Mekonnen v. State, 031920 NVCA, 77663-COA

Docket Nº:77663-COA
Opinion Judge:Gibbons, C.J.
Party Name:IDA SISSAY MEKONNEN, A/K/A HAYMANOT MEKONNEN, Appellant, v. THE STATE OF NEVADA, Respondent.
Judge Panel:Tao, J., Bulla, J. Hon. Carolyn Ellsworth, District Judge
Case Date:March 19, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Nevada
 
FREE EXCERPT

IDA SISSAY MEKONNEN, A/K/A HAYMANOT MEKONNEN, Appellant,

v.

THE STATE OF NEVADA, Respondent.

No. 77663-COA

Court of Appeals of Nevada

March 19, 2020

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

ORDER OF AFFIRMANCE

Gibbons, C.J.

Ida Sissay Mekonnen appeals from an order of the district court denying a postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; Carolyn Ellsworth, Judge.

Mekonnen argues the district court erred by denying the claims I of ineffective assistance of counsel raised in her September 18, 2017, I postconviction petition. To prove ineffective assistance of counsel, a petitioner must demonstrate counsel's performance was deficient in that it fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and resulting prejudice such that there is a reasonable probability, but for counsel's errors, the outcome of the proceedings would have been different. Strickland v.

Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 (1984); Warden v. Lyons, 100 Nev. 430, 432-33, 683 P.2d 504, 505 (1984) (adopting the test in Strickland), Both components of the inquiry must be shown, Strickland, 466 U.S. at 697, and the petitioner must demonstrate the underlying facts by a preponderance of the evidence, Means v. State, 120 Nev. 1001, 1012, 103 P.3d 25, 33 (2004). We give deference to the district court's factual findings if supported by substantial evidence and not clearly erroneous but review the court's application of the law to those facts de novo. Lader v. Warden, 121 Nev. 682, 686, 120 P.3d 1164, 1166 (2005).

First, Mekonnen claimed her trial counsel was ineffective for failing to introduce photographs depicting the damage to her vehicle. Mekonnen contended the photographs would help to demonstrate that the victim hit her windshield with his fist. At the evidentiary hearing, trial counsel testified that he reviewed the photographs and discussed the damage with workers at an auto-body shop. Based upon his review and the discussion with the workers, he concluded the photographs would not be helpful to Mekonnen's defense and decided not to introduce them at trial. The district court found counsel's decision was reasonable under the circumstances in this case. Substantial evidence supports the district court's finding. See Ford v. State, 105 Nev. 850, 853, 784 P.2d 951, 953 (1989) ("Tactical decisions are virtually unchallengeable absent extraordinary circumstances."). The district court also found Mekonnen's testimony at the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP