Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs May 15, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-A-511
Angelita Blackshear Dalton, Judge.
Petitioner, Antonio Terrell Pewitte, appeals the Davidson
County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief from his 2015 conviction for
aggravated child neglect and his twenty-year sentence. The
Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective
assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk,
District Attorney General; and Jan Norman, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Norma McGee Ogle and Camille R. McMullen, JJ.,
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.
2014, the Petitioner was indicted for two counts of
aggravated child abuse and two counts of aggravated child
neglect. At the trial, the Petitioner was convicted of one
count of aggravated child neglect, and the jury acquitted him
of the remaining counts. This court affirmed the conviction
and summarized the facts of the case as follows:
. . . . Defendant and his girlfriend, Mother, had been dating
for almost three years at the time of the incident. She had a
son, M.O., and a daughter, N.C., who was six years old.
Mother and her children lived with Defendant and his young
On the evening of December 1, 2013, Mother was at work, and
Defendant was watching her children. Before dinner, N.C. went
into the bathroom next to the kitchen and began washing her
hands with cold water. Defendant and the other children were
at the kitchen table waiting on N.C. to finish washing her
hands so that they could begin eating together. Defendant
joined N.C. in the bathroom and turned the faucet handle to
hot water. Defendant then "grabbed" her wrists and
put her hands under the hot water so that the water ran over
the back of her hands and thumbs. N.C. testified that the hot
water was "painful" and that she cried when she
felt it. N.C. said that Defendant did not apply soap to her
hands or rub her hands together while her hands were under
the water. According to N.C., Defendant also "tried to
put [her] face in the water."
N.C. thought that Defendant changed the water temperature
because she was "taking too long," and she thought
he was "angry." N .C. also testified that, prior to
the incident, Defendant believed that N.C. was "messing
with nail polish," so he punished her by making her
"stand in the corner with one leg up and one leg
down" while raising both of her hands to her head. N.C.
thought that Defendant put her hands under the hot water on
purpose and that it was not an accident.
Afterward, Defendant told N.C. to go sit down at the kitchen
table, and she complied. During dinner, N.C. 's hands
hurt and made it difficult for her to use her fork.
Throughout the night, N.C. had trouble sleeping because her
M.O., who was twelve years old at the time of trial,
testified that he was at the kitchen table and heard N.C.
scream after Defendant went into the bathroom with her. M .O.
saw that N.C. 's hands were red, but he did not recall
Defendant doing anything to help treat N.C. 's hands.