Michigan Appeals Court Directs Lower Court Judge to Conduct Evidentiary Hearing Regarding Adequacy of Defense Attorney in 2012 Murder Conviction

In November of last year, 30-year-old Roger Stein was convicted of first-degree murder; he is serving a life sentence, and contends he had “ineffective assistance of counsel.” Stein was found guilty by a jury in the June 2012 shooting death of 22-year-old Ricky Upshaw.

Stein appealed his conviction on the grounds that his attorney did not adequately defend him at trial. In October, the Michigan Court of Appeals signed an order directing a Jackson County Circuit Court judge to conduct an evidentiary hearing so that it can be determined whether Stein’s trial lawyer, Anthony Raduazo, was ineffective. According to a news article at Mlive.com, the Court of Appeals order was signed on October 25. The circuit court is to have the evidentiary hearing within 56 days of this date.

At his January sentencing hearing, Stein told Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe that he was innocent, and mumbled that he just wanted his appeal papers as sheriff’s deputies walked him out of the courtroom. Stein claims that he did not receive a fair trial; he told the judge that prior to deliberations, the only black individual on the jury was drawn off the panel.

Upon issuance of an order in the circuit court, the Court of Appeals will continue work on the case.

Stein allegedly shot Upshaw in the back after the two men had become engaged in an argument. Witnesses testified that as Upshaw walked away from the defendant in the 1000 block of Adrian Avenue, Stein fired the gun. Prosecutors argued that Stein’s actions were premeditated and intentional.

Anyone who has been wrongly convicted of a serious criminal offense such as murder may have the opportunity to appeal their conviction. The penalties for murder in the state of Michigan are extremely harsh, as indicated in this case. Unless Stein’s appeal is successful, he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The most important factor in winning an appeal is the lawyer you choose; you must hire a Michigan criminal appeals attorney who is thoroughly experienced and skilled in the appeals process.

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