Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs February 26, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Jefferson County No. 12701 O.
Duane Slone, Judge
Petitioner, Ronnie Wilson, appeals from the Jefferson County
Circuit Court's denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief. The Petitioner contends that he
received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel
because trial counsel (1) made no effort to exclude a prior
aggravated robbery conviction that the State sought to use as
impeachment evidence; (2) failed to explain the concept of
criminal responsibility to the Petitioner; and (3) was
intoxicated when he met with the Petitioner prior to trial.
Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Charlesworth, Jefferson City, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Garrett D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn,
District Attorney General; and Jeremy D. Ball, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
Petitioner was convicted by a jury of aggravated robbery and
conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. State v. Ronnie
Peter Wilson, III, No. E2013-00576-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL
6858273, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Dec. 30, 2013), perm.
app. denied (Tenn. June 20, 2014). The trial court
imposed a total effective sentence of twenty years to be
served at 100 percent. Id. This court affirmed the
Petitioner's convictions on direct appeal. Id.
On June 20, 2014, our supreme court declined to review this
evidence at trial established that the Petitioner and three
co-defendants developed a plan to steal drugs and money from
the victim and her grandson. Wilson, 2013 WL
6858273, at *1-2. The victim testified that the Petitioner
entered her home, demanded drugs and money, put a knife to
her throat, and took her purse. Id. at *1. The
victim's grandson then chased the Petitioner and his
co-defendants out of the house with a baseball bat.
Id. The victim's grandson struck the Petitioner
with the bat and knocked out a gold capped tooth.
Id. The Petitioner wrestled the bat away from the
victim's grandson and struck him with it before he and
his co-defendants fled. Id. Both the victim and her
grandson identified the Petitioner at trial. Id.
three of the Petitioner's co-defendants testified at
trial about his involvement in planning and committing the
robbery. Wilson, 2013 WL 6858273, at *2. One of the
co-defendants had given a previous statement to police that
the Petitioner put a knife to the victim's throat.
Id. The Petitioner gave a statement to police
admitting his involvement in planning and committing the
robbery. Id. He admitted that the gold capped tooth
found at the victim's residence was his. Id. He
also stated that he saw one of his co-defendants throw a
knife out of the car as they fled from the victim's
residence. Id. A witness saw "a young black man
. . . hanging out the window" of a car and throw a
knife. Id. at *1. The witness was able to later help
the police locate the knife. Id.
Petitioner filed a timely pro se petition for post-conviction
relief. Counsel was appointed to represent the Petitioner in
this matter and filed three amended petitions for
post-conviction relief. As pertinent to our review, the
Petitioner alleged that trial counsel was ineffective for
making no effort to exclude a prior aggravated robbery
conviction that the State sought to use as impeachment
evidence, for failing to explain the concept of criminal
responsibility to the Petitioner, and for being intoxicated
when he met with the Petitioner prior to trial.
Petitioner admitted that he met several times with trial
counsel prior to trial. The Petitioner also admitted that
trial counsel reviewed and explained the evidence provided by
the State during discovery. This included the
Petitioner's statement to the police and the statements
of the witnesses and co-defendants. However, the Petitioner
claimed that trial counsel never explained the trial process
to him or how the evidence would be used at trial. ...