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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Dec 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

A. Ensley Hagan, Jr., and Andrea Hagan, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Curtis Johnson.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Tom P. Thompson, District Attorney General; and Howard Lee Chambers, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Jason Curtis Johnson (“the Petitioner”) was convicted of one count of first degree premeditated murder and one count of second degree murder for the shooting death of Christy Waller and her unborn child. He was sentenced to life plus twenty-five years. In this post-conviction proceeding, the Petitioner argues that he received ineffective assistance of counsel for the following reasons: (1) trial counsel?s “inadequate trial preparation and performance”; (2) trial counsel?s “errors concerning [the] Petitioner?s Sixth Amendment right to a fair and impartial jury”; (3) trial counsel?s failure to have evidence tested; (4) “trial errors”; (5) trial counsel?s failure to object to a State?s witness commenting on the Petitioner?s right to testify; (6) trial counsel?s failure to object to “prosecutorial misconduct”; (7) trial counsel?s failure to present proof as to the viability of the fetus and appellate counsel?s failure to present the issue on appeal; (8) appellate counsel?s failure to “fully raise the issue of sufficiency of the evidence”; and (9) trial counsel?s failure to put on any evidence of mitigating factors during the sentencing hearing. Additionally, the Petitioner claims that (1) his Fifth Amendment rights were violated because his Miranda waivers and confessions were not voluntary; (2) his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated because that right had attached before the police questioned the Petitioner; and (3) his “Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial was violated by the use of Tennessee?s unconstitutional sentencing scheme.” Following a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. Upon review of the record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.