State v. Ketchum

Decision Date16 September 1997
Docket NumberNo. 1,CA-CR,1
Citation191 Ariz. 415,956 P.2d 1237
Parties, 252 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 28 STATE of Arizona, Respondent, v. John Howard KETCHUM, Petitioner. 96-629-PR.
CourtArizona Court of Appeals

EHRLICH, Presiding Judge.

In this opinion, we address a narrow issue regarding the bifurcated trial of an offense enhanced by the allegation of a prior felony conviction: Whether evidence admitted during the "guilt phase" of the trial later may be considered by the jury to determine whether the defendant was convicted of the alleged prior felony. We hold that consideration of such evidence is proper.


In October 1988, John Howard Ketchum was tried on an indictment charging him with one count of possession and one count of transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, class 2 felonies. During the guilt phase of the trial, the prosecutor elicited from an arresting officer Ketchum's birthdate, his Social Security number and the fact that Ketchum stated that he was born in Arkansas. After guilty verdicts were returned, the state's allegation of a prior felony conviction was tried to the same jury. In his closing statement, the prosecutor referred to evidence documenting a 1971 felony conviction for second-degree burglary from Sacramento County, California. The prosecutor argued:

[Y]ou will note on here that it identifies a person ... known as John Wesley Ketchum. That person was born in Arkansas, and if you will recall what I asked Officer Hall, ... the defendant said that he was born in Arkansas.

He gave a Social Security number. It's the same Social Security number as this person.

He also gave a date of birth, and that's the same date of birth as this person.

Ketchum's trial counsel made no objection to this argument. The jury determined that Ketchum had been convicted of the California offense. Ketchum's convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal. State v Ketchum, 1 CA-CR 89-082, Memo. Dec. at 10 (App. June 5, 1990).

Ketchum filed a notice of post-conviction relief in October 1994. ARIZ. R. CRIM. P . ("Rule") 32. Among other claims, he asserted that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to this reference of the prosecutor, during closing argument in the trial of the prior felony conviction, to identification testimony admitted during the guilt phase of the trial. The trial court summarily dismissed the claim and Ketchum petitioned for review.


A trial court may summarily dismiss a petition for post-conviction relief only if it determines that no "material issue of fact or law [exists] which would entitle [the petitioner] to relief under this rule...." Rule 32.6(c). In contradistinction, in order to receive an evidentiary hearing, the petitioner must present a "colorable claim"--one which, if true, could have changed the outcome in the trial court. State v. Watton, 164 Ariz. 323, 328, 793 P.2d 80, 85 (1990). An appellate court will reverse a trial court's summary dismissal only if it affirmatively appears that there was an abuse of the trial court's discretion. Id. at 325, 793 P.2d at 82.

To raise a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the petitioner must allege (1) the deficient performance of counsel in that his counsel's actions fell below the objective standards of representation measured by prevailing professional norms and (2) that his counsel's deficient performance resulted in prejudice to him. State v. Rankovich, 159 Ariz. 116, 122, 765 P.2d 518, 524 (1988). A court need not address both parts of the test if the petitioner makes an insufficient showing on one. Id.

We find no abuse of discretion in the trial court's summary dismissal of Ketchum's claim. Because the prosecutor's reference to testimony admitted during the guilt phase of the trial was proper, Ketchum's counsel did not render deficient performance by failing to object.

The statute guiding the analysis of the enhancement of a sentence by proof of a prior conviction, former ARIZ.REV.STAT. ANN. ("A.R.S.") section 13-604(K) (1989), 1 does not directly address Ketchum's claim. The relevant criminal rule, Rule 19.1(b), 2 is similarly silent. However, both the statute and the rule imply that guilt-phase testimony may be relevant to determining the existence of the prior conviction since each provision dispenses with proof of the conviction if it has been "admitted." That is, "[i]f the defendant admits the prior conviction during testimony at the trial, the court may, without submitting the matter to the jury, find that the allegation of prior conviction is, in fact, true." State v. Gilbert, 119 Ariz. 384, 385, 581 P.2d 229, 230 (1978). If the testimony of the defendant at the guilt phase of trial can be dispositive of the allegation of a prior conviction, it is reasonable to conclude that other evidence admitted during the guilt phase, like the identification evidence at issue here, should be available to the jury regardless whether it is offered again during the trial of the prior conviction.

We note that A.R.S. section 13-703(C) (Supp.1996), governing capital sentencing, expressly authorizes the court to consider evidence which was admitted in the guilt phase of trial. This provision states: "Evidence admitted at the trial, relating to ... aggravating or mitigating circumstances, shall be considered without reintroducing it at the sentencing proceeding."

Allowing the same jury to consider evidence that it heard before rendering its guilty verdict is not inconsistent with the purpose of a bifurcated trial, which is to protect "the defendant from having the fact of a prior conviction prejudice him in the determination of his guilt or innocence of the crime charged." Gilbert, 119 Ariz. at 385, 581 P.2d at 230. Cases cited by Ketchum in support of his argument that the guilt phase and prior-conviction trial are separate proceedings do no more than acknowledge that purpose. See State v. Kiper, 181 Ariz. 62, 69, 887 P.2d 592, 599 (Ap...

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2 cases
  • State v. Donald
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • September 26, 2000
    ...filed a timely petition to this court for review. We review a summary dismissal for abuse of discretion. State v. Ketchum, 191 Ariz. 415, 416, 956 P.2d 1237, 1238 (App.1997). ¶ 8 More specifically, we review whether Donald has presented a colorable ineffective assistance of counsel claim.2 ......
  • State v. Gingerich, 1 CA-CR 13-0363 PRPC
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • May 19, 2015
    ...a material issue of fact or law which would entitle the defendant to relief." Ariz. R. Crim. P. 32.6(c); State v. Ketchum, 191 Ariz. 415, 416, 956 P.2d 1237, 1238 (App. 1997). A defendant, as a result, is entitled to an evidentiaryhearing if he presents a colorable claim. State v. D'Ambrosi......

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