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State v. Lee

Supreme Court of Nebraska

April 3, 2015

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
DONALD M. LEE, APPELLANT

Page 394

Appeal from the District Court for Lincoln County: DONALD E. ROWLANDS, Judge.

Donald M. Lee, Pro se.

Jon Bruning, Attorney General, and Kimberly A. Klein for appellee.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNNNOLLY, STEPHAN, McCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 395

[290 Neb. 602] Wright, J.

NATURE OF CASE

Donald M. Lee was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. On direct appeal in case No. S-09-779, he asserted only a claim of excessive sentence, which on December 10, 2009, we summarily affirmed. Lee now appeals the denial of his motion for postconviction relief, asserting that he was not brought to trial in a timely manner. The issue is whether the district court erred in denying Lee postconviction relief.

SCOPE OF REVIEW

A defendant requesting postconviction relief must establish the basis for such relief, and the findings of the district court will not be disturbed unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. McLeod, 274 Neb. 566, 741 N.W.2d 664 (2007).

Normally, a voluntary guilty plea waives all defenses to a criminal charge. However, in a postconviction proceeding brought by a defendant convicted because of a guilty plea or a plea of no contest, a court will consider an allegation that the plea was the result of ineffective assistance of counsel. State v. Amaya, 276 Neb. 818, 758 N.W.2d 22 (2008). When a conviction is based upon a guilty plea, the prejudice requirement for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim is satisfied if the defendant shows a reasonable probability that but for the errors of counsel, the defendant would have insisted on going to trial rather than pleading guilty. State v. Armendariz, 289 Neb. 896, 857 N.W.2d 775 (2015).

FACTS

The following statement of facts is based upon State v. Lee, 282 Neb. 652, 807 N.W.2d 96 (2011), which was a prior postconviction action. In July 2008, the State filed a complaint in county court, charging Lee with first degree murder. On July 21, the court arraigned him. On November 3, after Lee waived his preliminary hearing, ...


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