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Hendricks v. Lindamood

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

October 28, 2019

MARQUIS HENDRICKS, Petitioner,
v.
CHERRY LINDAMOOD, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          J. RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner Marquis Hendricks is a Tennessee inmate proceeding pro se on a federal habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he challenges the legality of his confinement under Knox County judgments of conviction for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, and simple possession of marijuana. 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.

         I. SUMMARY OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (“TCCA”) summarized the facts of this case as follows:

Nathaniel Bolding and Keith Hammock, brothers-in-law, lived in Lake City at the time of the incidents. Mr. Bolding, his wife, and two children shared a home in Lake City with his mother-in-law, Mr. Hammock, and Mr. Hammock's daughter. Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding were also good friends with a penchant for partying, drinking, and drug use. Mr. Bolding first established a relationship with Appellant when he lived at the Lonsdale housing project in Knoxville before moving to Lake City. In order to purchase crack cocaine from Appellant, Mr. Bolding renewed his relationship with Appellant several weeks prior to the incidents that took place in November of 2012.
At some point between the evening of November 12 and the morning of November 13, 2012, Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding went from Lake City to Knoxville several times to purchase drugs from Appellant. During one of the transactions, both Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding were shot as they were driving away from the purchase place. Mr. Hammock died as a result of his wounds. Mr. Bolding was shot in the right arm.
As a result of a police investigation, Appellant was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury in February of 2013 for first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, delivery of less than .5 grams of cocaine while employing a deadly weapon, possession of more than .5 grams of cocaine with intent to sell, and possession of more than one-half ounce but not more than ten pounds of marijuana with intent to sell. The case proceeded to trial.
At trial, Nathaniel Bolding testified. At the time of trial, he was twenty-nine years old and lived and worked at a rehabilitation center in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Bolding recalled his relationship with his deceased brother-in-law, Mr. Hammock. He explained that the two men were good friends but that they were not good influences on each other because they partied, drank, and used drugs together. About two weeks prior to Mr. Hammock's death, Mr. Bolding took Mr. Hammock to Appellant's apartment to buy crack cocaine.
Mr. Bolding recalled that the day prior to Mr. Hammock's death, Mr. Hammock traded Appellant a television worth $2, 000 for $100 worth of crack cocaine. According to Mr. Bolding, Appellant only gave them fifty dollars worth of crack cocaine. Mr. Bolding and Mr. Hammock smoked the crack cocaine.
On the day of Mr. Hammock's death, Mr. Hammock pawned a pressure washer for cash. The men bought a bottle of tequila with the money. Subsequently, the men went to Appellant's apartment where Mr. Hammock gave Appellant $100 so that he could get his television back from Appellant. Appellant informed Mr. Hammock that the television was at Chris Page's house. When Mr. Bolding and Mr. Hammock went to Mr. Page's house, they did not find the television.
At some point that same day, Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding bought $80 of crack cocaine from Appellant. The men returned to Lake City where they sat around a fire and smoked crack cocaine and marijuana. The marijuana was purchased from Chris Page earlier that same day. The men eventually ran out of crack cocaine so they decided to drive to Knoxville to purchase more crack cocaine. Mr. Hammock called Appellant. The men went back to Knoxville around 10:30 p.m. They bought another $80 worth of crack cocaine and smoked it on the way back to Lake City.
Desperate for more drugs, the men decided to return to Knoxville once more to purchase crack cocaine from Appellant. According to Mr. Bolding, the men had approximately thirty dollars between the two of them. They arrived on Texas Avenue at around 1:30 a.m. Appellant sold them more crack cocaine. The men returned to Lake City where they smoked the crack cocaine and drank the rest of the tequila. While they were drinking and using drugs, Mr. Hammock became agitated as he thought about the television that he lost to Appellant. The more upset Mr. Hammock became, the more he wanted to return to Knoxville.
At some point during the night or early morning, Mr. Bolding stated that the two men left Lake City again to go to the methodone [sic] clinic in Knoxville. When they left town, Mr. Bolding drove the car because Mr. Hammock was too intoxicated to drive. The men decided that they would purchase more crack cocaine from Appellant and if Appellant did not return the television to Mr. Hammock they would drive off without paying for the drugs.
As the men approached Appellant's apartment in their car, Appellant came out to meet the car. Appellant leaned over and handed the drugs to Mr. Hammock, in the passenger seat. When Mr. Hammock asked Appellant for his television, Appellant told him that he did not have the television. Mr. Hammock instructed Mr. Bolding to drive away. As they drove away, Appellant said, “don't do it bitch” before pulling a pistol from his waistband and firing it at the car.
According to Mr. Bolding, the car had traveled about ten to fifteen feet when he heard three shots. Mr. Hammock immediately slumped over in the seat and knocked the car into neutral. Mr. Bolding tried to put the car into drive when he realized that he had been shot in the right arm. He had to use his left arm to shift the car into drive. Mr. Bolding tried to drive the car to the interstate to get Mr. Hammock to the hospital. As he approached Merchants Road, Mr. Bolding got dizzy and pulled off the road. At this point, Mr. Hammock was unresponsive. Mr. Bolding left the car, ran to a gas station, and had someone call 911.
Mr. Hammock was deceased by the time officers arrived on the scene. He suffered two wounds to the face that were not fatal and a gunshot wound to his back that hit a rib, entered his lung, and then hit the superior vena cava and aorta. Mr. Hammock died approximately one minute after being shot.
