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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Sep 5, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James O. Martin, III, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Claude F. Garrett.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lindsy Paduch Stempel and Aaron Winter, Assistant Attorneys General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Jon Seaborg, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): BIVINS

The Petitioner appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his conviction for first degree felony murder. While the Petitioner raised a multitude of issues below, on appeal, his sole issue is whether he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Specifically, the Petitioner makes the following arguments on appeal: (1) that trial counsel failed to present evidence that in the ten years between the first and second trials, the methods by which the State’s expert witness reached his conclusion of arson had been discredited by the scientific community; (2) that trial counsel failed to advance the defense theory of an accidental fire by not calling as a witness the physician who treated both the Petitioner and the victim to testify regarding the burn patterns on their bodies; and (3) that trial counsel failed to move for a mistrial when the State and the State’s witnesses referenced the Petitioner’s prior trial. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court denying relief.