39 P.3d 525 (Ariz. 2002), CR-00-0569, State v. Spreitz

Docket Nº:CR-00-0569-PC.
Citation:39 P.3d 525, 202 Ariz. 1
Opinion Judge:[8] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jones, Chief Justice
Party Name:STATE of Arizona, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Christopher John SPREITZ, Defendant-Petitioner.
Attorney:[7] Janet Napolitano, Attorney General by Kent Cattani, Chief Counsel, Capital Litigation Section, Criminal Appeals Division and Jon G. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Phoenix, Attorneys for Appellee. Bruner & Upham, P.C. by Sean Bruner, Tucson, Attorneys for Appellant.
Case Date:January 30, 2002
Court:Supreme Court of Arizona
 
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Page 525

39 P.3d 525 (Ariz. 2002)

202 Ariz. 1

STATE of Arizona, Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

Christopher John SPREITZ, Defendant-Petitioner.

No. CR-00-0569-PC.

Supreme Court of Arizona, En Banc.

Jan. 30, 2002.

        Janet Napolitano, Attorney General by Kent Cattani, Chief Counsel, Capital Litigation Section, Criminal Appeals Division and Jon G. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Phoenix, Attorneys for Appellee.

        Bruner & Upham, P.C. by Sean Bruner, Tucson, Attorneys for Appellant.

        OPINION

        JONES, Chief Justice.

        Facts and Procedural History

        ¶ 1 Christopher John Spreitz (defendant) was convicted of the first degree murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping of Ruby Reid. He was sentenced to death for the murder and to consecutive fourteen-year prison terms for the other crimes. Those convictions and sentences were upheld by this court on direct appeal in State v. Spreitz, 190 Ariz. 129, 945 P.2d 1260 (1997). The facts of the case were stated in our earlier opinion and need not be repeated here.

        ¶ 2 In the direct appeal, the defendant raised a single claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. That claim was based on trial counsel having admitted Spreitz' responsibility for the death of the victim in his opening statement, but arguing that legally the defendant was guilty only of lesser offenses. This court found that claim to be without merit. Spreitz at 146-47, 945 P.2d at 1277-78.

        ¶ 3 Spreitz also claimed several additional instances of ineffective assistance of trial counsel in his subsequent petition for post-conviction relief filed pursuant to Rule 32, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. Because the single claim was raised and addressed in the direct appeal, the trial court held that Spreitz had waived any further claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel

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under Rule 32.2(a)(3). However, because Spreitz also alleged that his appellate counsel was ineffective, the trial court alternatively considered the ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims on the merits. The trial court ultimately concluded that no colorable claims had been raised and denied relief. We granted review on the question whether by raising one claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel in the direct appeal, all later ineffectiveness of trial counsel claims are precluded. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4031 and Rule 32.9, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, 17 A.R.S.

        Analysis

        ¶ 4 Rule 32.2 precludes relief when: (1) an issue can be raised on direct appeal or on post-trial motion; (2) an issue has been finally adjudicated on the merits on appeal or in any previous collateral proceeding; or (3) an issue was waived at trial, on appeal, or in any previous collateral proceeding. Our basic rule is that where ineffective assistance of counsel claims are raised, or could have been raised, in a Rule 32 post-conviction relief proceeding, subsequent claims of ineffective assistance will be deemed waived and precluded. See State v. Conner, 163 Ariz. 97, 100, 786 P.2d 948, 951 (1990).

        ¶ 5 In analyzing the preclusive effect, if any, of Rule 32 for ineffective assistance of counsel claims raised in an appeal, we briefly review our recent cases in...

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