In June 2000, appellant was tried for first-degree murder with a firearm before a twelve-person jury. After deliberations began, the state moved to strike a juror for failing to disclose a prior felony conviction. The trial court granted the motion and asked appellant whether he wanted to proceed with just eleven jurors or replace the stricken juror with a previously dismissed alternate juror. Appellant decided to proceed with an eleven-person jury, which returned a guilty verdict on the lesser included offense of second-degree murder with a firearm. Appellant was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to thirty-five years in prison with a three-year mandatory minimum, which this court affirmed without opinion on direct appeal. Middleton v. State, 833 So. 2d 124 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002) (table).
Later, appellant filed a motion for postconviction relief that claimed trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him that he had the option of moving for a mistrial when the juror was dismissed after deliberations had begun. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the motion. On appeal, this court concluded trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise appellant of his right to move for a mistrial and remanded with directions that the trial court determine whether appellant demonstrated the requisite prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Middleton v. State, 984 So. 2d 522 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007).
Judge(s): Ronald V. Swanson
Jurisdiction: Florida Court of Appeals, First District
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|
|Robert Benton, II|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Barbara Busharis||Office of the Florida Public Defender Second Judicial Circuit|
|Nancy Daniels||Office of the Florida Public Defender Second Judicial Circuit|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|Pamela Bondi||Office of the Florida Attorney General|
|Samuel Perrone||Office of the Florida Attorney General|