Officer Brian Moran responded to the scene at I-75 and Merchant's Road. Mr. Bolding identified Appellant from a lineup. Appellant was taken into custody. When questioned, Appellant denied knowing anything about a television and denied being responsible for the shooting but admitted selling cocaine. Appellant claimed that he was at a club called “Malibu” before going to his mother's house to sleep.
Officer Moran recalled that initially, Mr. Bolding stated that he got money rather than crack cocaine in exchange for the television and became upset when Appellant tried to sell them more crack cocaine when they came back to Knoxville to pay off the loan. Mr. Bolding's testimony at trial was that they were just trying to retrieve the television. Further, Bolding initially claimed that they came to Knoxville that night four times to buy crack cocaine but did not inform officers of their plan to rob Appellant.
The State attempted to introduce at trial the testimony of Sergeant Brian Dalton, the lead of the forensic unit of the Knoxville Police Department. Counsel for Appellant objected to Sergeant Dalton's testimony about shooting reconstruction because he did not examine the car until one week prior to the trial, nearly one year after the incident. The trial court held a jury-out hearing to hear the proposed testimony and determined that the objection was related to the weight of the expert's opinion rather than the admissibility of the evidence. The trial court overruled the objection.
Sergeant Dalton was certified by the trial court as an expert in shooting incident reconstruction. In preparation for reconstructing the incident, Sergeant Dalton reviewed photographs of the car taken on the night of the incident and the day after the incident by Tiffany Hamlin, a forensic evidence technician for the Knoxville Police Department. The photographs helped Sergeant Dalton to see any changes in the car in the year between the incident and his own observations.
Sergeant Dalton identified two defects in the right rear passenger door glass and one defect in the door itself. He explained that impacts that penetrate glass show a coning effect, meaning that as a bullet or projectile hits the glass, it starts to push material out in front of it, causing a wider opening on the exit side than on the entrance side. There were two defects in the passenger seat near the right-hand side of the headrest as well as an entrance and exit defect on the portion of the car that separated the passenger front door from the passenger rear door where the seatbelt attached to the car. There was also a defect in the back window, but because the window was completely out of the car, Sergeant Dalton was unable to determine whether it was an entrance or exit defect.[]
Upon further observation, Sergeant Dalton was able to determine the approximate flight path of the three primary defects by using “flight path rod[s]” or short sections of steel rods that connect each defect and allow a person to get the “best estimate” of the original angle of the path of the bullet. Sergeant Dalton found four penetrating gunshots to the car including two different bullets that terminated their flight paths in the passenger seat. One bullet terminated at the bottom of the seat and the other traveled through the back of the seat to where the passenger would have been sitting. Of the four flight paths, Sergeant Dalton opined that three of the shots came from outside the car at a downward angle. He was unable to determine if the fourth shot, traveling through the back window, was fired from inside or outside the car.
Appellant testified at trial. He claimed that he met Mr. Bolding during the summer of 2010 and met Mr. Hammock about three months prior to the shooting. Appellant admitted that he sold crack to both men but denied giving drugs to either man without payment.
Appellant claimed that Mr. Bolding tried to sell him a .25 caliber pistol on the same day that Mr. Hammock brought the television. Appellant denied all involvement in the television deal, claiming that his cousin Chris Page was the one who brokered that deal.
On the day prior to the shooting, Appellant claimed that Mr. Hammock came by his apartment by himself asking for $100 worth of crack cocaine. Mr. Hammock came back later in the afternoon with Mr. Bolding. The men met in the parking lot where Appellant sold them $60 worth of crack cocaine. Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding called back a few hours later looking for $120 worth of crack cocaine. When they made the exchange, Appellant only received $80. Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding tried to convince Appellant to “front” the drugs, and they would bring him the money later. Appellant refused, and took back some of the crack cocaine. About thirty minutes later, Mr. Hammock and Mr. Bolding called again, this time wanting forty dollars worth of crack cocaine. The men came by with forty dollars, and Appellant sold them crack cocaine.
Around 2:00 a.m., the men called Appellant again, this time looking for $150 in crack cocaine. Appellant was at a club across town; Mr. Bolding assured Appellant that he had the money. Appellant was asked to meet the men on Texas Avenue. They normally met in a parking lot behind Appellant's aunt's apartment. For the first time that day, Mr. Bolding was driving the car. Mr. Bolding explained that Mr. Hammock was too drunk to drive. Mr. Hammock tried to talk Appellant into giving them extra crack cocaine. Appellant told them he was already giving them a good deal and leaned into the car to show Mr. Bolding how much crack cocaine he was offering to the men. At that point, Appellant claimed that Mr. Hammock stuck something in his chest. He could not tell if it was a gun but thought it might be because Mr. Bolding offered to sell him a gun at some earlier time. Mr. Hammock told Appellant to give him everything. Appellant told Mr. Hammock that everything he had was on the console of the car. As Mr. Hammock turned to look on the console, Appellant reached for his own gun and fired as he backed away from the car. Appellant stated that he tripped over the curb as the car backed away.
When the car stopped, Appellant fired again, striking the back window. Appellant testified that he was afraid Mr. Bolding and Mr. Hammock had stopped the car to shoot him. Appellant admitted that he fired multiple shots into the car as it was driving away. Appellant could not tell if he had hit anyone in the car but did not intend to kill anyone that night. He fired at Mr. Hammock intending to shoot him because he was afraid he was about to be shot.
Sometime later, Appellant learned that he hit someone with a bullet. Appellant admitted that he lied to police about where he was on the night of the shooting, about having a gun, and about his phone number. Appellant also admitted that he used a false name and address in order to purchase his telephone and that he got rid of the murder weapon by giving it to a friend named “Joe.”

