Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of murder in the first degree, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, holding that the district court did not err in failing to suppress cell phone data content acquired through the execution of a search warrant. On appeal, Defendant argued that the search warrant was unsupported by probable cause and was insufficiently particular. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the search warrant was supported by probable cause and met the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment and article I, 7 of the Nebraska Constitution; and (2) therefore, the district court did not err in refusing to suppress evidence obtained through the execution of the warrant. View "State v. Goynes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for one count of attempted possession fo a controlled substance, a Class I misdemeanor, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that Defendant made a free, voluntary, knowing, and intelligent plea; (2) the district court did not err in accepting the plea because it did not violate double jeopardy where Defendant waived his rights in the plea agreement; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant to a term of incarceration; and (4) Defendant did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel. View "State v. Manjikian" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of first degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, holding that there was no plain error with regard to the prosecutor's opening statement or a witness's invocation of Fifth Amendment privilege in the jury's presence and that Defendant's claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel were without merit. Specifically, the Court held (1) no prosecutorial misconduct occurred during opening statements; (2) the bill of exceptions did not show that the prosecutor knew a witness would assert a testimonial privilege in the jury's presence; (3) expert testimony regarding blood spatter evidence was neither irrelevant nor unfairly prejudicial; and (4) therefore, trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to object to the prosecutor's opening statement, failing to demand compliance with Neb. Evid. R. 513(2) and failing to challenge the blood spatter evidence. View "State v. Munoz" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for first degree sexual assault, holding there was no merit to Defendant's assignments of error. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the authenticity for "Snapchat" evidence and that the prosecutor committed misconduct by commenting on Defendant's use of an interpreter. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the "Snapchat" evidence was properly authenticated, and therefore, trial counsel did not perform deficiently in failing to object to it; (2) there was no plain error in the prosecutor's closing argument; (3) there was no error in Defendant's assignments alleging that the evidence was insufficient and that his sentence was excessive; and (4) the record was insufficient to reach Defendant's other ineffective assistance of counsel claims. View "State v. Mrza" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion seeking post conviction relief from his conviction of third degree sexual assault of a child, second offense and sentence of fifty years' imprisonment, holding that Defendant could not prevail on any of his assignments of error. In his motion for postconviction relief Defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective at trial and on appeal. The district court denied the motion following an evidentiary hearing. Defendant appealed, asserting various grounds in support of his argument that the district court erred in denying his motion for postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no merit to any of Defendant's arguments on appeal. View "State v. Fuentes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court imposing an aggregate sentence of forty-two to fifty-five years in prison in connection with Defendant's no contest pleas to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, attempted first degree assault, and use of a firearm to commit a felony, holding that Defendant's sentences were not excessive, and Defendant's trial counsel was not ineffective. Specifically, the Court held (1) Defendant's claims that his counsel was ineffective for failing to utilize an interpreter when meeting with Defendant and failing to investigate, collect evidence, and interview witnesses were without merit; (2) the record was insufficient to address whether Defendant's counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress regarding Defendant's statements to law enforcement officers; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Defendant. View "State v. Chairez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying without an evidentiary hearing Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief, holding that the district court did not err in denying postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. In his postconviction motion, Appellant alleged that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. The district court denied the motion without a hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that counsel provided effective assistance and that the district court did not err in denying Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. View "State v. Martinez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence for robbery, holding that none of Defendant’s argument on appeal warranted reversal of his conviction. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err when it admitted into evidence a note that was found in what Defendant claimed was an improper search of his person; (2) the district court did not err when it determined that Defendant was competent to stand trial and for sentencing; (3) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction; (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant; and (5) as to Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, the claims were either without merit, not sufficiently stated, or could not be reviewed on direct appeal. View "State v. Garcia" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying, without a hearing, Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis, holding that the district court’s action was authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-2301.02. On appeal, Plaintiff did not challenge section 25.2301.02 but argued that the lack of a hearing in his case was unconstitutional. Plaintiff, however, did not file notice under Neb. Cr. R. App. P. 2-109(E) that is required for a party to present a case involving the constitutionality of a statute. The Supreme Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument on appeal, holding that notice under section 2-109(E) is required whenever the litigant implicitly challenges the constitutionality of a statute that, while not addressed in the appellate brief, explicitly authorizes the act the litigant claims is unconstitutional. View "Smith v. Wedekind" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions and sentences for first degree sexual assault of a child, incest with a person under eighteen years of age, and third degree sexual assault of a child, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his claims raised on appeal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the age classifications defining sexual assault of a child in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319.01(1)(a) and associated mandatory sentence in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319.01(2) are not unconstitutional; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in its challenged evidentiary rulings; (3) the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant’s convictions; and (4) Defendant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. View "State v. Hibler" on Justia Law