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Lonnie Dustin Haggerty, Gt-5019 v. Daniel P. Burns

May 6, 2013

LONNIE DUSTIN HAGGERTY, GT-5019, PETITIONER,
v.
DANIEL P. BURNS, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mitchell M.J.:

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Lonnie Dustin Haggerty an inmate at the State Correctional Institution-Forest has presented a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons set forth below, the petition of Lonnie Dustin Haggerty (ECF 3) for a writ of habeas corpus will be dismissed and because reasonable jurists could not conclude that a basis for relief exists, a certificate of appealability will be denied.

Haggerty is presently serving a nine to twenty year sentence imposed following his conviction by a jury of statutory sexual assault, indecent deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact/communication at No. CP-32-CR-761-2005 in the Court of Common Pleas of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.*fn1 This sentence was imposed on July 24, 2006.*fn2

An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the issue presented was:

Whether the trial court erred by refusing to grant a mistrial and then by giving an inadequate curative instruction to the jury when a Commonwealth witness referred to others trials and to a hearing in another county.*fn3

On August 11, 2008, the judgment of sentence was affirmed.*fn4

A post-conviction petition was filed on or about June 3, 2009. Relief was denied on July 28, 2010.*fn5 An appeal was taken to the Superior Court in which the questions presented were:

I. Did the PCRA Court abuse its discretion by denying the Defendant Post-Conviction Collateral Relief by ruling that Donald L. McKee, Esquire, trial counsel for the Appellant, was not ineffective counsel?

II. Did the PCRA Court abuse its discretion by not determining that trial counsel was ineffective during the guilty plea phase of the Petitioner's trial?*fn6

On June 21, 2012, the Superior Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief.*fn7 Leave to appeal was denied by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on November 28, 2012.*fn8

In the instant petition executed on January 14, 2013, Haggerty contends he is entitled to relief on the following grounds:

1. Ineffective assistant of trial counsel. Trial counsel was ineffective by virtue of his failure to fully investigate the underlying facts and circumstances of this case by failing to even interview the petitioner to ascertain his version of events and as a consequence of his investigative failures, counsel failed to discover witnesses and facts helpful to the defense which left counsel dreadfully unprepared to subject the Commonwealth's case to meaningful adversarial testing and prevented him from mounting a reasonable defense at trial.

2. Ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to rebut and attempt to impeach the testimony of a Commonwealth witness with available witnesses capable of discrediting the witness's testimony and call her credibility into question due to her not being physically present at the scene during the time frame of the events in question to have heard or observed anything to which she testified, permitting false evidence to be put before the jury, undermining the adversarial process and infringing upon petitioner's right to reasonably confront the witnesses against him.

3. Ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Trial counsel was ineffective by virtue of his failure to fully consult with and reasonably advise petitioner of the inherent risks, ramifications and potential consequences, direct or collateral, of withdrawing his previously entered guilty plea, thereby depriving him of the legal information needed to ...


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