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Jackson v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 30, 2019

RANDY JACKSON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 13-02387 Chris Craft, Judge

         Petitioner, Randy Jackson, was convicted of aggravated robbery and attempt to commit aggravated robbery and received an effective twenty-two-year sentence. He appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief in which he alleged ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that Petitioner has failed to show that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel, and we accordingly affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

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

          Sharon Fortner, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy Jackson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Leslie Byrd, 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

         Background

         The facts of this case as set forth by this court on direct appeal are as follows:

This case relates to the 2012 robbery of John Vogel and Scarlett Densmore outside Mr. Vogel's home. At the trial, Mr. Vogel testified that on the evening of July 23, 2012, he and Ms. Densmore, the mother of his daughter, were standing outside his home near Ms. Densmore's minivan when an African-American man approached them. Mr. Vogel said that although he saw the man about eighty yards away, Mr. Vogel did not think much of it. He said that as he and Ms. Densmore were talking, the man began running toward them with a gun. Mr. Vogel said that he told Ms. Densmore to lie on the ground, that he lay on the ground and covered his head with his hands, and that he heard the man asking Ms. Densmore, "What have you got?" Mr. Vogel said that after about thirty seconds, he felt the barrel of the man's gun on his neck and that the man yelled, "What have you got motherf ----? I will shoot your motherf ---- a--." Mr. Vogel said he thought he was going to die. Mr. Vogel said that the man slightly pulled down Mr. Vogel's pants to determine if Mr. Vogel "had anything" and that Mr. Vogel told the man, "Man, I don't have anything." Mr. Vogel said that the man held the gun in his right hand and that the gun was a black semi-automatic pistol. He said the man wore a "doo rag," was six feet, two inches tall, and weighed about 170 pounds. He could not recall the man's hairstyle.
Mr. Vogel testified that he next heard the man talking to Ms. Densmore and rummaging through her purse. He said that after three minutes, he heard a car arrive, saw a man get out of the car, and heard the man ask, "Are we done here?" Mr. Vogel said that Ms. Densmore was crying and asked what she should do and that he told her to remain on the ground. Mr. Vogel said that he heard the car's engine start and drive away and that he got up and attempted to obtain the car's license plate number. He said, though, the car did not have a license plate. He said the car was "reddish."
Mr. Vogel testified that after the car drove away, he grabbed his car keys and attempted to follow the car. He said that he and Ms. Densmore got in his car, chased the reddish-colored car, caught up to the reddish-colored car, passed the car, made a u-turn, and began following the car. He said that the car drove into a Kroger parking lot and that he parked his car where he could watch. He said he called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher about the incident, reported he was watching the reddish-colored car, and requested police assistance. He said that while he was waiting for the police, the reddish-colored car left the parking lot and drove away on a road that was "destitute and dark." Mr. Vogel did not follow the car but reported to the dispatcher the direction in which the car drove. He said the police arrived and apprehended "one of the subjects." He identified a photograph of the reddish-colored car, which depicted no license plate. He said that although he was provided a photograph lineup, he was unable to identify the man who pointed a gun at him outside his home.
On cross-examination, Mr. Vogel testified that the street lights were operating outside his home, that the reddish-colored car did not speed when it left the scene, and that the car drove away slowly.
Scarlett Densmore testified that on July 23, 2012, at 10:45 p.m., she and Mr. Vogel were talking outside Mr. Vogel's home and that a man ran from across the street to their location. She said the man pointed a gun at her and Mr. Vogel. She said the man was African-American, tall, and wore "long jeans," a mostly white shirt, and a doo rag on his head. She said she saw braids coming out of the doo rag. She said that the man yelled for her and Mr. Vogel to "get down on the ground," that the man pointed the gun at her and Mr. Vogel, and that they complied. She said she first saw the man when he was running across the street and under a street light. She identified the Defendant as the man she saw running across the street and said she had no doubt it was the Defendant who robbed her.
Ms. Densmore testified that during the incident, a car arrived and parked beside her minivan, that a man got out of the car, that the man told her and Mr. Vogel to lie on the ground, that the man climbed on her back and looked though her pockets, and that she only saw the man's legs and feet. She said that the man took her keys and asked for her money. She said that she told the man to take her purse, that the man asked for her money again, and that she told him her money was in her purse. She said the man wore long jean shorts that came "half-way in between" and dark gray and turquoise tennis shoes. She said that although her arms were scraped from the gravel on the ground, she did not suffer serious injury during the robbery. She noted the car was a reddish-maroon four-door sedan.
Ms. Densmore testified that after the men left in the reddish-colored car, Mr. Vogel called 9-1-1 and that she and Mr. Vogel chased the men. She provided testimony similar to Mr. Vogel regarding the chase and said the police stopped the reddish-colored car and took one of the men into custody. She said that the man lying on the ground as the police apprehended him was the man who arrived outside Mr. Vogel's home in the reddish-colored car and who "had been on [her]" because she recognized the man's legs.
Ms. Densmore testified that her keys and her purse, which contained money, photographs of her children, medication, and miscellaneous items, were taken during the robbery. She noted her purse was large, red, and shiny. She said the police found her purse in a dumpster near the area where the man was apprehended. She identified photographs of her purse after it was recovered and noted her purse contained her wallet, driver's license, and receipts.
Ms. Densmore testified that the police provided her a photograph lineup, that she circled one photograph, and that she "believed" the man in the photograph was the man who pointed a gun at her and took her purse.
On cross-examination, Ms. Densmore testified that Mr. Vogel was the first person to tell her to lie on the ground. She said the gun was black and gray and was a semi-automatic pistol. She agreed that the incident occurred quickly and said that after she lay on the ground, she was unable to move or look around and only saw the lower portion of the men's bodies. She said that during the chase, she and Mr. Vogel pulled beside the reddish-colored car and that she did not look inside the car because she was scared.
On redirect examination, Ms. Densmore testified that when she said "believed" during her photograph identification, she meant "believe within a certainty." She said she understood from the advice to witnesses form that she was not supposed to guess when identifying the suspects. She said she had no doubt that the Defendant was the ...

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