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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 18, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David K. Calfee, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alex Stevino Porter.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Kyle Hixson, Assistant Attorney General; Steven Bebb, District Attorney General; and James H. Stutts, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WOODALL

Petitioner, Alex Porter, appeals from the post-conviction court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. On appeal, Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred in denying the petition because both trial counsel and appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel. More specifically, Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective at trial by (1) failing to adequately investigate, develop, or present a theory of self-defense; (2) allowing a witness to improperly assert Fifth Amendment protection after a prior admonition from the trial court; (3) failing to properly advise the petitioner of his right to testify on his own behalf and failing to preserve Petitioner’s right to appeal Momon defects in the trial court proceedings; (4) announcing to the jury that Petitioner was incarcerated at the time of trial; and (5) failing to challenge the expert witness testimony of the State’s firearms examiner or presenting rebuttal evidence to her testimony. Petitioner contends that trial counsel was ineffective on appeal by failing to adequately communicate with him during the appellate process. Petitioner further contends that he was denied due process during the post-conviction proceedings. Following our review of the record, we affirm the denial of relief.