Assigned on Briefs June 5, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 99-01385 Chris
Paul Hayes, filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis
based on a victim recanting her identification of him as one
of the perpetrators of a home invasion that took place over
two decades ago. The petition was denied by the trial court
both for having been untimely filed and because the new
evidence was neither credible nor was likely to have changed
the outcome of the trial. On appeal, we affirm the judgment
of the trial court that the petition should be denied on the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
M. Dougherty (on appeal) and Lauren Fuchs (at hearing),
Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul Hayes.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David
H. Findley, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Amy Weirich,
District Attorney General; and Leslie Byrd, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
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
was convicted by a jury of one count of aggravated burglary
and two counts of aggravated robbery and received an
effective sentence of seventy-five years. On direct appeal,
this Court summarized the proof presented at trial:
On October 26, 1998, the victims, Saeed Zarshenas and his
guest, Jacquelyn Scruggs, were dining at Zarshenas' home
in Germantown. After Zarshenas finished eating, he went to
the backyard to smoke a cigarette. While Zarshenas was
smoking, Brian Kimbrough jumped over the backyard fence,
yelling, "D.E.A.," and asking where the guns and
drugs were located. Kimbrough ordered Zarshenas back inside
the home at gunpoint, forced him to the kitchen floor, and
handcuffed him. [Petitioner] followed Kimbrough into the
house, grabbed Scruggs from behind, and held a gun to her
head. [Petitioner] removed her ring and necklace and took
$200 from her purse. Scruggs was then forced to the floor,
handcuffed, gagged, and a hood was placed over her head. Two
other accomplices, Dexter Futrell and "Shorty," had
also entered the house.
The four men began to search the home looking for drugs and
money. Zarshenas was blindfolded, gagged, and his feet were
tied together. The men kept asking, "Where is the
safe?" Zarshenas responded that he did not have a safe,
which only angered the men. Zarshenas and Scruggs were
"just dragged around and pushed and punched," and
Zarshenas was stabbed several times in the buttocks and
burned multiple times with a cigarette lighter. Also, sexual
advances were made towards Scruggs. One of the men located a
briefcase containing $5, 000 in Zarshenas' car. The men
also took a camcorder, leather jacket, collector's knife,
jewelry, and $1, 500 found inside a suitcase. The men left
through the back door, which sounded the home invasion alarm.
After [Zarshenas] was certain the men had exited the
residence, he freed himself from his restraints, called 911
and, then, helped Scruggs free herself from her restraints.
A Shelby County grand jury indicted [Petitioner], Futrell,
and Kimbrough for aggravated burglary and two counts of
aggravated robbery. The identity of "Shorty" was
never determined. Futrell and Kimbrough pled guilty and
received eight-year sentences.
State v. Paul Hayes, No. W2001-02637-CCA-R3-CD, 2002
WL 31746693, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 6, 2002), perm.
app. denied (Tenn. May 27, 2003). This Court held that
the evidence was sufficient to sustain Petitioner's
convictions because both victims identified Petitioner as one
of the perpetrators, corroborating Codefendant Futrell's
testimony that Petitioner was involved, even though
Petitioner presented the testimony of two alibi witnesses and
Codefendant Kimbrough testified that Petitioner was not
involved. Id. at *7. Petitioner subsequently sought
post-conviction relief, the denial of which was affirmed on
appeal. Paul Hayes v. State, No.
W2006-02344-CCA-R3-PC, 2008 WL 199839, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Jan. 23, 2008) (holding that Petitioner was not entitled
to relief due to an inadequate appellate brief), no perm.
1, 2016, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of error coram
nobis on the basis that one of the victims had recanted her
identification of Petitioner. He attached to the petition an
affidavit executed by Jacquelyn Scruggs on May 19, 2016. A
bifurcated evidentiary hearing was held on April 13 and May
18, 2018, at which ...