United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A.Trauger United States District Judge.
Glover, an inmate of the Morgan County Correctional Complex
in Wartburg, Tennessee, filed a pro se petition for writ of
habeas corpus challenging his 2010 convictions and sentence
for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary; aggravated
burglary; conspiracy to commit theft of property valued at
over $10, 000 but less than $60, 000; aggravated robbery;
aggravated kidnapping; and theft of property valued at less
than $500, for which he is currently serving fifty years of
imprisonment in the Tennessee Department of Correction. (Doc.
respondent has filed an answer to the habeas petition. (Doc.
No. 11). The petition is ripe for review, and this court has
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d). Having
fully considered the record, the court finds that an
evidentiary hearing is not needed, and the petitioner is not
entitled to relief. The petition therefore will be denied and
this action will be dismissed.
case arises from the robbery of ninety-year-old victim Oma
England inside her home, during which she was beaten, gagged,
and left in restraints for over ten hours. On July 24, 2010,
for his role in the crimes, a Montgomery County jury
convicted Petitioner of conspiracy to commit aggravated
burglary; aggravated burglary; conspiracy to commit theft of
property valued at over $10, 000 but less than $60, 000;
aggravated robbery; aggravated kidnapping; and theft of
property valued at less than $500. State v. Glover,
No. M2011-00854-CCA-R3-DC, 2012 WL 1071716, at *1 (Tenn.
Crim. App. Mar. 28, 2012). At sentencing, the trial court
imposed a total effective sentence of fifty years'
imprisonment. Id. The petitioner appealed, and the
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed on March 28,
2012. Id. at *1.
petitioner filed a timely petition for post-conviction relief
in the Montgomery County Circuit Court. (Doc. No. 9, Attach.
15 at PageID# 1260-70). The post-conviction court appointed
counsel, who filed an amended petition. (Doc. No. 9, Attach.
15 at PageID# 1280-81). However, the post-conviction court
later granted Petitioner's motions to withdraw his
appointed post-conviction counsel and to proceed pro se at
his evidentiary hearing. (Doc. No. 9, Attach. 15 at PageID#
1285-88). Following an evidentiary hearing, the
post-conviction court denied the petition. (Doc. No. 9,
Attach. 15, PageID# 1306-17). The petitioner filed a timely
notice of appeal, and the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief. Glover v.
State, No. M2016-00619-CCA-R3-PC, 2016 WL 7190903, at *1
(Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 12, 2016), perm. app. denied
(Feb. 16, 2017). The Tennessee Supreme denied the
petitioner's application for discretionary review.
April 19, 2017, the petitioner filed the instant pro se
petition for writ of habeas corpus.(Doc. No. 1 at 16). By order
entered on June 23, 2017, the court directed the respondent
to file an answer, plead or otherwise respond to the petition
in conformance with Habeas Rule 5. (Doc. No. 7). The
respondent filed an answer to the petition on July 26, 2017,
conceding that the petition is timely and urging the court to
dismiss the petition. (Doc. No. 11). The petitioner filed a
response to the respondent's answer. (Doc. No. 16).
petition, the petitioner asserts that he received ineffective
assistance of trial counsel when counsel allegedly failed to:
a. Obtain and provide the petitioner with discovery;
b. Adequately explain the nature of the charged offenses;
c. Move for suppression based on the petitioner's claim
of brain damage;
d. Subpoena defense witnesses in Georgia;
e. Investigate a State's witness;
f. Adequately prepare proper motions and memoranda of law;
g. Object to an alleged chain of custody issue concerning a
h. Use or provide the petitioner with a letter concerning the
i. Challenge the sufficiency of the evidence establishing the
theft of property element of the petitioner's aggravated
robbery conviction at trial; and
j. Request specific jury instructions or object to the given
jury instructions. The petitioner further asserts that he
received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. (Doc.
No. 1 at 5-6).
