Julian A. Bartletto, 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 for Duval County. Marianne L.
A. Bartletto, pro se, Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Bryan Jordan, Assistant Attorney
General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
A. Bartletto appeals the summary denial of his motion for
postconviction relief filed under Florida Rule of Criminal
Procedure 3.850. We reject without further discussion all but
one of his claims.
2010, the State filed an eight-count information against
The next year, he was declared incompetent to stand trial and
committed to a mental treatment facility. After about three
years, the court determined that Bartletto had regained his
competency to proceed. He then entered a negotiated plea to
all eight counts in exchange for a sentence in the range of
fifteen to fifty years' imprisonment, with a ten-year
minimum mandatory for one of the counts. He was eventually
sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison.
portion of Bartletto's third ground for postconviction
relief, he argued that counsel was ineffective for failing to
investigate and advise him of an insanity defense. He alleged
that he suffers from "mental psychosis (NOS) as
diagnosed by evaluating doctors who recommended [he] be
committed to the State Hospital." He contended the
condition causes him to "lose contact with reality"
and to act out violently and that he was insane at the time
of the crimes. He further alleged that in 2010 he had been
postconviction court denied the claim because (1) Bartletto
informed the trial court during the plea hearing that his
attorney had discussed all possible defenses with him, (2)
his attorney's advice to plead guilty rather than risk
trial (and numerous possible life sentences) was a reasonable
strategic decision, and (3) Bartletto would not have insisted
on going to trial even if he were aware of the insanity
defense because the State had a strong case against him and
he was facing life in prison for multiple counts. We are
constrained to reverse for two reasons.
Bartletto's testimony that he reviewed all possible
defenses with his attorney is insufficient, standing alone,
to refute his claim that counsel failed to advise him of the
insanity defense. See Brown v. State, 270 So. 3d
530, 533 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019) ("[I]t is error to
summarily deny a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel
based on counsel's failure to investigate a potential
defense . . . where the record attachments do not
conclusively show that the defendant was made aware of the
potential defense . . . prior to entering the plea.").
Second, this Court cannot review the postconviction
court's determination on the merits because the court did
not attach any documents supporting its conclusions that
counsel's advice to enter a plea was a reasonable
strategic judgment and that Bartletto would have insisted on
going to trial had he been aware of the defense. See
Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(f)(5) (stating that when denying a
facially sufficient claim on the merits, the court must
attach "a copy of that portion of the files and records
that conclusively shows that the defendant is entitled to no
relief"); Cf. Guisasola v. State, 667 So.2d
248, 249 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) ("[A] trial court's
finding that some action or inaction by defense counsel was
tactical is generally inappropriate without an evidentiary
hearing."); Grosvenor v. State, 874 So.2d 1176,
1181-82 (Fla. 2004) (explaining that when determining the
credibility of a defendant's claim that he would not have
accepted plea had he been advised of potential defense, the
court should consider the totality of the circumstances
surrounding the plea, including whether a particular defense
was likely to succeed at trial).
therefore reverse the denial of this claim and remand for an
in part, Reversed and Remanded in part.
C.J., and Roberts ...