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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:At trial, Manual Bluitt testified that he and Michael Berry went to Trever Orande Robertson’s motel room to retrieve some compact discs and clothing that Bluitt had borrowed. Robertson testified that after an argument with the two, he agreed to go downstairs to get the items out of the car. Once the three men were in the parking lot, Robertson refused to give them their belongings and continued to argue with them. Bluitt testified that Bluitt pushed Robertson in the face with his open hand and then Robertson stabbed Bluitt with a knife. Robertson testified that Bluitt hit Robertson in the face, they fought, Berry held one of his arms and then Robertson pulled out his knife and stabbed Bluitt. He also stated that he was in fear for his life, because he knew Bluitt had carried knives and guns in the past. During Robertson’s direct examination, his trial counsel elicited testimony from him about his current incarceration, two prior convictions and possession of a knife at the time of his previous arrests. This testimony opened the door to some damaging cross-examination by the prosecution. Robertson was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Robertson filed a pro se Motion for New Trial in which he raised the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court denied the motion, and the 10th Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the 10th Court’s judgment and held that trial counsel’s performance was deficient under the first prong of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), for eliciting testimony from Robertson that he was incarcerated on two convictions that were pending on appeal. The CCA remanded the matter to the 10th Court for determination of whether the deficient performance was prejudicial under Strickland’s second prong. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court examined Robertson’s trial attorney’s errors under the second prong of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), in the context of the overall record. Robertson, the court stated, must show a reasonable probability that, but for his attorney’s errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is one sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome, the court stated. Robertson’s attorney, the court noted, questioned him about previous convictions during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial. As a result, the court stated, the state on cross-examination elicited testimony from Robertson that he was serving 15 years for possession of cocaine concurrently with a two-year sentence for possession of methamphetamine. Therefore, the court found that the jury heard a considerable amount of evidence relating to these prior convictions that the state would not have been able to develop without Robertson’s attorney opening the door to such testimony. When viewed in the context of the entire record, the court held that the deficient performance of Robertson’s attorney undermined Robertson’s credibility, which was critical to his defense. Accordingly, the court found that the trial attorney’s deficient performance prejudiced the defense and held that Robertson was denied effective assistance of counsel. OPINION:Vance, J.; Gray, C.J., and Vance and Reyna, J.J.

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