April 17, 2015
Howard Carl Whited
State of Alabama
from Blount Circuit Court. (CC-07-526).
P.J., and Welch, Kellum, Burke, and Joiner, JJ., concur.
Remand from the Alabama Supreme Court
appellant, Howard Carl Whited, was convicted of sodomy in the
first degree, a violation of § 13A-6-63, Ala. Code 1975.
The circuit court sentenced Whited to 35 years'
imprisonment and ordered Whited to pay $50 to the Alabama
Crime Victims Compensation Fund and court costs. This Court
affirmed Whited's conviction and sentence on March 14,
2014. See Whited v. State, [Ms. CR-09-0909, March
14, 2014] 180 So.3d 49 (Ala.Crim.App. 2014).
then petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court for certiorari
review, arguing that this Court's decision conflicted
with the United States Supreme Court's decision in
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct.
2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). Specifically, Whited argued that
his trial counsel's performance was deficient under
Strickland because, he said, trial counsel waived
Whited's right to a closing argument. The Supreme Court
granted certiorari review and, on February 6, 2015, reversed
this Court's judgment, holding that " 'the
circumstances surrounding the case at the time of
[Whited's] counsel's actions'" supported the
conclusion that the decision of Whited's trial counsel to
waive closing argument was deficient and that Whited was
prejudiced by his trial counsel's deficient performance.
Ex parte Whited, [Ms. 1130686, Feb. 6, 2015] 180
So.3d 69, (Ala. 2015)(quoting Strickland, 466 U.S.
at 689). The Court remanded the case to this Court for this
Court to order the circuit court to grant Whited's motion
for a new trial.
light of the Supreme Court's holding, Whited's
conviction for sodomy in the first degree is reversed, and
this case is remanded for the circuit court to grant
Whited's motion for a new trial.
Windom, P.J., and Welch, Kellum, Burke, and Joiner, JJ.,