State v. Hendricks, No. E2013-00346-CCA-R3CD, 2014 WL 1330184, at *1-5 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 3, 2014) (“Hendricks I”).

         After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, and simple possession of marijuana [Doc. 11-1 at 83, 107, 108, 109, 110]. He received an effective sentence of life in prison [Id.]. Petitioner's convictions and sentence were affirmed on appeal. Hendricks I, 2014 WL 1330184, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 3, 2014), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Sept. 18, 2014). The Tennessee Supreme Court denied Petitioner's application for discretionary review on September 18, 2014 [Doc. 11-24].

         On June 5, 2015, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, and that petition was later amended after Petitioner was appointed counsel to assist him [Doc. 11-25 at 5-13, 34-37]. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief [Id. at 39-42]. The TCCA affirmed the judgment of the post-conviction court on July 26, 2017. Hendricks v. State, No. E2016-02123-CCA-R3-PC, 2017 WL 3174074 (Tenn. Crim. App. Jul. 26, 2017) (“Hendricks II”), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 16, 2017). The Tennessee Supreme Court denied discretionary review on November 16, 2017 [Doc. 11-38].

         On March 12, 2018, Petitioner filed his original federal habeas petition [Doc. 2]. On August 16, 2018, this Court ordered Respondent to file a response to the petition [Doc. 7]. Respondent complied by filing an answer on October 3, 2018 [Doc. 13]. Petitioner then filed a motion to hold these proceedings in abeyance while he sought State habeas relief [Doc. 15]. That motion was granted [Doc. 16].

         Petitioner filed his State habeas petition on September 5, 2018 [Doc. 24-1]. The petition was denied on October 31, 2018 [Doc. 24-4]. While Petitioner did appeal the State habeas court's denial of his petition, he sought to voluntarily dismiss his appeal on August 3, 2018, which the TCCA granted [Doc. 24-5; Doc. 24-6; Doc. 24-7].

         Subsequently, Petitioner filed a motion to amend his federal habeas petition on April 10, 2019, and he filed an amended petition on May 6, 2019, which included two new claims of ineffective assistance of counsel [See Doc. 21 at 16-17]. Petitioner's federal habeas petition, as amended, raises the following grounds for relief, as paraphrased by the Court:

1. Whether the State withheld evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963);
2. Whether the trial court erred in failing to issue jury instructions on the statutory defenses of duress and necessity;
3. Whether the trial court enhanced Petitioner's sentence in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 ...

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