Assigned on Briefs June 5, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. C-18-139 Donald
H. Allen, Judge
Phillip Williams, appeals from the denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief. Because Petitioner failed to
establish that he received ineffective assistance of counsel
and/or that his guilty plea was unknowing and involuntary, we
affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
William. J. Milam, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katharine K. Decker, Assistant Attorney General; Jody S.
Pickens, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
pled guilty to one count of second degree murder, three
counts of attempted aggravated robbery, and two counts of
aggravated kidnapping. At the guilty plea hearing, the State
submitted the following as the factual basis for the
underlying guilty plea:
[T]his is an incident from July 17th of 2015 which
[Petitioner and codefendant] went to an apartment that was
occupied by Mr. James Fisher and Mr. Bob Akins. They went
in the apartment. [Codefendant] had a semiautomatic weapon
and [Petitioner] had a revolver attempting to rob Mr.
Fisher and Mr. Akins of money and/or marijuana. . . . They
then left that apartment taking Mr. Fisher and Mr. Akins
with them at gunpoint. . . . [Petitioner] was in possession
of a handgun and took Mr. Fisher and Mr. Akins against
their will. Basically it was Mr. Akins and Mr. Fisher
trying to make up - - getting out of this apartment saying
that they knew of some place that - - I believe Mr. Akins
was the one who told them he knew some place they could get
drugs. They wandered through several streets and some
apartment complexes here in Jackson while finally then
randomly coming to Mr. Beau Reid's apartment. This was
in the middle of the night in an attempt to then rob Mr.
Reid is what [Petitioner] and [codefendant] were doing.
They still had their guns. Mr. Reid heard commotion outside
of his apartment and came out a back door of his apartment
and when he came out of the back door of his apartment, he
was shot and killed.
subsequently filed a pro se petition for post-conviction
relief in which he alleged that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel during the entry of his guilty plea
because defense counsel failed to investigate his case.
Additionally, Petitioner alleged that the plea was unknowing
and involuntary because the State failed to file a notice of
intent to seek enhanced punishment, that he was mentally
incapable of entering a plea, and that his conviction was
obtained in violation of his constitutional rights. The
post-conviction court determined that Petitioner stated a
colorable claim for relief and appointed counsel.
post-conviction hearing, Petitioner testified that trial
counsel filed a motion "for a mental evaluation and a
motion to suppress" his statement prior to trial.
Petitioner admitted that he had a mental evaluation prior to
trial but that he was not made aware of the results of the
evaluation. Petitioner admitted that he had a mental
evaluation prior to a juvenile transfer hearing during which
the trial judge determined the case should be transferred to
admitted that he gave a statement after being Mirandized.
Petitioner confirmed that his mother was present when he gave
his statement to police but claimed that he did not want to
give the statement and "kept telling [the] investigators
[he] didn't want to talk to them, but they unfortunately
made [him] talk." Petitioner was shown his statement and
admitted that in the statement he explained that he was
"robbing someone when they were killed."
claimed that trial counsel did not review any materials with
him prior to the guilty plea and that he only met with trial
counsel "about five times over the two year period of
time" for about thirty minutes on each occasion. In
fact, Petitioner claimed that trial counsel failed to
investigate issues involved in the case prior to the entry of
the plea. Specifically, Petitioner wanted trial counsel to
get his school records because Petitioner had been in special