686 A.2d 924 (R.I. 1996), 95-641, LaChappelle v. State

Docket Nº:95-641-C.A.
Citation:686 A.2d 924
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:Dennis W. LaCHAPPELLE v. STATE.
Attorney:Dennis W. LaChappelle, Pro se. Lauren Sandler Zurier, Asst. Attorney General, Aaron Weisman, Attorney General, for Defendant.
Case Date:December 11, 1996
Court:Supreme Court of Rhode Island

Page 924

686 A.2d 924 (R.I. 1996)




No. 95-641-C.A.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

December 11, 1996.

Page 925

Dennis W. LaChappelle, Pro se.

Lauren Sandler Zurier, Asst. Attorney General, Aaron Weisman, Attorney General, for Defendant.



This matter came before this Court pursuant to an order requiring the applicant, Dennis W. LaChappelle, to appear and show cause why his appeal should not be summarily denied and dismissed. In this case the applicant appeals pro se from the denial of his application for postconviction relief filed pursuant to G.L.1956 chapter 9.1 of title 10. The applicant claims that he was denied effective assistance of counsel. After hearing arguments and reviewing memoranda submitted, the Court concludes that the applicant has failed to show cause.

The relevant facts show that on November 5, 1984, applicant agreed to plead nolo contendere to five counts of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and eight other miscellaneous charges. He was sentenced on his plea to fifteen years with six years to serve, nine years suspended, and probation to commence upon release.

While on probation, on February 22, 1992, applicant was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault, one against his eleven-year-old niece and one against her mother. Statements from the complaining witnesses indicated that applicant digitally penetrated his niece, giving her $5 to remain quiet about the incident, and he then proceeded to fondle her mother's breasts. Accordingly, following applicant's arrest, the Department of the Attorney General filed a notice of probation violation under Rule 32(f) of the Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure, alleging that applicant had violated the terms of his probation. A violation hearing was scheduled for April 13, 1992. We also note that a second violation report unrelated to the instant appeal was filed against applicant on March 9, 1992, for writing five bad checks in 1990.

On April 12, 1992, the day before the scheduled violation hearing, applicant met for the first time with his court-appointed counsel, Assistant Public Defender Richard Brousseau (Brousseau). According to the applicant, Brousseau spent approximately ten minutes discussing the case with him and suggested that he accept a state's plea offer of seven years to serve on both the violation as well as on the two new and pending sexual assault charges. Applicant refused to accept the state's plea offer...

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