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Corley v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 17, 2019

YOGONDA ABDULA CORLEY
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2010-C-2743 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge

         Petitioner, Yogonda Abdula Corley, appeals from the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner contends that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to develop a record at trial that was adequate for appellate review. Having reviewed the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the denial of post-conviction relief.

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

          Jay Umerley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Yogonda Abdula Corley.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Tammy Meade, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE.

         Procedural history

         Petitioner was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of rape of a child against the victim T.S., and he was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery and four counts of rape of a child against the victim M.M. State v. Yogonda Abdula Corley, No. M2013-00464-CCA-R3-CD, 2014 WL 12653830 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 26, 2014), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Aug. 26, 2014). Following a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of six counts of rape of a child, four counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of attempted aggravated sexual battery. Id. Following a sentencing hearing, Petitioner was ordered to serve a total effective sentence of 75 years' incarceration. Id.

         The proof presented at trial was summarized by a panel of this court on direct appeal. Id. The two victims, T.S. and M.M., are cousins. They were both 12 years old at the time of trial. Both victims testified about several instances of sexual abuse and rape by Petitioner.

         On direct appeal, Petitioner asserted multiple claims of plain error. Petitioner argued on appeal that it was plain error for the trial court: 1) to admit into evidence a recording and transcript of statements by Petitioner obtained by the use of a body wire worn by the mother of one of the victims; 2) to admit into evidence Petitioner's statements to the police following his arrest; 3) to admit into evidence the opinion testimony by a nurse practitioner that the victims' statements were consistent with their medical examinations; and 4) not to sever the offenses against the two victims. A panel of this court determined that plain error was not justified for any of those claims. Id.

         Petitioner subsequently sought post-conviction relief, alleging that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial.

         Post-conviction ...


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