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Ricky Lee Baker, the movant herein and the defendant in State v. Baker, 632 S.W.2d 52 (Mo.App. 1982), was convicted of first degree robbery and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. The unsuccessful defense in the criminal action was alibi. Movant and his brother Willie Baker testified that they and their sister-in-law Annie Pruitt had spent the afternoon preceding the robbery in Pruitt's apartment (where movant was arrested) and were in the apartment when the robbery occurred. Now movant appeals from an order denying his motion under Rule 27.26 to vacate his sentence, contending that his trial counsel's failure to produce Pruitt to bolster the alibi defense constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm. The two-part test for ineffective assistance of counsel is (1) performance of counsel that lacks the care and skill of a reasonably competent lawyer rendering similar services under the existing conditions, (2) resulting in prejudice to the defendant. Rodgers v. State, 610 S.W.2d 25, 27-28 (Mo.App. 1980). In the context of claims of ineffective assistance of counsel predicated on trial counsel's failure to produce alibi witnesses, we held in Porter v. State, 596 S.W.2d 480, 482 (Mo.App. 1980) that "" counsel have a responsibility to make 'a reasonable personal effort' to locate witnesses suggested by clients,"" and that in making that effort ""counsel are entitled to rely, at least in part, upon the efforts of the client's friends and family to locate witnesses."" Id. Whether counsel's effort was reasonable will depend on the factual circumstances of each case. See Rodgers v. State, 610 S.W.2d at 28.

Professional & Technical
May 15
LawApp Publishers
Innodata Book Distribution Services Inc

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