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Wheeler v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 4, 2014

TRACEY L. WHEELER, JR., Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE VIGO SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable John T. Roach, Judge. Cause No. 84D01-0908-PC-2503.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ANDREW C. MATERNOWSKI, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, KARL M. SCHARNBERG, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BAILEY, Judge. NAJAM, J., and PYLE, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 1127

BAILEY, Judge

Case Summary

Petitioner Tracey L. Wheeler, Jr. (" Wheeler" ) appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his convictions for Dealing in Cocaine[1] and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.[2] We affirm.

Issue

Wheeler presents the issue of whether he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel because appellate counsel declined to allege that Wheeler had been denied his right of self-representation.

Page 1128

Facts and Procedural History

On September 21, 2007, the State charged Wheeler with several drug-related offenses. Three days later, public defender Angela Bullock (" Bullock" ) entered her appearance to represent Wheeler. Nonetheless, Wheeler filed a pro-se motion for a speedy trial.

Bullock represented Wheeler at a hearing on his pro-se motion for a speedy trial. On November 20, 2007, Wheeler sent a letter to the trial court expressing his frustration with Bullock and again requesting a speedy trial. On December 12, 2007, Wheeler wrote to the trial court to lodge a complaint against Bullock and request appointment of a lawyer " who will represent me to the fullest[.]" (App. 341.) In late January, Bullock filed a motion to suppress evidence and a motion to compel discovery on Wheeler's behalf. Daniel L. Weber (" Weber" ), also a public defender, entered his appearance as co-counsel for Wheeler on January 25, 2008.

Bullock sought a continuance of Wheeler's trial, a decision with which Wheeler strongly disagreed. He then filed several pro-se motions and letters. On February 19, 2008, Wheeler filed a motion requesting " an Appellant lawyer to file a Notice of Appeal to appeal the court's decision on granting the continuance of my fast and speedy trial because I can't go Pro Se." (App. 456.) ...


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