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Madison v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fifth District

September 13, 2019



          3.850 Appeal from the Circuit Court for Orange County, Gail A. Adams, Judge.

          Robert Wesley, Public Defender, and Robert Thompson Adams IV, Assistant Public Defender, Orlando, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.

          ORFINGER, J.

         Larry Lee Madison, Jr., appeals the trial court's order denying Ground Four of his second amended motion for postconviction relief filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. We reverse for further proceedings.

          In 2008, Madison pled no contest to one count of robbery with a firearm, three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a minor in exchange for adjudication of guilt being withheld and a youthful offender sentence of six years of probation. Roughly two years later, Madison was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon (a knife), resisting an officer without violence, and carrying a simulated firearm (pellet gun). The new charges and several technical violations resulted in the violation of his probation. With the advice of counsel, Madison pled no contest to violating his probation and was sentenced to twelve years in prison with a ten-year minimum mandatory on the armed robbery conviction and concurrent five-year terms in prison for the remaining convictions. This Court affirmed his convictions and sentences. Madison v. State, 146 So.3d 53 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).

         Madison then filed a rule 3.850 motion, which he amended several times to assert a total of six claims. After the State filed its response, the trial court summarily denied Madison's amended motion. On appeal, we affirmed in part and reversed in part, and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on Ground Four, which alleged that counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress. Madison v. State, 200 So.3d 148, 148-49 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016). Pursuant to our mandate, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing and subsequently entered an order denying Ground Four, which is the subject of this appeal.

         To prevail on an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, the defendant must prove that (1) trial counsel's performance was deficient and (2) the deficient performance resulted in prejudice. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). In the context of a guilty or no contest plea, the Florida Supreme Court established a two-prong test for determining claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. See Grosvenor v. State, 874 So.2d 1176 (Fla. 2004). The first prong is identical to the deficient performance prong found in Strickland. Id at 1179; see Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 58 (1985). The defendant must specifically identify acts or omissions of counsel that were outside the wide range of reasonably competent performance under prevailing professional norms. Grosvenor, 874 So.2d at 1179; see Hill, 474 U.S. at 58-59. The second prong requires a defendant to demonstrate "a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, the defendant would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial." Grosvenor, 874 So.2d at 1181. The defendant does not have to show that he actually would have prevailed at trial, but the strength of the state's case against the defendant must be considered in evaluating whether the defendant would have gone to trial if he had received adequate advice from his counsel. Id "Counsel's effectiveness is determined according to the totality of the circumstances." Id The relevant inquiry for purposes of Strickland's prejudice analysis is whether the outcome of the plea proceedings would have been different had competent assistance of counsel been provided. Id

         Our review of the trial court's determination as to whether counsel's performance was deficient and whether the deficiency prejudiced the defendant presents a mixed question of law and fact. We review de novo the trial court's legal conclusions, while giving deference to the trial court's factual findings. Stephens v. State, 748 So.2d 1028, 1033 (Fla. 1999). Our analysis of Madison's claim is guided by a strong presumption that trial counsel's performance was not ineffective. See Strickland, 466 U.S. at 690. "A fair assessment of attorney performance requires that every effort be made to eliminate the distorting effects of hindsight, to reconstruct the circumstances of counsel's challenged conduct, and to evaluate the conduct from counsel's perspective at the time." Id at 689. Trial counsel's "strategic decisions do not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel if alternative courses have been considered and rejected and counsel's decision was reasonable under the norms of professional conduct." Occhicone v. State, 768 So.2d 1037, 1048 (Fla. 2000).

         In Ground Four, Madison argued that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to research, advise him of, file, and litigate a dispositive motion to suppress. Accordingly, he claims that he pled without knowing about a potential, dispositive motion to suppress.

         At the evidentiary hearing, the postconviction court heard from Orlando Police Officer Larry Kamphaus; his supervisor, Lieutenant Tami Edwards; trial counsel Tonya Oliver and Madison. Officer Kamphaus testified that he was dispatched to investigate a complaint of a black male, wearing a black shirt and black pants, with a gun in a high crime neighborhood. Officer Kamphaus responded and saw Madison, who fit the description, about two blocks from the described location. After getting out of his patrol car, he drew his firearm and told Madison to stop. He asked Madison if he had any weapons. Madison admitted that he had a kitchen knife in his pocket. The officer retrieved a three-to-four-inch paring knife and arrested him for carrying a concealed weapon. Officer Kamphaus searched the handcuffed Madison, discovering that he had a pellet gun, gloves and a nylon skull cap in his possession. Madison then pulled away from the officer and ran, despite commands to stop. Officer Kamphaus gave chase, tased Madison, and took him into custody. Officer Kamphaus confirmed that during this encounter Madison was not free to leave. Officer Kamphaus also admitted that he never met with the complainant and did not know if the 911 caller provided the dispatcher with any identifying information. He did say that in the neighborhood where this occurred, "many times . . . our complainants choose to remain confidential."

         Lieutenant Edwards testified that she could not remember if she met with the 911 caller. When she responded to the scene, Officer Kamphaus had already handcuffed Madison and was searching him. Madison then ran off until Officer Kamphaus tased him. She could not recall speaking with Attorney Oliver about the case.

         Attorney Oliver testified that she was an experienced criminal defense attorney. She was familiar with motions to suppress and Terry[1] stops and what a police officer is permitted to do in those situations. Attorney Oliver recalled reviewing the arrest affidavit for the new misdemeanor charges, which formed the basis of the new law violations of Madison's probation. She did not recall reviewing any other reports or the 911 call. She did not interview or depose any witnesses other than speaking with Madison. Nonetheless, Attorney Oliver testified that based on her training, education, experience, research, the allegations in the police report, and Madison's statements, she believed that the case would be difficult to contest and that the facts did not warrant filing a motion to suppress. While Attorney Oliver had some of her notes from Madison's violation of probation case, she did not have any research relating to a motion to suppress. Nor could she recall why she concluded that a motion to suppress would not have been successful. Attorney Oliver did remember that she met with Madison and advised him that his best ...

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