McCraney v. State, 685S249PS

CourtSupreme Court of Indiana
Citation508 N.E.2d 798
Docket NumberNo. 685S249PS,685S249PS
PartiesLarry C. McCRANEY, Appellant (Petitioner below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Respondent below).
Decision Date10 June 1987

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender, William L. Touchette, Deputy Public Defender, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Gary Damon Secrest, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Petitioner-Appellant, Larry C. McCraney, was found guilty by a jury of the crime of murder, and sentenced to fifty (50) years imprisonment. On April 21, 1983, this Court affirmed his conviction. McCraney v. State (1983), Ind., 447 N.E.2d 589. Subsequently, McCraney filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief which was denied. McCraney now appeals the denial, raising the following issues for our review:

1. effective assistance of trial counsel, and

2. prosecutorial misconduct in suppressing evidence favorable to the defense.

We note that these issues were available for McCraney to raise on direct appeal. Post-conviction relief is not open for raising issues which were available to a petitioner on direct appeal. Riddle v. State (1986), Ind., 491 N.E.2d 527, 528. Absent a showing of fundamental error, the issue is waived. Id.


McCraney first argues he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to adequately present McCraney's claim of self-defense. Specifically, McCraney claims counsel failed to call both McCraney and his brother in order to establish that McCraney did in fact have knowledge of the victim's violent acts committed against third parties. Also, McCraney asserts that had certain witnesses been called, the evidence would have shown that the victim chose to join in the confrontation between McCraney and his girlfriend, instead of leaving through the back door as did other witnesses. McCraney feels this evidence would have made his self-defense claim more plausible. And McCraney also alleges that counsel failed to present evidence which in McCraney's opinion showed the victim was robbed after his death, thus indicating others at the crime scene had a motive to focus attention on McCraney in order to cover up their deeds.

To establish a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant must first show that his attorney acted in a professionally unreasonable manner. Second, the defendant must show the attorney's unreasonable conduct prejudiced the defendant's case. Lawrence v. State (1984), Ind., 464 N.E.2d 1291, 1294, citing Strickland v. Washington (1984), 466 US 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 70 L.Ed.2d 674. A defendant must also overcome, with strong and convincing evidence, the presumption that his counsel was competent. Bailey v. State (1985), Ind., 472 N.E.2d 1260, 1264; Terry v. State (1984), Ind., 465 N.E.2d 1085, 1089. On appeal, the defendant must satisfy this Court that the evidence as a whole leads unmistakably and unerringly to the conclusion that defendant's trial counsel afforded ineffective assistance of counsel. Joseph v. State (1985), Ind., 483 N.E.2d 32, 33; Lynk v. State (1985), Ind. 479 N.E.2d 551, 552. We conclude, as did the post-conviction court, that McCraney has not met his burden in this respect.

Counsel's failure to call McCraney as a witness appears to have been a tactical decision given McCraney had several prior felony convictions. Further, it appears that McCraney is merely trying to cure a defect in his original appeal where we held that evidence of the victim's violent nature was not admissible because McCraney had no prior knowledge of such. McCraney at 592. McCraney's assertion that had he testified at trial, he would have stated his brother informed him of the victim's violent nature before the shooting occurred, is self-serving and appears to us to be an afterthought. McCraney's allegation that he requested counsel to...

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7 cases
  • Nuerge v. State, 79A05-9605-CR-204
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 13, 1997 a whole leads unmistakably and unerringly to the conclusion that defense counsel afforded ineffective assistance. McCraney v. State, 508 N.E.2d 798, 799 (Ind.1987). We are not satisfied that Nuerge met this Although we would generally begin with a discussion of whether a timely objection......
  • Jones v. State, 27S00-8701-CR-59
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 11, 1989
    ...must overcome, with strong and compelling evidence, the presumption that his counsel was competent. McCraney v. State (1987), Ind., 508 N.E.2d 798, 799; Bailey v. State (1985), Ind., 472 N.E.2d 1260, 1264. This Court stated in Hestand v. State (1986), Ind., 491 N.E.2d 976, The guidelines fo......
  • White v. State, 28A05-9512-PC-491
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 17, 1996
    ...of fundamental error may be raised in a post-conviction petition even if the issue was waived in the direct appeal. McCraney v. State, 508 N.E.2d 798, 799 (Ind.1987). "Fundamental error" is an error so blatant as to render the trial unfair to the defendant and, thereby, deprive the defendan......
  • Harris v. State, 49A02-8612-PC-461
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 3, 1988
    ...that the errors resulted in such prejudice as to deprive him of a trial whose result is reliable. See McCraney v. State (1987), Ind., 508 N.E.2d 798, (citing Strickland v. Washington (1984), 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674); see also Baggett, supra; Slaton v. State (1987), Ind.......
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