A 29-year-old man who is serving time for the armed robbery in 2016 of a man who worked as a pizza deliveryman filed an appeal from his conviction. Along with challenging the eyewitness that identified him, the man claims that his appointed counsel had various shortcomings and provided an ineffective defense. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied his appeals application. Post-conviction matters are nevertheless an important aspect of the criminal judicial process after a guilty verdict has been returned.
According to court documents, the man demanded money at gunpoint from a pizza deliveryman in the parking lot of a residential complex in Holland. Although the victim only gave up $20 initially, he ultimately handed over all the money he had on him -- about $250 and some change. After the robber let him go, the deliveryman returned to his employer, who called the police.
An eyewitness who claimed to have been in the same parking lot claimed to have followed the car driven by the robber for about 10 minutes before pulling in front of him to have a look at the driver. He subsequently identified the 29-year-old man as the robber. A jury later convicted the defendant, and he was handed a prison sentence of 13 to 30 years for armed robbery along with felony firearms and assault charges.
In his appeal, the man questioned the identification, but the appeals court found that the parking area was well lit, making identification possible. The appeals court also rejected his claim that his trial lawyer failed to properly represent the man. Others in Michigan in a similar situation might not realize that a criminal conviction is not necessarily the end. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help with post-conviction matters, including appeals to higher courts when appropriate.