Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis.
No. 06-02311—Samuel H. Mays, Jr., District Judge.
Argued: February 5, 2020
Decided and Filed: April 13, 2022
Before: BATCHELDER, COOK, and STRANCH, Circuit Judges.
ALICE M. BATCHELDER, Circuit Judge. Kevin Burns, with five accomplices,
approached a car in which Damond Dawson, Tracy Johnson, Eric Thomas, and Tommie
Blackman were drinking gin and smoking marijuana. Looking for a fight due to some earlier
slight, Burns and his accomplices robbed the four occupants of the car, and then began shooting
them, killing two. Blackman escaped with a minor gunshot wound. Thomas, despite having
been shot several times, managed to survive and his testimony played an instrumental role in the
trials of Burns and his accomplices. Burns was convicted on two counts of felony murder,
receiving a death sentence for the murder of Dawson and a life sentence for the murder of
Johnson. In this capital habeas appeal, Burns claims that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel at the sentencing stage, and that the State of Tennessee wrongfully relied on inconsistent
testimony and knowingly presented false testimony at the guilt stage. We AFFIRM the
judgment of the district court.