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Factual findings doom ineffective assistance claims

State v. Henry J. Bloedorn, 2015AP953-CR, 4/6/2016, District 2 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Henry Bloedorn brought three ineffective assistance claims regarding the attorney who represented him during his plea and sentencing. That attorney’s unchallenged testimony at the Machner hearing convinced the circuit court, and now the court of appeals, that his performance gave no cause for complaint.

Bloedorn claims that his attorney was ineffective for “(1) failing to adequately advise him regarding the evidence against him, defense strategy, and possible prison sentences; (2) allowing a presentence investigation (PSI) to continue while he was still considering whether to withdraw his guilty plea; and (3) failing to properly argue for a reasonable prison sentence.” (¶1). The court of appeals recounts the attorney’s Machner testimony at length (¶¶3-8) before serially rejecting all three claims.

Regarding the first claim, the court notes the attorney’s testimony (which was not contradicted) that he spent many hours with Bloedorn giving the very advice Bloedorn claims to have lacked. (¶¶20-22). On the second, the court observes that counsel had no power to delay the preparation of the PSI, and that only plea withdrawal, which Bloedorn did not seek, would likely have accomplished this. (¶¶23-24). As for the third, defense counsel recommended more prison time than the PSI asked for, but asked that it be stayed in favor of probation; the court of appeals agrees with the circuit court that this choice, which counsel had discussed with Bloedorn, was a reasonable strategic one. (¶¶25-26).

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