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Posted by: Landry Butler on May 10, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Josie S. Holland, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffrey Walton.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Stacy McEndree, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Jeffrey Walton (“the Petitioner”) was convicted of vandalism over the value of $10,000 and burglary of a building and received an effective sentence of twenty-seven years. He filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which the post-conviction court denied. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that second and third trial counsel’s performance was deficient because they (1) failed to prepare a trial strategy; (2) failed to investigate the background of Barrow-Agee Laboratories and discover a fatal variance in the indictment; (3) failed to properly cross-examine witnesses; and (4) failed to request jury instructions on the defenses of duress and necessity. The Petitioner asserts that he was prejudiced because absent these deficiencies, he would have likely been convicted of a lesser-included offense or acquitted of the offenses. After a thorough review of the record and applicable case law, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.