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Norris v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 20, 2018


          Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. CR-160292 Joseph Woodruff, Judge

         The Petitioner, Joseph Kantrell Norris, appeals from the denial of post-conviction relief by the Williamson County Circuit Court. In this appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Matthew J. Crigger, Brentwood, Tennessee for the Petitioner, Joseph Kantrell Norris.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Terry Wood, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.



         On December 23, 2011, the homes of Sharon Perkins and Tory Dunlap were burglarized and robbed by four armed men. State v. Joseph Kantrell Norris, No. M2014-00857-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 3486968, *1-2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 16, 2014), no perm. app. filed. Two weeks prior to the offenses, the Petitioner inquired as to where Dunlap lived. He had heard Dunlap had cash and wanted to rob him. On the day of the offense, the Petitioner returned and again inquired about Dunlap, who apparently lived behind the home of the resident to whom the Petitioner made inquiry. An hour after being advised of the general area where Dunlap lived, gunshots rang out from Dunlap's house. The four men went to Perkins' home first, who lived adjacent to Dunlap. Even though Perkins told the men they had the wrong house, the men forced Perkins and her guests to go to Dunlap's home. The men held Perkins and her guests confined in the living room and took their purses and cell phones. When Dunlap ultimately arrived at his home, he was shot twice in the leg. Deangelo Miller, a co-defendant, later testified that it was the Petitioner's idea to rob Dunlap, that the Petitioner gave him a .25 caliber gun, and that the Petitioner directed the men during the commission of the offenses. Finally, the Petitioner told Miller later that night, "I fired [Dunlap] up[, ]" and divided the marijuana taken from Dunlap's home between the men. Id. at *2.

         The Petitioner was subsequently indicted of and plead guilty to various counts of attempted second degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, and reckless endangerment. The Petitioner agreed to plead guilty as a Range II offender. With consecutive alignment, the trial court imposed a within range total effective sentence of 140 years. The Petitioner appealed, arguing that the sentence was excessive. After review, this court concluded that the sentence was reasonable and affirmed the trial court's judgments. In doing so, we reasoned as follows:

Having reviewed the record before us, we conclude that the trial court clearly stated on the record its reasons for imposing the sentences imposed, and all of [the Petitioner's] sentences are within the appropriate ranges. The trial court found three applicable enhancement factors and no applicable mitigating factors. The record reflects that the trial court considered the purposes and principles of the Sentencing Act. Therefore, the trial court's imposition of the maximum sentences is presumed reasonable.
. . . .
In the instant case, the trial court found two statutory factors, either of which alone would be sufficient to support the imposition of consecutive sentencing. The trial court found that [the Petitioner] was an offender whose record of criminal activity was extensive and that [the Petitioner] is a dangerous offender whose behavior indicates little or no regard for human life and no hesitation about committing a crime in which the risk to human life is high. With regard to the court's finding that [the Petitioner] was a "dangerous offender, " the trial court further found that consecutive sentences were reasonably related to the severity of the offenses committed and were necessary to protect the public from further criminal conduct by ...

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