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Pewitte v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 31, 2019

ANTONIO TERRELL PEWITTE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 15, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-A-511 Angelita Blackshear Dalton, Judge.

         The 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 post-conviction court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Chad Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Antonio Terrell Pewitte.

          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.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.

         In 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 son.
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 hands hurt.
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. ...

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