Summary of the Evidence
Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals summarized the proof
adduced at the petitioner's jury trial as follows:
On October 16, 2008, Vickie Terrell went to the home of then
90-year-old Oma England, where Ms. Terrell was employed as a
part-time caregiver for Ms. England. She arrived at
approximately 8:00 in the morning to take Ms. England to a
9:00 appointment. Upon her arrival, Ms. Terrell was
immediately “alerted” that something was wrong
because the garage door was still down, which was unusual
because Ms. England routinely opened the door when expecting
Ms. Terrell. Ms. Terrell also noticed a screen removed from a
garage window and a bench knocked over near the garage. Once
she entered the garage, Ms. Terrell saw that Ms.
England's 2006 Mercury Milan was gone and that several
items littered the garage floor. Ms. Terrell opened the door
to the home and, without stepping inside, she could see the
house was “disordered.” She called the
victim's name twice and “backed out” of the
home to telephone the Clarksville Police Department (CPD).
Officer Ben Blackmon responded to Ms. Terrell's call. He
entered the home to make sure no one was inside. He noted
that the home was in “extreme disarray” with
furniture turned over, pictures removed from the walls,
drawers pulled out, and paperwork scattered on the floor.
Officer Blackmon searched the basement and main level floors
before going upstairs. Each room had “stuff thrown all
over” the floor. As he entered an upstairs bedroom,
Officer Blackmon saw a body lying on a bed. The body was
completely covered except for the feet. When Officer Blackmon
saw one of the feet move, he immediately entered the room to
“render aid.” Officer Blackmon identified the
person on the bed as the victim, Ms. England. The
victim's feet and hands were bound to the bed with
electrical cords. Officer Blackmon cut the electrical cords
in order to release the victim. The victim told Officer
Blackmon that she needed water and a doctor. Emergency
medical technicians soon arrived and transported Ms. England
to the hospital.
Doctor Robert Paasche, an emergency room physician with
Gateway Medical Center at the time of the victim's
assault, treated the victim when she arrived at the hospital.
He described the victim as “an elderly woman who had
been beaten quite severely.” The victim suffered
“intensive bruising and swelling about both eyes and
the face.” She was unable to open her eyes. She also
experienced tenderness and bruising to the left side of her
chest, bruising and swelling to her forearms and wrists, and
a “skin tear” on her left arm. The victim
suffered “quite a bit of pain” from fractures to
bones in her face and hands. Doctor Paasche determined that
the victim had been tied to the bed for an “extended
period of time.” Doctor Paasche ran tests to determine
the victim's “skeletal muscle enzyme level.”
He explained that a normal enzyme level is 100. His testing
revealed that the victim's enzyme level, however, reached
1, 700, indicating that the victim had lain in the same
position for ten to 12 hours. At that level, the victim was
at an increased risk for kidney failure.
CPD officers “processed” the victim's home in
the days following the assault. All of the officers described
the home as “totally ransacked.” From the home,
they collected latex gloves, the electrical cords used to
bind the victim, and a pillowcase that had been placed over
the victim's head. Several days later, Ms. Terrell found
a “cigarette butt” in a corner of the foyer while
she helped the victim's daughter, Nancy Williams, clean
the home. Knowing that no one smoked in the home, Ms. Terrell
gave the partially-smoked cigarette to Ms. Williams who then
gave it to Sergeant Liane Wilson.
Within days of the assault, another CPD investigator,
Detective Brad Crowe, received a telephone call concerning a
suspected stolen vehicle found abandoned at a local used car
lot. Detective Crowe collected more partially-smoked
cigarettes and a Pepsi bottle from the abandoned Ford F-250.
He also found a business card for Accurate Welding and
Ornamental Iron, a Georgia business, behind the front seat of
the truck. Testing performed at the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation Crime Laboratory later confirmed the presence
of the defendant's and co-defendant Colin Savage's
fingerprints and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on several items
collected from the victim's residence and the truck.
