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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 26, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Donald E. Dawson and Kertyssa Austin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steven Ray Thacker.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Philip Bivens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


A Lake County jury convicted the Petitioner, Steven Ray Thacker, of first degree murder and sentenced him to death. On direct appeal, the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed both the conviction and sentence. See State v. Thacker, 164 S.W.3d 208 (Tenn. 2005). The Petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, and the post-conviction court appointed counsel. Following an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that: (1) he received the ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial; (2) he received the ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal; (3) the sentence of death violates his constitutional rights; (4) the aggravating circumstances of his case do not preclude a finding that he was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s performance; and (5) he is entitled to post-conviction relief based upon the cumulative effect of counsel’s errors. After a thorough review of the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the postconviction court’s judgment.