Assigned on Briefs March 13, 2018
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 08-05720 Chris
Petitioner, Chris Jones, appeals the dismissal of his
petition for post-conviction relief upon the post-conviction
court's determination that it was filed outside the
statute of limitations and that the Petitioner failed to
prove that his mental incompetence required its tolling.
After review, we affirm the dismissal of the petition.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
K. Guibao and Ernest Beasley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Chris Jones.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich,
District Attorney General; and Carla Taylor, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined
E. GLENN, JUDGE
Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder, attempted
second degree murder, attempted voluntary manslaughter, using
a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and
possession of a firearm where alcoholic beverages are served,
and he was sentenced to twenty-three years in the Department
of Correction. See State v. Chris Jones, No.
W2009-01698-CCA-R3-CD, 2011 WL 856375, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Mar. 9, 2011), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug.
25, 2011). This court affirmed the trial court's
judgments on direct appeal, and the Tennessee Supreme Court
denied his application for permission to appeal. Id.
facts giving rise to the Petitioner's convictions were
summarized by this court on direct appeal as follows:
This case arises from a parking dispute which ultimately
resulted in the death of Donald Munsey at the Windjammer
karaoke bar in the early morning hours of March 14, 2008. The
[Petitioner], a Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy at that
time, began the evening of March 13, 2008, at T.J.
Mulligan's sports bar, where he ordered eight beers and
watched a basketball game. At halftime of the game, the
[Petitioner] spoke to fellow Shelby County Sheriff's
Deputy Lawrence Bowling. The [Petitioner] told Deputy Bowling
that his divorce was recently finalized and that his ex-wife
was keeping his children away from him and turning them
against him. Deputy Bowling testified that he could tell the
[Petitioner] had been drinking. The [Petitioner] also spoke
with Cathey Lampley and her friend Mary while he was at T.J.
Mulligan's. The [Petitioner] bought Mary a drink, and
when Ms. Lampley and Mary decided to go to the Windjammer,
the [Petitioner] asked if he could follow them. They agreed
and all three left T.J. Mulligan's. Ms. Lampley testified
that the [Petitioner] was not intoxicated when she spoke to
him at T.J. Mulligan's. The bartender, Jason Koski, also
testified that the [Petitioner] was not intoxicated when he
closed his bar tab. However, Mr. Koski admitted that at the
time of trial, T.J. Mulligan's was involved in a civil
suit for allegedly overselling alcohol to the [Petitioner].
A. The [Petitioner]'s confrontation with Justin
Justin Smith testified that he was sitting in his truck when
the [Petitioner]'s truck "[j]ust came flying in
around the corner . . . [and] almost hit [his] truck in
parking." Mr. Smith further testified that he felt he
would not be able to get his truck out of the parking spot
because of the way the [Petitioner] had parked his truck.
However, Mr. Smith waited until the [Petitioner] had gone
inside the bar to speak to him about his truck. Once inside,
the [Petitioner] sat down with Ms. Lampley and Mary at a
table near the front door and ordered a beer. Mr. Smith then
approached the [Petitioner] to discuss how the two trucks
were parked. The testimony at trial presented several
conflicting versions of exactly what was said during this
Kimberly Guest, the waitress working at Windjammer that
night, testified that Mr. Smith asked the [Petitioner] if it
was his truck outside and "if he could possibly move it
because . . . the trucks were close and [he] didn't want
to hit his truck." Ms. Guest testified that "there
was no indication that there was any kind of problem,"
there was no physical contact between the two men, and she
did not hear any "threatening language." Stephanie
Ravinuthala, a patron at the bar that night, testified that
Mr. Smith asked the [Petitioner] if he drove a gray truck and
told the [Petitioner] that he was "parked like three
inches from [Mr. Smith's] bumper and [Mr. Smith could
not] get out." Ms. Ravinuthala also testified that Mr.
Smith did not appear to be belligerent and that she did not
recall Mr. Smith cursing at the [Petitioner].
Mr. Smith testified that when he asked the [Petitioner] to
move his truck, the [Petitioner] responded by saying
"f--k you . . . I'm not moving it." On
cross-examination, Mr. Smith repeatedly denied threatening or
being aggressive with the [Petitioner] but admitted that
after the [Petitioner] told him "f--k you," he was
"rude" toward the [Petitioner]. However, Ms.
