Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session August 20, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. PCR599-159
James G. Martin III, Judge
Petitioner, Billy Anglin, appeals from the Williamson County
Circuit Court's denial of his petition for
post-conviction relief from his convictions for first degree
murder, attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault,
and reckless endangerment, for which he is serving an
effective sentence of life plus twenty-five years. On appeal,
the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred
in denying relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel
and due process claims. We affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Vakessha Hood-Schneider (on appeal) and John Austin (at
hearing), Franklin, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Billy
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David
H. Findley, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper,
District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., and John Everett
Williams, P.J., joined.
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE
to the post-conviction court's review of the trial record
during the post-conviction hearing, the Petitioner was
charged with premeditated first degree murder of Bess Besson,
attempted first degree murder of Buddy Simmons, aggravated
assault of Rose Haskins, and reckless endangerment of Rose
Haskins, Tammy Gatlin, Tammy Carol, Junior Lee Haskins, and
facts related to the Petitioner's convictions were
summarized by this court in the Petitioner's previous
On August 23, 1991, Steve Anglin, accompanied by Billy Anglin
and armed with his shotgun, had gotten out of his truck at
Dottie's Trailer Park and made statements threatening
Buddy Simmons and Linda Lee Anglin, who was married to Johnny
Ray Anglin, a brother of the Appellants. He grabbed Mrs.
Anglin by the hair, slapped her three or four times, called
her a "slut" and threatened to kill her, telling
her he was "fixing to blow [her] brains out." He
also said "that son of a bitch in the yellow truck's
going to get some too." The only yellow truck there
belonged to Buddy Simmons.
Mrs. Anglin went into her trailer and called the police.
Steve Anglin came into her trailer and said if she was
calling the law, he would kill her. She stayed on the
telephone until officers arrived, during which time Steve
Anglin again threatened to kill her if she had him arrested.
Nonetheless, Mrs. Anglin went to get a warrant for Steve
Anglin's arrest, but the sheriff would not allow her to
have one issued. She returned to the trailer park to get her
five-year-old son whom she had left with Bess Besson.
Neither Steve Anglin nor Billy Anglin were at the trailer
park when she arrived. However, while she was at Ms.
Besson's trailer, she heard the Anglins arrive. She heard
Steve Anglin and Billy Anglin were sitting close to one
another on the back of a car with the radio in the car
playing loudly. Steve Anglin was banging on a garbage can and
screaming for someone to make him turn the radio down. There
was a shotgun leaning between the men. Linda Anglin got very
scared and went back to get a warrant for Steve Anglin's
As the Appellants sat on the car, Buddy Simmons was seen
walking toward the car where the Appellants were sitting.
Steve Anglin shot into the ground in front of Buddy and Buddy
backed away, after which Steve shot into the ground again.
Buddy stood still while Steve reloaded the gun, then Buddy
grabbed the gun and swung it at Steve.
John Anglin, father of Steve and Billy Anglin, lived in the
trailer park. Billy went to his father's trailer and said
"Daddy, I need the gun." He got a shotgun. As he
left the trailer, he put the gun to his shoulder and started
swinging it and shooting. One shot hit Ms. Besson, who lived
with Buddy Simmons. She had been outside trying to get Mr.
Simmons to go back inside their trailer. At the time she was
shot, she was returning to her trailer. She was not armed.
Rose Haskins was hit on the "rear end" by one of
the shots. She was taken to the hospital. She recovered and
testified at the trial.
Mr. Simmons was also hit by one of the shots fired by Billy
Anglin and he fell. As Mr. Simmons laid on the ground, Billy
Anglin then shot him again. Billy Anglin then went to Mr.
Simmons, put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. It
clicked, apparently out of ammunition. Steve Anglin then
pulled the shotgun back, put it to Mr. Simmons' head and
pulled the trigger. Again, the gun clicked.
Steve Anglin then got down on the ground where Mr. Simmons
was lying and was described by a witness as making motions
with his hands like he was "carving something up."
He then stood up and began kicking and "stomping"
The medical proof revealed that Mr. Simmons had very large
and numerous lacerations to his abdomen, chest, back, face,
back of his head, ears, over his eyes, to his tongue, arms
and legs, as well as a cut throat. The lacerations to his
arms were so deep that his bones were visible to his elbows.
Parts of his left thigh [were] blown away by the shotgun
blast midway to his buttocks with much of the muscle and
tissue in that area blown away. Both bones in his lower left
leg were fractured, and his right ulna was fractured. He had
an evulsion injury to his right hand and his fifth finger
(pinky) was destroyed. Miraculously, Mr. Simmons recovered
after extensive medical treatment requiring eleven separate
surgeries and forty-nine days of hospitalization at
Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
During the shooting incident, Billy Anglin was heard to say
to Mr. Simmons, "What are you going to do now, you son
of a bitch?"
The autopsy revealed that Ms. Besson died of gunshot wounds
to several vital organs including the left carotid artery,
left subclavian artery and multiple left jugular veins. Three
pieces of a deer slug were removed from her body. The slug
entered her lower neck at the top of her sternum and exited
in the area of the left shoulder blade. Ms. Besson was dead
at the scene.
A TBI Crime Laboratory forensic expert tested the firearms
found at the scene. A shotgun was identified as the weapon
from which the fatal .410 gauge shell was fired. Other spent
shotgun shells were identified as having been fired from the
.12 gauge shotgun found at the scene. Both shotguns were
surrendered to law enforcement officers by John Anglin, the
father of Billy and Steve Anglin who had picked them up and
taken them inside his mobile home. Four live .410 shotgun
shells were found in Steve Anglin's left pants pocket.
Brenda Davis testified that immediately after the incident
Billy Anglin appeared "calm and collected" and made
small talk with her husband as he walked to his trailer,
which was located behind Mr. and Mrs. Davis' trailer. Ms.
Davis further testified that Steve Anglin "flipped us
all a bird" as he was being driven away by the law
State v. Billy Anglin and Steve Anglin, No.
01C01-9403-CC-00106, at *1-3 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 25,
1998). This court affirmed the convictions. See id.
this court filed its opinion, the Petitioner's trial
counsel failed to file a timely application for permission to
appeal with the Tennessee Supreme Court. After the time
period expired, counsel filed a motion for extension of time
to file an application for permission to appeal and lodged an
application for permission to appeal with the supreme court.
The motion was accompanied by an affidavit explaining the
circumstances surrounding counsel's failure to file a
timely application. The supreme court denied the motion for
extension of time on November 6, 1998.
21, 1999, the Petitioner filed a pro se petition for
post-conviction relief. His first post-conviction counsel was
appointed on July 16, 1999. The parties submitted an agreed
order, which was adopted and filed by the post-conviction
court on April 7, 2001. The order stated that the Petitioner
"shall be permitted to file his Petition for Appeal to
[the] Tennessee Supreme Court" notwithstanding the
expiration of the sixty-day period for filing. The order
stated that the State waived any claim of prejudice and that
all other issues raised in the post-conviction petition were
dismissed. Notwithstanding the agreed order, no application
for permission to appeal was filed with the supreme court.
2003, the Petitioner filed pro se pleadings attempting to
ascertain the status and amend or reissue the order stating
that he shall be permitted to file an ...