Assigned on Briefs February 5, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-17-150 Donald
H. Allen, Judge.
Petitioner, Jakeil Malik Waller, appeals the post-conviction
court's denial of his petition for post-conviction
relief. The Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder
and reckless endangerment and received an effective sentence
of twenty-seven years. On appeal, the Petitioner contends
that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel. After
a review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the
post-conviction court's judgment.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jakeil
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ronald
L. Coleman, Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens,
District Attorney General; and Al Earls and Aaron Chaplin,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the Appellee, State
Everett Williams, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Camille R. McMullen and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
EVERETT WILLIAMS, PRESIDING JUDGE.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
appeal arises from the Petitioner's convictions of second
degree murder and reckless endangerment. The Petitioner
previously filed a direct appeal to this court, and this
court denied the Petitioner relief. See State v. Jakeil
Malik Waller, No. W2015-02361-CCA-R3-CD, 2016 WL 7242816
(Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 15, 2016), perm. app. denied
(Tenn. Mar. 9, 2017). This court summarized the evidence
presented at trial as follows:
This case arises out of a fight between two young men, which
ended when the [Petitioner] and his brother fired multiple
shots into a crowd of people who were watching the
fight-killing Shomari Peterson and injuring Thomas Reid, Jr.
At trial, Jessica Spencer testified that she was living at
Parkway East Apartments in Jackson on July 27, 2014. On that
day, Ms. Spencer saw a crowd gathering in a grassy area
behind one of the apartment buildings, and she heard someone
say, "[T]hey [sic] fixing to fight[.]" Ms. Spencer
went to where the crowd had gathered and began recording the
scene with her cell phone. She explained that a fight broke
out between Tristan Cook and another young man. According to
Ms. Spencer, the other man "was whupping Tristan,"
and several people stepped in to help Tristan and break up
the fight. Then, Ms. Spencer's boyfriend, Quantavious
Anderson, started to fight with the man who had beaten up
Tristan. At that time, Ms. Spencer saw the [Petitioner] come
from behind one of the nearby buildings to stand at the edge
of the crowd. Ms. Spencer recalled that the [Petitioner] was
wearing gray and black clothing and a hat. She noticed that
the [Petitioner] was "fidget[ing]" with something
and then pulled out a black handgun and shot into the crowd
of people. Ms. Spencer stated that she saw the [Petitioner]
shoot the gun one time, but she heard additional gunshots as
she ran from the scene. She said that she saw someone with a
bat but did not see anyone else with a gun.
Ms. Spencer testified that, several days after the shooting,
she dropped her cell phone and cracked the screen. She then
sold her phone at a machine at a mall. Ms. Spencer testified
that, before her phone was damaged, she showed the cell phone
video of the incident to the mother of one of the shooting
victims. She explained that she did not initially turn it
over to police because she did not want to get involved.
However, an investigator with the Jackson Police Department
("JPD") subsequently asked her about the cell phone
video and the location of her phone. Ms. Spencer identified
the [Petitioner] in the video. She then reviewed several
screenshots from the cell phone video. She identified the
[Petitioner] in one of the screenshots and stated that it
showed the [Petitioner] holding up a gun and "getting
ready to shoot[.]"
Jamarion Snipes testified that, on the day of the shooting,
he and his best friend, Shomari Peterson, were at a
restaurant when Mr. Peterson received a phone call. Mr.
Peterson said that they needed to go back to Parkway East
because some people were "fixing to jump on
Tristan[.]" Jamarion explained that Tristan had
intervened in a fight between his girlfriend and another
woman a few days earlier and the other woman's boyfriend,
Martel Majors, wanted to fight Tristan. Jamarion said that he
and Mr. Peterson returned to the apartment complex around
5:00 p.m. As they were walking through the parking lot,
Jamarion noticed four men sitting on the hood of a car. He
knew two of the men-the [Petitioner] and the
[Petitioner]'s brother, Jernigal Blackwell. He recalled
that the [Petitioner] had on a backwards ball cap and gray
sweat pants and that Mr. Blackwell had on orange shorts.
Jamarion testified that, as he and Mr. Peterson approached
Tristan, he heard someone say that they needed to wait until
Tristan's uncle arrived. While they waited for
Tristan's uncle, about thirty to forty people gathered
outside. Eventually, Tristan and Mr. Majors began arguing and
then started to fight.
Jamarion recalled that, at the beginning of the fight, the
[Petitioner] announced, "I'm going to sit back in
the breezeway and make sure nobody just jump[s] in. You
ain't go[t] to worry about nothing." At that time,
he noticed Mr. Blackwell reaching in his pockets. Mr.
Peterson pointed a baseball bat at Mr. Blackwell and said,
"Keep your hands out [of] your pocket. You don't
need to do that." Jamarion stated that, when another man
jumped into the fight, he heard gunshots. When the shooting
began, Jamarion and Mr. Peterson "tried to take off
running," but Mr. Peterson was hit with a bullet and
fell down. Two men picked up Mr. Peterson and carried him
into a nearby apartment. Jamarion testified that he looked
back when Mr. Peterson fell and saw the [Petitioner] and Mr.
Blackwell shooting at them. He estimated that Mr. Peterson
was five or six feet away from the [Petitioner] and Mr.
Blackwell when they began shooting. He stated that he heard
about twenty gunshots in total. After the shooting, Jamarion
learned that Mr. Peterson had been shot. He stated that he
went to the apartment where Mr. Peterson was located and that
Mr. Peterson was "in the house bleeding to death and
then my cousin took off his shirt and wiped his face."
Mr. Peterson said, "Please don't let me die. Please
don't let me die[.]"
Jamarion recalled that, when the police arrived on the scene,
the [Petitioner] and Mr. Blackwell avoided the officers and
left the apartment complex. Jamarion testified that Mr.
Blackwell fired the first shot but that he also saw the
[Petitioner] shooting from the side of the building. He
stated that he knew Mr. Blackwell had a gun before the
shooting because it had an extended clip that was
"hanging out of his shorts[.]"
On cross-examination, Jamarion said that Tristan initially
did not want to fight and that someone called Tristan's
uncle over "just to make him fight [.]" Jamarion
recalled that Tristan's uncle arrived with four other
people before the fight. Jamarion said that Mr. Blackwell
fired the first shot and that he believed the first shot hit
Mr. Peterson. He stated that Mr. Peterson fell down before
the [Petitioner] fired a shot. He said that Mr. Peterson was
attempting to run away when he was shot. He stated that,
after the [Petitioner] started shooting, "They was [sic]
all shooting back at each other."
Averyion Cook testified that he was at Parkway East with his
brother, Tristan, when a group of people began gathering in a
parking lot. He recalled that the [Petitioner] and Mr.
Blackwell were standing with the group of people with
"their hands in their pocket[s] the whole time."
Averyion explained that the crowd was there to watch Tristan
fight Mr. Majors because the day prior the mother of