Friday, August 02, 2013

Tenth Rejects Petitioner's IAC Claim Where Counsel Did Not File Suppression Motion

Ayala v. Hatch, 2013 WL 3814933 (7/24/13) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - In this habeas case, the state court could reasonably conclude it was competent representation to decide the best course of action was to not file a motion to suppress and accept responsibility for abusing the defendant's 2-month-old daughter and focus on sentencing [with respect to which the state court held counsel was ineffective for failing to raise certain mitigating factors; upon reconsideration the defendant's sentence was reduced from 30 to 18 years]. The 10th recognizes a diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) or brittle-bone disease, may exculpate a parent accused of inflicting injuries on a child and perhaps counsel should have investigated that issue once family members told him the child might have OI. But no prejudice was shown since no evidence was ever presented that the child actually did have OI.