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State v. Hernandez

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

June 3, 2014

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
JUAN ANTONIO HERNANDEZ, APPELLANT

Page 112

Appeal from the District Court for Dakota County: PAUL J. VAUGHAN, Judge.

Stuart B. Mills for appellant.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, and Melissa R. Vincent for appellee.

IRWIN, RIEDMANN, and BISHOP, Judges.

OPINION

Page 113

[22 Neb.App. 63] Riedmann, Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Juan Antonio Hernandez appeals from the order of the district court for Dakota County, which denied his motion for postconviction relief after an evidentiary hearing limited to the issue of whether trial counsel was ineffective during the plea negotiation

Page 114

process. Finding no error in the district court's decision, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

Hernandez was originally charged in January 2010 with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, both Class IB felonies, and two counts of child abuse, one a Class III felony and the other a Class IIIA felony. The State also alleged that Hernandez was a habitual criminal. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hernandez pled guilty to one count of first degree sexual assault of a child, a Class II felony, and one count of child abuse, a Class IIIA felony. In exchange, the State agreed to dismiss the other two charges, forgo habitual criminal enhancement, and remain silent at sentencing. Hernandez was sentenced to 16 to 17 years' imprisonment for sexual assault and 18 to 20 months' imprisonment for child abuse, to be served consecutively.

On August 6, 2012, Hernandez filed a pro se motion for postconviction relief, alleging that (1) trial counsel was ineffective during the plea bargaining process, (2) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to consult with him about filing a direct appeal, (3) the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by failing to honor the plea agreement, and (4) the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the State to amend the information.

The district court issued an order on October 23, 2012, granting an evidentiary hearing on the limited issue of trial [22 Neb.App. 64] counsel's alleged ineffectiveness in the plea negotiation process. The court dismissed the remaining allegations without an evidentiary hearing, and Hernandez did not appeal from that order. Counsel was appointed to represent Hernandez for the remainder of the postconviction proceedings. During the evidentiary hearing, ...


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