Melvin L. Pryear, Appellant,
State of Florida, Appellee.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court, Escambia County. W. Joel
L. Pryear, pro se, Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Melvin L. Pryear, appeals an order denying his postconviction
motion brought pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure
3.850. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.
case arose from a traffic accident wherein a semi-truck
struck Appellant's vehicle, resulting in the death of the
Appellant's passenger and damage to the semi-truck. The
evidence reflected that Appellant was traveling northbound on
the highway when he made a left turn in front of the
semi-truck, which was traveling southbound. Both vehicles had
a green signal without any turn arrows illuminated.
at trial were two sisters who witnessed the accident. One
sister, Janice Spencer, testified that when she saw
Appellant's car start to turn, she said to herself,
"Don't go, don't go, " because the
semi-truck was too close for the oncoming car to safely make
the turn. The other sister, Sharon Watson, testified that the
semi-truck was moving fast, estimating that the truck
appeared to be "doing every bit of [the 40 or 45 miles
per hour speed limit] coming through the intersection."
eye witnesses testified that Appellant smelled of alcohol and
had beer cans in his car. The traffic homicide investigator
testified that, hours later, Appellant's eyes were still
bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred. The
investigator opined that Appellant was at fault in the
accident, because he violated the semi-truck's
right-of-way by making a left turn in front of the truck when
he should have yielded to oncoming traffic. A highway patrol
trooper testified that a blood draw was conducted at the
hospital, and a Florida Department of Law Enforcement
laboratory analyst testified that she tested the sample. Her
report was introduced into evidence, reflecting that
Appellant's blood alcohol level was .196 grams per four
milliliters of blood, or more than twice the legal limit.
the jury trial, Appellant was convicted of DUI manslaughter
and DUI with property damage and sentenced to a total of 15
years in prison. His convictions and sentences were affirmed
on appeal. Pryear v. State, 185 So.3d 1238 (Fla. 1st
DCA 2016). Appellant then filed the instant rule 3.850
motion, raising eight claims, which the lower court summarily
Appellant's first claim, he argued that his attorney was
ineffective for failing to renew his objection to the
State's use of a peremptory challenge to strike an
African-American juror. Appellant alleged that the
State's race-neutral reason for the strike applied
equally to a white juror; therefore, it was pretextual as a
matter of law.
of ineffective assistance of counsel is governed by
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 690 (1984).
To prove ineffective assistance, a defendant must allege 1)
the specific acts or omissions of counsel which fell below a
standard of reasonableness under prevailing professional
norms, see id. at 690; and 2) that the
defendant's case was prejudiced by these acts or
omissions such that the outcome of the case would have been
different, see id. at 692. "A reasonable
probability is a probability sufficient to undermine
confidence in the outcome." Id. at 694. The
defendant must demonstrate a likelihood of a different result
which is substantial and not just conceivable. Harrington
v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 112 (2011). "The prejudice
in counsel's deficient performance is assessed based upon
its effect on the results at trial, not on its effect on
appeal." Strobridge v. State, 1 So.3d 1240,
1241 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (citing Carratelli v.
State, 961 So.2d 312, 323 (Fla. 2007)).
of ineffective assistance of counsel arguing counsel's
failure to raise a Neil objection is not normally a
basis for postconviction relief. Jones v. State, 10
So.3d 140, 141-42 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009). This is true, because
the prejudice prong cannot be proven absent some indication
that the jury that actually served was biased. See Yanes
v. State, 960 So.2d 834, 835 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007);
Jenkins v. State, 824 So.2d 977, 984 (Fla. 4th DCA
even if Appellant could establish that counsel performed
deficiently for failing to renew his objection to the strike,
he failed to establish that this omission affected the
outcome of his trial, and not just the possible outcome of
his appeal. Furthermore, the transcripts from voir dire
reveal no indication that the juror who actually served was
biased, as he joined with the rest of the prospective jurors
in indicating that he could be impartial ...