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State v. Poe

Supreme Court of Nebraska

November 6, 2015

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
RYAN L. POE, APPELLANT

Page 780

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: GARY B. RANDALL, Judge.

Michael J. Wilson and Glenn Shapiro, of Schaefer Shapiro, L.L.P., for appellant.

Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Stacy M. Foust for appellee.

WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, CASSEL, AND STACY, JJ. HEAVICAN, C.J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 781

[292 Neb. 61] Connolly, J.

SUMMARY

Ryan L. Poe moved for postconviction relief from his convictions for first degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. After the district court overruled the motion, we remanded the cause for an evidentiary hearing on one of Poe's ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Specifically, we directed the court to decide if Poe's trial counsel should have impeached the State's key witness with a statement the witness made to Poe's girlfriend to the effect that Poe was innocent. On remand, the district court found that Poe's girlfriend did not tell his trial counsel about such a statement. The district court again overruled Poe's postconviction motion. Poe appeals, arguing that the court erroneously excluded certain out-of-court statements on hearsay grounds. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Trial

The State charged Poe with first degree felony murder and use of a deadly weapon for the killing of Trever Lee. Lee died during a robbery of his townhouse in 2004.

[292 Neb. 62] One of Lee's roommates sold marijuana to a friend of Poe's, Antwine Harper. Harper was the State's key witness at Poe's trial. The State produced no physical evidence linking Poe to the crime.

Harper testified that Poe had asked him for permission to rob Lee's roommate and that Poe later confessed to the crime in great detail. Poe's attorney, Thomas Riley, extensively crossexamined Harper. Harper admitted that he initially denied knowing anything about the shooting and identified Poe as the killer only after the police threatened to arrest him. Harper acknowledged that he cried after the officers made the threat. He said that the officers told him that he would not " go to jail today" if he talked to them about the shooting.

A jury convicted Poe of first degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment and a consecutive term of 10 to 20 years' imprisonment for use of a deadly ...


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