COMMONWEALTH V. BOWLES
CRIMINAL: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
PUBLISHED: 445 REVERSING; OPINION WRITTEN BY – CUNNINGHAM
DATE RENDERED: 11/01/2007
SC reversed CA and reinstated TC’s order denying Defendant’s RCr 11.42 motion to vacate alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Bowles’ conviction for murder and life sentence reinstated. CA opinion focused on two issues: 1.) the failure of Bowles’ attorney to object to the introduction of evidence of Bowles being involved in a hit and run driving accident over two weeks after the murder; and 2.) the failure of trial counsel to preserve objection over limited impeachment evidence concerning Bowles’ brother’s previous rape conviction. The alleged errors, alone or in combination, do not rise to the level of "errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the `counsel’ guaranteed -defendant by the Sixth Amendment ."
Digested by Scott C. Byrd
Olgin and Byrd