final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.141(b)(2)
from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Cristina
Michelle Walsh, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Magaly Rodriguez, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Before, FERNANDEZ, LUCK and LINDSEY, JJ.
Sosataquechel appeals the trial court's summary denial of
his 3.850 motion for post-conviction relief. Because the
record before us does not conclusively refute one of
Sosataquechel's three ineffective assistance of counsel
claims, we affirm in part and reverse in part.
was formerly a member of the U.S. Army. He alleges that on
May 11, 2011, six months before he was to be deployed to
Afghanistan, Sosataquechel flew home to visit his wife,
Yuleyvi, to reveal to her that he decided to abandon the
military because of the continual stress it placed on their
relationship. Despite his belief that this would make Yuleyvi
happy, she surprisingly attacked him instead. After Yuleyvi
stabbed Sosataquechel three times, injured his chin, and
broke his tooth, Sosataquechel fought back and killed her.
Sosataquechel alleges he then cut his own wrists in an
attempt to kill himself, however, he did not die and was
arrested and charged with homicide upon arrival at the
hospital. After he was transferred from the hospital to jail,
Sosataquechel was placed in the jail's psychological wing
and given several different medications over the next two
17, 2013, Sosataquechel and the state entered into a plea
agreement, whereby Sosataquechel entered a guilty plea to his
second-degree murder charge in exchange for a forty-year
sentence. In April 2015, Sosataquechel filed a 3.850 motion
and asserted that his counsel had been ineffective because:
1) he did not advise Sosataquechel that he could have raised
an affirmative defense of self-defense, 2) he advised
Sosataquechel to reject the state's initial thirty-year
plea offer because his counsel was certain the offer would
only get lower, and 3) he failed to inform the court of the
various medications Sosataquechel was taking at the time of
the plea colloquy, even though defense counsel was fully
aware of Sosataquechel's heavy medication schedule.
Sosataquechel now appeals and argues that he is entitled to
an evidentiary hearing because the record does not
conclusively demonstrate that he is not entitled to relief or
because his motion is legally sufficient. We agree with one
of Sosataquechel's contentions.
defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on a motion
for post-conviction relief if 1) the motion, files, and
records in the case conclusively show the defendant is
entitled to relief, or 2) the motion or claims are legally
sufficient. See Patton v. State, 784 So.2d 380, 386
(Fla. 2000). If the record does not conclusively refute
post-conviction claims of ineffective assistance of counsel,
the defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing on those
claims. See Rodriguez v. State, 777 So.2d 1143 (Fla.
3d DCA 2001).
counsel to have been ineffective, a criminal defendant must
demonstrate counsel's performance was deficient and that
the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. See
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984).
Prejudice is defined as whether counsel's
"ineffective performance affected the outcome of the
plea process." See Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S.
52, 59 (1985).
Sosataquechel contends that his counsel was ineffective
because counsel failed to investigate and inform him that he
could claim self-defense as a possible defense to the
second-degree murder charge. Sosataquechel asserts that had
he been so informed, he would not have pled guilty and would
have instead chosen to go to trial. There is prejudice if a
reasonable probability exists that, but for counsel's
errors, the defendant would have chosen to go to trial
instead of pleading guilty. The claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel is facially sufficient on
Sosataquechel's assertion that he would not have entered
a plea of guilty, and instead would have chosen to go to
trial, had counsel informed him of the claimed defense of
self-defense. Sosataquechel's affirmative answer to the
court's plea colloquy question about whether he had an
adequate opportunity to discuss the facts of the case and
defenses thereto does not adequately resolve his present
claim as to the defense of self-defense. See Wright v.
State, 675 So.2d 1009 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).
respect to his second claim, Sosataquechel alleges that his
counsel was ineffective because he was advised to reject the
state's initial thirty-year plea offer because a better
offer would be given to him in the future. Under the
Strickland test, prejudice is established when a
defendant shows a reasonable probability existed that he
would have accepted the state's plea offer and the state
would not have withdrawn the offer, the court would have
accepted the offer's terms, and the conviction or
sentence would have been less severe than the
ultimately-imposed judgment and sentence. See
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 687; Alcorn v. State,
121 So.3d 419, 422 (Fla. 2013). Sosataquechel claims that he
only rejected the state's initial plea offer because his
counsel assured him that its terms would become more
favorable, not worse. Instead of decreasing in sentence
length, the state's offer increased by ten years, which
Sosataquechel was then forced to accept.
Sosataquechel asserts that his counsel was ineffective
because his counsel never informed the trial court that
Sosataquechel was taking a multitude of medications both
before and at the time of the plea colloquy, even though
defense counsel knew Sosataquechel was taking them. We
decline to address the ...