Assigned on Briefs February 6, 2018
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-03327 James
M. Lammey, Judge
Petitioner, Demetrius Anderson, appeals from the denial of
post-conviction relief, alleging he received ineffective
assistance of counsel. Upon our review, we affirm the
judgment of the post-conviction court.
R. App. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court
J. Beasley (on post-conviction appeal), Memphis, Tennessee,
for the Petitioner, Demetrius Anderson.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Ryan Thompson,
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.
March 23, 2013, the Petitioner robbed two men, Richard Cooper
and Willie Crawford, at gunpoint and took $60 and some
marijuana. The victims called the police, and the Petitioner
was apprehended after a short foot chase. In July 2013, the
Petitioner was indicted for aggravated robbery and criminal
attempt to commit aggravated robbery. On September 4, 2013,
the trial court ordered the Petitioner released under the
supervision of the Day Reporting Center, which required the
Petitioner to report, complete certain classes, and submit to
drug screens. On November 15, 2013, the Petitioner was
arraigned, appeared in criminal court with trial counsel, and
his case was set for report on December 18, 2013. On January
22, 2014, the trial court entered a scheduling order, setting
the Petitioner's case for trial on November 3, 2014, and
providing in pertinent part, the following:
[The Petitioner] was voir dired in open court . . .
concerning the nature of his/her charges, the possible ranges
of punishment, any proposed settlements and any questions
he/she may have concerning the legal process, and has been
informed that . . . if he/she demands a trial that no
plea-bargains will be accepted by the trial court once the
case is set for trial. The [Petitioner] has in open court
nevertheless rejected all offers of settlement and has
demanded a trial by jury as is his/her right.
2014, the trial court issued a capias for the
Petitioner's arrest based on his failure to report as
required to the Day Reporting Center. Two months later, on
August 19, 2014, trial counsel filed a motion to withdraw as
attorney of record based on the Petitioner's refusal to
communicate with her or turn himself into the court following
issuance of warrants for his arrest. Trial counsel's
motion alleged that there was a total breakdown of
communication with the Petitioner, that she was unable to
effectively represent him, and that "continued
representation would prejudice" the Petitioner. Trial
counsel's motion acknowledged that the Petitioner's
case had been set for trial. The trial court held the motion
in abeyance until trial.
November 3, 2014, the Petitioner's case was called on the
calendar as set for trial. Apparently, the Petitioner
appeared in court of his own volition. There was some
discussion as to the capias issued for his arrest and trial
counsel's motion to withdraw from the Petitioner's
case. The clerk noted that the court had "issued the
capias in May. [Trial counsel] filed her motion in August. We
haven't seen [the Petitioner] since." The trial
court addressed the Petitioner, "I'm glad you showed
up . . . [s]ometimes people are their own worst
enemies." The court further explained to the Petitioner
that trial counsel had been trying to contact him. The clerk
then advised the court that the Petitioner had picked up a
criminal trespass charge in January 2014, which was
apparently dismissed. The State announced that it was ready
for trial but did not oppose a continuance.
counsel requested a continuance because she had not seen the
Petitioner for six months, but she advised the court that the
Petitioner was considering entering a guilty plea that
morning. Trial counsel acknowledged the trial court's
scheduling order required the guilty plea to be open to the
court. She further advised the court that the Petitioner
"explain[ed] that he had to move twice because the
family lost their homes and so that would be why [her]
correspondence wasn't received, nor was fugitive able to
contact him." She asked the court to hold the matter
"temporarily ready" to discuss the ...