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Peacock v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 15, 2019


          Assigned on Briefs September 17, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18560 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         The Petitioner, Richard Wayne Peacock, Jr., appeals the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he challenged his conviction for initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine. On appeal, the Petitioner alleges that he received ineffective assistance of counsel based on trial counsel's failure to negotiate a more favorable plea. After a review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

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

          Matthew J. Crigger (on appeal), Brentwood, Tennessee; and Andrew Self (at hearing), Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Wayne Peacock, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and John Cawley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.




         The Petitioner was indicted on simple possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine. The Petitioner entered a guilty plea to initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-435, and the State dismissed the possession charges. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Petitioner received a twelve-year sentence to be served consecutively to his conviction in case number 18559, a felony failure to appear conviction with a sentence of three years.

         According to the prosecutor's recitation of facts at the plea hearing, members of the Bedford County Sherriff's Department were searching for the Petitioner so that they could serve warrants on him. The officers had information that the Petitioner was residing at a home in Bedford County. When the officers arrived at the home, Ms. Vicky Peacock, the Petitioner's mother, greeted them and informed the officers that the Petitioner was in a shed in the back yard. The officers knocked on the door of the shed, and the Petitioner answered the door. The officers immediately smelled a strong chemical order that they believed indicated methamphetamine was being manufactured.

         The officers proceeded to take the Petitioner into custody and conducted a protective sweep of the shed to make sure that no one else was in the shed. The officers procured written consent to search the shed from Ms. Peacock. Inside the shed, the officers found aluminum foil, a baggie with white residue, a glass bottle with holes punched in the top, and a one quart Gatorade bottle that appeared to have been used to produce methamphetamine through the "shake" method. Officers also found a black pouch that contained several plastic baggies, scales, and a coffee filter that contained a small amount of white powder residue. The officers conducted a field test on the white residue, and it tested positive for methamphetamine. Additionally, the officers found a camouflage bag that contained a glass bong, a white gallon jug without a label believed to contain muriatic acid, a bag of Epsom salt, and a bottle of lighter fluid.

         After the prosecutor finished reciting the facts, the trial court recited the elements of the offense of initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, and the Petitioner indicated that he understood the elements of the offense and had discussed the offense with trial counsel. The trial court also explained the Petitioner's charges for felony failure to appear. At that point, the trial court stated, "We've talked about the law in the case and the facts of this case[.] [I]s it your intention here today to enter a plea of guilty to these charges?" To which, the Petitioner responded, "Yes, sir." The trial court then asked, "And are you in fact guilty?" The Petitioner answered, "Yes, sir." The trial court questioned the Petitioner regarding whether he was entering his plea voluntarily, and the Petitioner indicated that he was.

         The Petitioner filed a pro se petition seeking post-conviction relief alleging that trial counsel failed to provide him with evidence that he believed was favorable in his defense. The Petitioner also argued that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine because certain ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine were not found during the search, including pseudoephedrine, lithium, sodium hydrochloride, and ammonium nitrate. The post-conviction court appointed counsel, and post-conviction counsel filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief, which incorporated the Petitioner's pro se petition. The amended petition also asserted that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to: 1) ...

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