Petitioner, Antonio L. Freeman, appeals the Sumner County
Criminal Court's denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief from his conviction of possessing
contraband in a penal facility and resulting sentence of ten
years in confinement. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that
he received the ineffective assistance of counsel on direct
appeal of his conviction. Based upon the record and the
parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Christopher V. Boiano, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Antonio L. Freeman.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Lawrence Ray
Whitley, District Attorney General; and Lytle Anthony James,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.
2010, the Petitioner was being housed in the Sumner County
Jail while awaiting trial in another case. During a search of
his cell on July 9, officers found Xanax and Soma pills
hidden in a package of Ramen Noodles. In November 2010, the
Sumner County Grand Jury indicted the Petitioner for one
count of possessing contraband in a penal facility, a Class C
felony. The trial court appointed counsel, and trial counsel
filed two motions to recuse: one before trial and one before
the Petitioner's sentencing hearing. Both motions alleged
that recusal was necessary because the Petitioner had named
the trial judge as a defendant in two, pro se federal civil
lawsuits. State v. Antonio Freeman, No.
M2012-02691-CCA-10B-CD, 2013 WL 160664, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. at Nashville, Jan. 15, 2013). The trial court denied the
motions. A Sumner County Criminal Court Jury convicted the
Petitioner as charged, and the trial court sentenced him as a
Range II, multiple offender to ten years in confinement.
counsel filed a motion for new trial. Trial counsel later
filed a motion to withdraw when he learned that the
Petitioner wanted to include the ineffective assistance of
trial counsel in the motion for new trial. The trial court
granted the motion to withdraw, and newly-appointed counsel
(hereinafter "appellate counsel") filed a third
motion to recuse. In addition to the Petitioner's claim
that recusal of the trial judge was necessary due to the
federal civil lawsuits, appellate counsel alleged that
recusal was necessary because the trial judge was the
prosecutor in a criminal case against the Petitioner in 1999.
Id. Again, the trial judge denied the motion.
Id. The Petitioner filed an interlocutory appeal to
this court, and this court affirmed the trial court's
denial of the third motion to recuse. Id. at *4-5.
Subsequently, appellate counsel filed an amended motion for
new trial. That same day, the trial court held a hearing on
the Petitioner's motion for new trial and amended motion
for new trial and denied the motions.
direct appeal of his conviction to this court, the Petitioner
raised various issues, including that he received the
ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and that
"nine issues required the trial judge to recuse himself
and that the cumulative effect of [those] issues also
required recusal." State v. Antonio Lamont
Freeman, No. M2013-01813-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 5307461, at
*11 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Nashville, Oct. 16, 2014), perm.
app. denied, (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2015). This court affirmed
the Petitioner's conviction. In finding that the
Petitioner was not entitled to relief on the recusal issue,
this court explained as follows:
In this court's opinion on the defendant's
interlocutory appeal, we held that the filing of a federal
lawsuit against a judge and a judge's former role as a
prosecutor did not require the judge to recuse himself from
the case. State v. Antonio Freeman, 2013 WL 160664,
at *4-5. Because this court decided issues one through four
and six on the merits, the defendant may not raise them again
on direct appeal. The defendant also contends that the trial
court questioned appellate counsel regarding the motive and
purpose of the filing of the motion to recuse during parts
one and two of the motion, doing so in part one "in a
tone that was elevated." However, the defendant knew of
these grounds for recusal prior to filing his interlocutory
appeal; thus, the grounds should have been raised in the
interlocutory appeal. Id. at *4 (stating that a
failure to include known grounds for recusal results in
The defendant claims that the post-trial Facebook postings of
Officers Gilley and Lewis created the appearance of
partiality and bias that required the trial judge to recuse
himself; however, the defendant cites to neither the record
nor any authority to support his contention. See
Tenn. Ct. Crim. App. R. 10(b) ("Issues which are not
supported by argument, citation to authorities, or
appropriate references to ...