United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
A. VARLAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kevin Anthony Dickson, a Tennessee inmate proceeding pro se,
has filed a federal habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 challenging his Tennessee judgments of conviction
for two counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of
attempted aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated
burglary, and one count of aggravated assault. Having
considered the submissions of the parties, the State-court
record, and the law applicable to Petitioner's claims,
the Court finds that the petition should be denied.
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE & PROCEDURAL
January 2008, Christopher Lyons lived in a log cabin near
Sevierville, Tennessee, with his twin brother, Anthony Lyons,
and several other individuals, including Christopher Gossett
[Doc. 29-4 p. 36-37, 81]. Petitioner purchased cocaine from
Gossett in the early morning hours of January 6, 2008-a sale
that was facilitated by Anthony Lyons [Id. at 42,
57, 83, 99]. After snorting some of the cocaine and believing
it to be either counterfeit or of poor quality, Petitioner
borrowed a .45 caliber handgun from a friend, drove to a Wal-
Mart, and purchased ammunition for the handgun [Id.
at 168-69, 183-85, 188-89]. He then enlisted the help of
Jessie James Davis and Johnny Ramirez to help him confront
Gossett and Anthony Lyons [Id. at 166-67].
that night, on January 6, 2008, the three men went to the
cabin armed with weapons [Id. at 21-22, 24, 49, 86,
87-88]. Petitioner carried brass knuckles and a metal baton,
Ramirez was armed with the .45 pistol Petitioner had
procured, and Davis was armed with an air pistol
[Id. at 49, 86, 145, 167-68]. There were
approximately 10 people in the cabin when Petitioner,
Ramirez, and Davis arrived [Id. at 31]. After
kicking open the door, the three men began demanding money
and drugs [Id. at 21, 24, 92-93]. Ultimately,
Christopher Lyons and an occupant named Rodney Hardin were
shot by Ramirez, while Anthony Lyons was beaten with the
baton wielded by Petitioner [Id. at 21, 47, 87-90].
After searching for and not finding Gossett, the trio fled.
Both shooting victims survived, but Hardin suffered injuries
that left him partially paralyzed, and Christopher Lyons
suffered a serious leg injury [Id. at 23-24, 47-49].
Hardin and the Lyons brothers all identified Petitioner as
one of the perpetrators [Id. at 24, 45, 54-55,
86-87, 119, 127].
was arrested on January 7, 2008 and was taken to the Sevier
County Sheriff's Office, where he gave a statement
admitting to going to the cabin to confront the drug dealers
and “beat[ting] the shit out” of Anthony Lyons
[Doc. 29-5 p. 54]. He stated that the other two people were
injured “because of their two friends being
shysters” [Id. at 68].
Petitioner's waiver of the right to a jury trial, a bench
trial was conducted where Petitioner was convicted of two
counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of
aggravated assault,  one count of especially aggravated
robbery, and one count of attempted robbery [see
Doc. 29-1 p. 47, 80-85; see also Doc. 29-4 p. 7]. He
received a total effective sentence of 50 years [Doc. 29-1 at
appeal, a divided panel of the Tennessee Court of Criminal
Appeals (“TCCA”) modified one of Petitioner's
convictions for attempted first-degree murder to attempted
second-degree murder, and it modified the conviction for
especially aggravated burglary to aggravated burglary.
State v. Dickson, No. E2010-01781-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL
2152078, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 14, 2012),
aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 413 S.W.3d 735
(Tenn. 2013) (“Dickson I”). The
convictions were otherwise affirmed. Id. Both
parties applied to the Tennessee Supreme Court for permission
to appeal, which was granted [Docs. 29-18, -19, -20]. In an
opinion filed October 8, 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court
affirmed both of Petitioner's convictions for attempted
first-degree murder. State v. Dickson, 413 S.W.3d
735, 749 (Tenn. 2013).
subsequently filed two petitions for post-conviction relief
in the convicting court [Doc. 29-9 p. 4-20; Doc. 20-10 p.
2-19]. After the State's responses were filed [see,
e.g., Doc. 29-1 p. 31');">11 p. 31-34], an evidentiary hearing was
held where the trial court granted Petitioner's request
to represent himself after the withdrawal of his two prior
appointed attorneys [see Doc. 29-9 p. 136, 137; Doc.
29-12; Doc. 29-13]. No. witnesses were called at the hearing
[Doc. 29-13]. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial
court denied the petition [Doc. 29-11 p. 37; Doc. 29-13 p.
102-04]. The TCCA affirmed the post-conviction court's
decision on appeal. Dickson v. State, No.
E2015-01443-CCA-R3-PC, 2016 WL 1752931, at *1 (Tenn. Crim.
App. Apr. 29, 2016) (“Dickson II”).
Petitioner did not file an application for discretionary
review to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas
corpus, as amended, raising the following claims, as
paraphrased by the Court:
Claim 1: Petitioner was denied the privileges and immunities
Claim 2: The admission of Petitioner's confession
violated the Fourth Amendment.
Claim 3: The admission of Petitioner's confession
violated the Fifth Amendment.
Claim 4: Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance.
Claim 5: Petitioner was subjected to excessive bail.
Claim 6: Petitioner's confinement violates the Fourteenth