Lampley testified that Mr. Smith approached the [Petitioner]
intoxicated, "very loud, very arrogant" before
asking the [Petitioner] "if that was his f-----g truck
outside." Ms. Lampley testified that the [Petitioner]
was very calm during this exchange and told Mr. Smith he
would move his truck when Mr. Smith was ready to leave.
At some point after their conversation, both Mr. Smith and
the [Petitioner] went outside. Gary Miller was working at the
front door, checking IDs, that night and testified that he
overheard the two men "discussing the way the [trucks]
were parked." Mr. Miller also testified that at some
point two or three other men joined the conversation.
According to Mr. Miller, the [Petitioner] asked the men
"did they not realize that he was a police officer by
the tag that was on the truck." Mr. Miller further
testified that there was no physical contact between the
[Petitioner] and any of the three or four people with him.
Mr. Smith testified that he went outside with the
[Petitioner] because the [Petitioner] "wanted to show me
his license plate." The [Petitioner] told Mr. Smith that
"he was a cop and he had the tag on his truck." Mr.
Smith testified that after their conversation outside, he did
not speak to the [Petitioner] again that evening.
Mr. Smith's friend, William Bobbitt, testified that he
was near the front door when Mr. Smith and the [Petitioner]
went to look at the trucks. On their way back to the front
door, Mr. Bobbitt overheard the [Petitioner] say that he was
not going to move his truck and that Mr. Smith should look at
his license plate. Someone asked the [Petitioner] what he
meant by this, and he replied that he was a police officer.
Mr. Bobbitt testified that the [Petitioner] spoke with an
aggressive tone but that there was no physical contact
between the [Petitioner] and anyone outside. Mr. Bobbitt
further testified that everyone went back inside after Mr.
Munsey stepped outside and told them to come in.
Ms. Lampley testified that before the [Petitioner] and Mr.
Smith went outside, Mr. Smith made a phone call and a short
time later "[a]bout [ten] guys around the age of 21 to
25 showed up" and were looking at the [Petitioner]. Ms.
Lampley testified that the [Petitioner] looked scared when he
came back inside. Ms. Lampley testified that she felt
threatened because this group of men continued to stare at
the [Petitioner] and her. However, on cross[-]examination Ms.
Lampley admitted that she was "making some jump here . .
. that Mr. Smith called people and that as a result of those
calls, people arrived."
B. The [Petitioner]'s confrontation with David
After the [Petitioner] reentered the bar, David Eagan
approached him to discuss the parking situation. Mr. Eagan
testified that he was too intoxicated to remember everything
that happened that night. However, Mr. Eagan testified that
he spoke to the [Petitioner] because the [Petitioner]
"was a little rowdy" and that he wanted "to
make sure that . . . everything was okay" between the
[Petitioner] and Mr. Smith. Mr. Eagan testified that he
"asked [the Petitioner] to move his truck and . . . just
to calm down and everything was going to be okay." Mr.
Eagan testified that he could not remember anything else
about his conversation with the [Petitioner]. Mr. Eagan
repeatedly denied threatening the [Petitioner] or having a
physical altercation with him. Mr. Eagan did admit on cross
examination that he had described the conversation between
Mr. Smith and the [Petitioner] as "an altercation."
Several witnesses saw the confrontation between the
[Petitioner] and Mr. Eagan inside the bar. Ms. Ravinuthala
testified that she saw Mr. Eagan "lean[ ] down into [the
Petitioner's] face" when he spoke to him and that
the [Petitioner] responded by standing up and getting in Mr.
Eagan's face. Joe Reynolds was working at the bar that
night and testified that he saw the [Petitioner] and Mr.
Eagan "talking about the parking place or
something." Mr. Reynolds testified that the [Petitioner]
had an ink pen in his hand and was "gripping [it] so
tight that his knuckles were white." Mr. Reynolds
decided to get Mr. Eagan to move away from the [Petitioner].
After sep[a]rating the two, Mr. Reynolds spoke with the
[Petitioner]. The [Petitioner] told Mr. Reynolds
"I'm a mother ----- g Shelby County Sheriff['s]
Deputy and I [came] in here to drink my f ----- g beer and I
want to ...