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State v. Hillard

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Date: 
Thursday, March 6, 2014

S-13-0372, State v. Robert S. Hillard (Appellant)

Jefferson County, Judge Alan G. Gless

Attorneys: J. Kirk Brown (Attorney General’s Office) ---Eric J. Williams (Appellant)

Criminal: new direct appeal on driving during suspension, refusal to submit to a chemical test and failure to appear.

Proceedings below: Appellant was found guilty by jury of the crimes. HE was sentenced 40 to 120 months in prison. The Court of Appeals affirmed. After a postconviction hearing, the trial court granted Appellant postconviction relief via a new direct appeal. The State filed a Petition to Bypass the Court of Appeals which was granted by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Issues: 1. The trial court erred by failing to order a hearing to address the Defendant's competency, after being notified that Defendant was not receiving his necessary psychotropic medications. 2. The trial court erred by not conducting an appropriate inquiry and appointing new counsel on Defendant's pro se motion for new trial and affidavit, timely and properly filed on October 25th, 2007. 3. The trial court erred by not taking judicial notice of Nebraska Statutes relating to abuse of vulnerable adults on the motion of trial counsel. 4. The trial court erred by convicting Defendant of Driving During Suspension when the Information filed in this case did not comply with local court rules requiring the applicable statute to be named. 5. The trial court failed to make an inquiry into Defendant's waiver of his right to testify at trial. 6. The performance of Defendant's trial counsel was deficient in several respects which prejudiced Defendant, including but not limited to the following:

a. Neglecting to move a for further competency hearing or otherwise address the issue of Defendant's competency;

b. Not allowing Defendant to testify in support of his defense, and failing to call the 911 dispatcher, a necessary witness;

c. Failing to provide the trial court with a copy of the Nebraska Adult Protective Services Act and offer the same for purposes of a motion to take judicial notice and failing to proffer and argue the Public Duty Exception under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1 408 (1)(e);

d. Failing to move for a directed verdict at the close of the State's evidence regarding Count IV, Failure to Appear;

e. Failing to move for sanctions or a remedy under Brady, or a spoliation jury instruction;

f. Failure to file pretrial motions or secure evidentiary recordings prior to July 1, 2007;

g. Failing to withdraw after learning of a conflict of interest.

This page was last modified on Friday, March 7, 2014