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Stone v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 24, 2019


          Assigned on Briefs at Knoxville April 23, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18042-PC Franklin Lee Russell, Judge

         The Petitioner, John Willie Stone, appeals from the Bedford County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his burglary of an automobile, misdemeanor theft, and aggravated assault convictions, for which he is serving a twenty-one-year sentence. The Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Garrett D. Haynes, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Willie Stone.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Robert James Carter, District Attorney General; and Michael David Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.



         Following a jury trial, the Petitioner was convicted of one count each of burglary of an automobile, theft of property valued at $500 or less, and the aggravated assault of Andrew Doak. See State v. John Willie Stone, No. M2016-01269-CCA-R3-PC, 2017 WL 2438580, *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 6, 2017), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 4, 2017). After the conclusion of the trial but before the sentencing hearing, the Petitioner filed a pro se motion seeking the appointment of new counsel. The trial court treated this motion as a petition for post-conviction relief based on the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The court appointed new counsel and, following a hearing addressing both the Petitioner's motion for new trial and the designated petition for post-conviction relief, the court denied all claims. On appeal from the conviction proceedings, this court determined that the trial court mistakenly treated the Petitioner's motion for the appointment of new counsel as a petition for post-conviction relief. This court vacated the portion of the trial court's order denying post-conviction relief, but this court addressed the claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, denied relief, and determined that the Petitioner had exhausted all claims related to the ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Id. *1, 10.

         In its opinion, this court summarized the facts as follows:

The State's proof at trial showed that on the night of August 26, 2014, Caitlin Pope drove her truck to her parents' residence on East Franklin Street in Shelbyville. She arrived at approximately 9:30 p.m. and parked in front of the house. Ms. Pope left the vehicle unlocked with the windows down, and she placed her wallet in a cup holder between the two front seats of the vehicle while she went inside the house.
Andrew Joel Doak testified that his parents lived next door to Ms. Pope's parents and that on the night of August 26, he had driven to his parents' house to pick up some food. As he was walking to his vehicle which was parked on Franklin Street, he noticed "some legs hanging out a driver's side vehicle next door." Finding this suspicious, Mr. Doak approached the vehicle, and the man, who was "hanging out of the driver's side window" and who was later identified as the [Petitioner], jumped to the ground and began to walk away. Mr. Doak followed the [Petitioner] and noticed that he "st[uck] something under his shirt and down in his pockets." Due to the darkness and the fact that the [Petitioner] was wearing a hat, Mr. Doak was initially unable to discern much about his appearance.
After Mr. Doak had followed the [Petitioner] a short distance, the [Petitioner] suddenly turned and "threw his hands" up, asking Mr. Doak, "What's up?" Mr. Doak inquired what the [Petitioner] was doing, and the [Petitioner] responded that he wasn't "doing nothing." Mr. Doak then accused the [Petitioner] of breaking into the truck, which the [Petitioner] denied. The [Petitioner] then began to run. Mr. Doak gave chase, and the [Petitioner] reached under his shirt and told Mr. Doak, "Don't make me pull this on you." The [Petitioner] "darted away," and Mr. Doak attempted to round a tree and cut him off when the [Petitioner] tripped and fell to the ground. The [Petitioner] immediately jumped to his feet and lunged at Mr. Doak; Mr. Doak was "really scared," and his only thought was "don't let him get close enough if he does have" a weapon. To keep the [Petitioner] at bay, Mr. Doak kicked him in the head, but the [Petitioner] managed to stay on his feet. Mr. Doak and the [Petitioner] continued to scuffle, during which Mr. Doak saw "something get throwed [sic] out from under [the Petitioner's] shirt." Eventually, Mr. Doak gained control of the [Petitioner] and held him on the ground while Mr. Doak called 9-1-1. While Mr. Doak was speaking with the 9-1-1 dispatcher, he felt something hit his arm. Mr. Doak noticed that his right forearm had been cut near his elbow, and he saw "the blade . . . coming at [his] arm again." Mr. Doak informed the dispatcher that the [Petitioner] had a knife, and he tossed his telephone aside so that he could concentrate on ...

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