Detective Timothy Finley determined that the license plate on
the abandoned truck had been stolen from a vehicle in a local
Walmart parking lot. Through a trace of the truck's
vehicle identification number, Detective Finley also
determined that the truck belonged to the owner of Accurate
Welding and Ornamental Iron, who had reported the truck
stolen. The victim's car was later found in Georgia. The
defendant became a suspect following interviews with the
victim's stepson-in-law, John Privette. When Detective
Finley learned that the stolen truck originated from
Jonesboro, where the defendant also lived, the investigators
“became real interested in” the defendant as a
On November 8, 2008, Detective Finley received a letter from
the defendant implicating Mr. Savage as a co-participant in
the offenses. In the letter, the defendant also disclosed the
location of many stolen items. Investigators located the
items on property owned by Mr. Savage's mother and at a
neighbor's home where the defendant had stayed.
Investigators found jewelry, purses, coin sets, scarves, and
flatware belonging to the victim at both residences. They
also discovered a black nightstick in the family room of the
home where the defendant was staying. Telephone records
revealed that someone telephoned Mr. Savage's cellular
telephone from the victim's residence at 10:36 p.m. on
October 15 and again at 2:12 a.m. on October 16.
Investigators also learned that the victim, who had a
subscription to “Lifeline, ” an emergency
service, received a call from the service at 11:41 p.m. on
Nancy Williams, the victim's daughter, testified that her
father, Maurice Coursey, died more than 15 years ago and that
the victim later married George England. Mr. England had two
children, George and Nancy. Mr. England's daughter,
Nancy, was married to John Privette. Mr. England died in
February 2008, and the victim was living alone at the time of
the offenses. Ms. Williams lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
but visited the victim three or four times a year. The
Terrells worked for the victim, doing household chores and
maintenance and driving the victim to appointments.
Ms. Williams recalled when the offenses occurred. She said
she flew straight to Clarksville upon learning of the
victim's assault. The victim spent one week in the
hospital and several more in a rehabilitation center. Ms.
Williams described the victim's home as a “total
wreck.” Ms. Williams recalled Ms. Terrell's finding
a partially-smoked cigarette as they cleaned the victim's
home. She gave the cigarette to Sergeant Wilson. Ms. Williams
recalled that a blue aquamarine necklace purchased by her
father in 1948 for her mother was among the items stolen. The
victim's assailants also took Mr. England's West
Point ring, a large diamond ring, an “elaborate gold
bracelet, ” and a mink coat, as well as the
victim's car. The insurance value of the items totaled
between $15, 000 and $20, 000.
The victim, Oma Nell Woodson Coursey England, testified that
she was born on March 26, 1918. She recalled being assaulted
as she lay asleep in bed late one night. She said,
“[A]t least two [men] jumped on my body and started
kicking and hitting me ..., [and] they stomped on me with
their rough feet.” She said the men covered her face
with some kind of cloth-“like a funeral.” She
stopped trying to fight the men, and they bound her feet and
hands. She did not see her attackers and had never met the
defendant or Mr. Savage. She did, however, know Mr. Privette
as her stepdaughter's husband. The victim described her
two husbands as “very generous men” and said that
the attackers took “[e]verything she had ... that
night.” She considered herself “fortunate to have
not been killed.” Joseph DeMaio, an inmate at the
Montgomery County Jail, met the defendant as the defendant
awaited trial. The two men became friends, and Mr. DeMaio
often asked his mother to perform computer research for the
defendant. Mr. DeMaio recalled the defendant's admitting
his involvement in the offenses. The defendant told Mr.
DeMaio that Mr. Privette told the defendant that the victim
kept “gold and silver bullion” and cash in a safe
at her home. The defendant admitted that he entered the
victim's home and that he tied up the victim when the
victim began struggling with him. After restraining the
victim, the defendant telephoned Mr. Savage, who assisted in
ransacking the home in search of the valuables. The defendant
referred to Mr. Savage as a “chicken shit”
because Mr. Savage fled the home when “Lifeline”
personnel contacted the home. The defendant told Mr. DeMaio
that he “thought [the victim] was in her 70's; had
[he] known she was that old [he] never would have [tied her
up].” The defendant also told Mr. DeMaio that he and
Mr. Privette owed Mr. Savage money for methamphetamine.
