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Appeals court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 25, 2014

A man who was represented by a law student at his guilty plea hearing and claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel could not persuade a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.

In Chris T. Collins v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1310-PC-887, the appeals court also ruled that the trial court was within its discretion to deny subpoenas Chris Collins sought for the Marion County clerk and the judge who sentenced him, among others.

Collins pleaded guilty to a single count of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1994. The PCR petition was not filed until August 2008, and the post-conviction relief petition was denied last September.

The law student who assisted Collins – who is now an attorney – was qualified to do so under Rules for Admission to the Bar and was supervised by an attorney, the appeals court held, finding Collins did not receive ineffective assistance.

“Concluding the post-conviction court did not abuse its discretion by declining to issue three subpoenas and that its denial of Collins’s petition for post-conviction relief was not erroneous, we affirm,” Judge Margret Robb wrote.

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