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Martin v. State

Court of Appeals of Idaho

December 20, 2013

JEFFERY E. MARTIN, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, Respondent.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 796

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Timothy Hansen, District Judge.

Judgment denying post-conviction relief, affirmed.

Nevin, Benjamin, McKay & Bartlett, LLP; Deborah A. Whipple, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

LANSING, Judge

Jeffrey E. Martin appeals from the district court's judgment denying his petition for post-conviction relief after an evidentiary hearing.

I. BACKGROUND

In a previous appeal, we described the background of Martin's criminal case:

Following a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Martin, a Boise police officer frisked Martin for weapons. A number of unused syringes were found in his pocket. Thereafter, Martin's vehicle was searched with his consent, and the officer found a small amount of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine, another syringe, and other paraphernalia. Martin was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, Idaho Code § 37-2732(c)(1), and possession of drug paraphernalia, I.C. § 37-2734A(1).
Prior to trial, Martin discharged his public defender and was allowed to represent himself. He then filed a motion to suppress the physical evidence found in his pocket and vehicle and the statements he made during the detention, contending that his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated when the officer frisked him. Martin also filed motions to have the syringe from the vehicle tested for DNA at state expense and to have the methamphetamine re-tested at public expense. The district court denied the motions. The matter proceeded to trial and Martin was convicted on both charges.

State v. Martin, 146 Idaho 357, 359, 195 P.3d 716, 718 (Ct. App. 2008). In that appeal, this Court found no error in the denial of Martin's motions and affirmed the judgment of conviction.

Thereafter, Martin filed a petition for post-conviction relief asserting various claims for relief. The district court granted the State's motion for summary dismissal of all claims save for Martin's contention that his waiver of counsel prior to trial was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. The district court determined that there existed genuine issues of material fact concerning Martin's asserted mental health deficiencies and whether the district court's warnings to Martin about the consequences and pitfalls of self-representation were constitutionally adequate. The claim proceeded to a trial on the merits.

Evidence presented to the court included a transcript of the hearing in the criminal case at which Martin waived his right to counsel. It showed that the following exchange occurred:

THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, I believe the best defense I am going to be able to get in this case is if you will name me pro se counsel with assistance from another public defender. I better than anyone know that I am innocent, and I am committed ...

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