State v. Wells (20)

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State v. Wells (20)

Case Number
Call Date
April 6, 2018
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Case Location
Case Summary

S-17-0359 State v. Anthony L. Wells (Appellant)

Lancaster County District Court, Judge Darla Ideus

Attorneys: Stacy M. Foust (Attorney General’s Office) --- Michael J. Wilson (Schaefer Shapiro, LLP) (Appellant)

Criminal: 1st degree murder; use of firearm to commit felony, possession of firearm by prohibited person; unlawful discharge of firearm

Proceedings below: Following a jury trial, Appellant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Issues: 1) The district court erred in giving the jury a misleading, incorrect jury instruction on the doctrine of transferred intent that conflicted with the elements instruction and relieved the State of proving the he acted with deliberate and premeditated malice, 2) the district court erroneously overruled Appellant’s motion for a directed verdict because the evidence, even when viewed and construed most favorably to the State, did not support a finding of a prima facie case of unlawful discharge of a firearm, 3) trial counsel provided prejudicial ineffective assistance when they failed to object to the testimony of George Winters and Macy Perry concerning Wells’ alleged commission of prior bad acts, specifically prior domestic assaults on Rhani Henry, 4) trial counsel provided prejudicial ineffective assistance when he elicited, then failed to object to, George Winter’s hearsay testimony that Rhani Henry said Wells was “difficult,” that she “want[ed] to get away from [Wells but] that she couldn’t,” and that “she was also scared of [Wells].”, 5) trial counsel provided prejudicial ineffective assistance when, in response to the prosecutor’s improper claim during rebuttal closing argument that a State’s witness feared Wells, trial counsel successfully objected, but failed to move for mistrial, 6) at numerous times throughout trial, trial counsel provided representation that fell below an objective standard of reasonably effective assistance, and the cumulative prejudicial effect of trial counsel’s errors deprived Appellant of a fair trial, and 7) Appellant received prejudicial ineffective assistance when trial counsel failed to adequately investigate and present several aspects of Appellant’s defense.

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