United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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.
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE & PROCEDURAL
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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].
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.
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].
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].
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
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
3. Whether the trial court enhanced Petitioner's sentence
in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 ...