The defendant testified at trial and denied ever meeting Mr.
DeMaio while housed at the Montgomery County Jail or telling
Mr. DeMaio anything about the offenses. He affirmed the
accuracy of his 2008 statement to CPD Detective Timothy
Anderson. The defendant testified that he met Mr. Privette,
who asked him to rob his wife's stepmother. Mr. Privette
claimed the victim kept “gold bars and silver
bars” in a safe in her home. Mr. Privette promised the
defendant that his portion of the theft proceeds would total
between $100, 000 and $300, 000. The defendant testified that
he plotted with Mr. Privette to commit the burglary and theft
because he needed the money “due to his poverty”
and to support his methamphetamine addiction.
The defendant testified that he procured Mr. Savage's
assistance in committing the offenses. The defendant said
that he and Mr. Savage traveled to the victim's home in
Clarksville. Before arriving at the home, the defendant and
Mr. Savage stopped at a Walmart parking lot where they stole
a license plate from a vehicle to place on the truck they
were driving. At the victim's home, the defendant
“jimmied” the sunroom door open and found keys
where Mr. Privette told him they were kept. The defendant
entered the victim's home between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.
and first located a safe in the basement where he found coins
and stamps. He did not, however, find the gold, silver, and
cash as promised by Mr. Privette. The defendant then
telephoned Mr. Savage to join him in “going through
rooms” in search of valuables.
The defendant admitted putting a pillowcase over the
victim's head, but he denied beating the victim. The
defendant said that Mr. Savage beat the victim while the
defendant searched drawers for valuables. The defendant
recalled that the victim “was calling on Jesus, and
[Mr.] Savage told [the defendant] he was a[n] athiest. And
that's the only reason [the defendant could] think that
[Mr. Savage] hit her, or to knock her out.” The
defendant eventually told Mr. Savage to stop hitting the
victim. When the defendant accidentally knocked the telephone
to the floor, alerting the victim's
“Lifeline” system, Mr. Savage became startled and
ran from the home. The defendant faked his voice to assure
the “Lifeline” personnel that everything was
okay. He then loaded the victim's car with the stolen
items and spent the night driving around in search of Mr.
Savage. Unable to locate Mr. Savage, the defendant drove back
to Georgia, where he abandoned the victim's car.
Walter Vaughn, an inmate in the Montgomery County Jail at the
same time as the defendant and Mr. Savage, testified at trial
that Mr. Savage told him details about the offenses. Mr.
Vaughn testified that Mr. Savage admitted tying up the victim
and beating her. He also told Mr. Vaughn that the defendant
disguised his voice as an elderly lady's voice to dupe
the “Lifeline” personnel. According to Mr.
Vaughn, Mr. Savage returned to the home sometime during the
night in search of more valuables before telephoning his
mother in Georgia to pick him up.
With this evidence, the jury convicted the defendant of
conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, aggravated
burglary, conspiracy to commit theft of property valued at
over $10, 000 but less that $60, 000, aggravated robbery,
aggravated kidnapping-all related to offenses committed
against Ms. England-and theft of property valued at less than
$500, related to the stolen license plate.
At the sentencing hearing, the parties agreed that the
[Petitioner] qualified as a Range II, multiple offender based
upon his history of criminal convictions. The [Petitioner]
testified that his most serious prior conviction, vehicular
homicide, arose from a high speed chase from the police
during which his passenger and good friend was killed. During
the same incident, the [Petitioner] suffered severe head
injuries and was hospitalized in a coma for several months.
After his trial in the instant case, the [Petitioner]
testified against Mr. Savage in Mr. Savage's separate
trial. The [Petitioner] expressed remorse to the victim and
her family for the offenses.
The court then ordered that the sentences in counts one and
two be served concurrently (for an effective sentence of 10
years), and that the sentences in counts three and four be
served concurrently (for an effective sentence of 20 years),
but it ordered that each concurrently aligned pair be served
consecutively to one another and to the 20 year sentence
imposed in count ...