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Ex parte Ridings

Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas

December 18, 2013

EX PARTE FRED RIDINGS III, Applicant

Do not publish

ON APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS CAUSE NO. D-1-DC-09-904115-A IN THE 167TH DISTRICT COURT FROM TRAVIS COUNTY

ORDER

Per curiam.

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the clerk of the trial court transmitted to this Court this application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967). Applicant was convicted of murder and sentenced to thirty-two years' imprisonment. The Eleventh Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Ridings v. State, 11-10-00013-CR (Tex. App.--Eastland 2012, pet. ref'd).

Applicant contends that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance because, among other things, he failed to raise insanity as a defense and instead allowed Applicant to determine his trial strategy. Applicant has alleged facts that, if true, might entitle him to relief. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984); Ex parte Patterson, 993 S.W.2d 114, 115 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). In these circumstances, additional facts are needed. As we held in Ex parte Rodriguez, 334 S.W.2d 294, 294 (Tex. Crim. App. 1960), the trial court is the appropriate forum for findings of fact. The trial court shall order trial counsel to respond to Applicant's claim. The trial court may use any means set out in Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 11.07, § 3(d).

Applicant appears to be represented by counsel. If he is not and the trial court elects to hold a hearing, it shall determine whether Applicant is indigent. If Applicant is indigent and wishes to be represented by counsel, the trial court shall appoint an attorney to represent him at the hearing. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 26.04.

The trial court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether counsel's conduct was deficient and Applicant was prejudiced. The trial court shall determine whether there is a reasonable probability that, had counsel presented an insanity defense, the jury would have found Applicant not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial court shall also determine whether counsel was deficient by not raising insanity as a defense. The trial court shall also make any other findings and conclusions that it deems relevant and appropriate to the disposition of Applicant's claim for habeas corpus relief.

This application will be held in abeyance until the trial court has resolved the fact issues. The issues shall be resolved within 90 days of this order. A supplemental transcript containing all affidavits and interrogatories or the transcription of the court reporter's notes from any hearing or deposition, along with the trial court's supplemental findings of fact and conclusions of law, shall be forwarded to ...


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