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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Jul 30, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Deshea Dulany Faughn, Senior Counsel; Lori Phillips-Jones, District Attorney General; and Michael Olin Ripley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Jessica Van Dyke, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Curtis Cecil Wayne Bolton.


The Petitioner, Curtis Cecil Wayne Bolton, was convicted of the first degree premeditated murder of his two and one-half year old son and received a life sentence. In the present post-conviction action, the post-conviction court granted relief on two ineffective assistance of counsel claims but denied relief on the Petitioner’s remaining ineffective assistance of counsel claims. In this appeal, the State contends that the post-conviction court erred by granting relief for ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to seek a severance and in failing to object to the State’s bolstering and vouching for the codefendant’s testimony. The Petitioner also contends that the post-conviction court erred by denying relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims related to failure to consult with a medical expert and investigate the medical evidence, failure to advise the Petitioner accurately during plea discussions regarding the sentence he would face if convicted, and failure to object to prosecutorial misconduct. We affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court granting post-conviction relief on the ground that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to seek a severance.