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CHARLES RICHTER v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Ineffective assistance of counsel — Post conviction

Charles Richter (“Richter”), appellant, a retired police officer, was convicted of the second-degree murder of his next-door neighbor, Mark Xander (“Xander”). Richter admitted to shooting Xander, but Richter asserted that he had done so in self-defense. On direct appeal, we affirmed Richter’s conviction in an unreported opinion. Richter v. State, No. 1153, Sept. Term 2012 (filed June 24, 2013). This case is before us on appeal from an order of the Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County granting in part and denying in part the petition for post-conviction relief filed by Richter.1 Richter filed an application for leave to appeal, which this Court granted.

On appeal, Richter raises six questions for our consideration, which we have rephrased as follows:

I. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective when he did not lodge an objection to the prosecutor’s references to certain collateral matters during Richter’s cross-examination.

II. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective when he did not lodge an objection to the prosecutor’s accusation that Richer was lying.

III. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective when he did not lodge an objection when the prosecutor asked “were-they-lying” questions during Richter’s cross-examination.

IV. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective when he did not object to police officer testimony about police training and experience.

V. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective when he did not object to testimony by a paramedic about the distance the victim could walk after being shot.

VI. Whether the post-conviction court erred when it found that defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective by failing to rehabilitate Richter’s wife with a recorded prior consistent statement on redirect examination.

Read the opinion here:

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