State ex rel. Blankenship v. Boles

Decision Date23 March 1965
Docket NumberNo. 12424,12424
Citation149 W.Va. 377,141 S.E.2d 68
CourtWest Virginia Supreme Court
PartiesSTATE ex rel. Walter BLANKENSHIP v. Otto C. BOLES, Warden, West Virginia Penitentiary.

Syllabus by the Court

1. 'The right to the assistance of counsel, being a fundamental right, will not be presumed to have been waived by the failure of the accused to request counsel, by his entry of a guilty plea or by reason of a record silent on the matter of counsel.' Point 3, syllabus, State ex rel. May v. Boles, W.Va. , (Decided December 8, 1964.)

2. 'The general rule which presumes the regularity of court proceedings is subject to the qualification that, where the record is silent on the question, it can not be presumed that the accused waived his right to the assistance of counsel.' Point 4, syllabus, State ex rel. May v. Boles, W.Va. , (Decided December 8, 1964.)

Amos C. Wilson, Logan, for relator.

C. Donald Robertson, Atty. Gen., George H. Mitchell, Asst. Atty. Gen., Charleston, for respondent.

BERRY, Judge.

The petitioner, Walter Blankenship, invoked the original jurisdiction of this Court in this habeas corpus proceeding. The writ prayed for was granted on February 1, 1965, returnable on March 2, 1965, at which time the matter was submitted for decision upon brief and argument on behalf of the petitioner and the return of the defendant.

The petitioner was indicted on January 10, 1955 by the Grand Jury of Logan County, West Virginia, for the crime of breaking and entering. On January 14, 1955, he appeared before the Circuit Court of Logan County, West Virginia and pleaded guilty to the charge contained in the indictment and was remanded to jail. On February 21, 1955, an information was filed alleging former convictions and on the same day the petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment in the West Virginia State Penitentiary. The orders of arraignment and sentence are silent as to the appointment or assistance of counsel.

This case is controlled and governed by the recent case of State ex rel. May v. Boles, W.Va., 139 S.E.2d 177, (decided December 8, 1964), in which it was held that the right to the assistance of counsel is a fundamental right specifically provided for in both Federal and State Constitutions and if it does not affirmatively appear from the record that the accused was fully advised by the trial court of his right to the assistance of counsel any conviction in such case is void.

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2 cases
  • Cuppett v. Duckworth
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • 8 October 1993
    ...Boles, 149 W.Va. 516, 142 S.E.2d 55 (1965); State ex rel. Bryan v. Boles, 149 W.Va. 359, 141 S.E.2d 81 (1965); State ex rel. Cobb v. Boles, 149 W.Va. 377, 141 S.E.2d 59 (1965); State ex rel. Blankenship v. Boles, 149 W.Va. 324, 141 S.E.2d 68 (1965); State ex rel. Pettery v. Boles, 149 W.Va.......
  • State ex rel. Widmyer v. Boles
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • 12 October 1965
    ...767; State ex rel. Knzdron v. Boles, W.Va., 142 S.E.2d 769; State ex rel. Dayton v. Boles, W.Va., 142 S.E.2d 471; State ex rel. Bryan v. Boles, W.Va., 141 S.E.2d 81; State ex rel. Pettery v. Boles, W.Va., 141 S.E.2d 80; State ex rel. Blankenship v. Boles, W.Va., 141 S.E.2d 68; State ex rel.......

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