State v Nelson

Nelson appealed his murder convictions arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court rejected his claims on remand and the Court affirmed. It held that claims of ineffectiveness for a reenactment failed as the decision to offer a demonstration of Nelson’s version of events was consistent with physical evidence was within the rage of reasonable strategy; that the claim based on admitting Nelson was on probation was not deficient because it was reasonable course to explain Nelson’s burying the victims’ bodies and repeatedly lying to police; a claim based on failure to impeach police officers about discovering a missing tuck was not deficient because the alleged falsehoods were inconsequential and raising the issue could have annoyed the jury; a claim based on failure to introduce certain blood evidence from the crime scene was not prejudicial because the testing could be explained by the interactions of testing chemicals and the presence or absence of human blood would not have made self-defense more likely and Nelson’s 16 for 16 hits on the victims, threats to kill the one victim and disposal of carpet and other physical evidence provided an overwhelming basis to convict; a claim relating to failing to discover a bullet was not prejudicial for the same reasons; that Nelson inadequately briefed his claim as to counsel’s failure to object at jury selection and thus the claim was rejected; and, no prejudice resulted from the failure to object to jury instructions because the jury verdict’s demonstrates it rejected Nelson’s theory and thus any ambiguity in the instructions did not prejudice nelson.