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Mason v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

June 25, 2019

JEFFREY MASON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-18-130 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge

         The petitioner, Jeffrey Mason, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which petition challenged his 2017 guilty-pleaded conviction of second degree murder, alleging that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel. Discerning no error, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

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

          William J. Milam, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffrey Mason.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Jody Pickens, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

         This case arose from an incident in which the victim, Kheirra Murphy, was killed after being run over and dragged underneath a vehicle. The facts as stated at the plea submission hearing were as follows:

[O]n January 3rd of 2016 . . ., Kheirra Murphy was at a nightclub located . . . close to the intersection of Royal Street and North Parkway. There's video [showing] . . . her and also the [petitioner] there at that nightclub and them also leaving together at approximately 3[:00 a.m.]. It also shows them actually getting in the car, a very distinctive 1993 Grand Marquis with faded paint . . . [that was] gray, light blue[, ] or white.
. . . [T]he responding officers . . . received a call at approximately 4:10 a.m. to the area of 100 Boardwalk Cove . . . . [T]hey found a person to be Kheirra Murphy suffering from multiple injuries. There was an autopsy performed, and the cause of death will be multiple blunt force injuries. She had multiple fractures. She was found naked from the waist down.
. . . [T]here was a blood trail leading up to the driveway to where ultimately her body was found indicating that she was drug underneath a car. There was also video obtained . . . which depicted Kheirra Murphy being walked across the front of the Family Dollar by a person we now know to be the [petitioner], and she was later found approximately seven minutes later. . . . She was found dead.
The car was later found at . . . Gillman Lane which is located behind the Exxon at Campbell and Highland, a set of apartments there. The car had the license plate removed, and also found underneath the car was blood leading from the front bumper, the length of the car. . . . DNA testing later revealed that blood to be that of Kheirra Murphy.
When the [petitioner] was arrested, he gave multiple conflicting stories about what he did that night culminating in one where he indicated that in his mind, the victim tried to rob him and that ...

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