Georgia’s Mitchell Superior Court convicted Frederick L. Shelton of cocaine possession, obstructing an officer, and a sound violation. Shelton believed his counsel to be lacking and asked the trial court for a new trial, which the court granted.
After reviewing the case, the Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court’s decision, noting several flaws in the court’s reasoning. Because Mr. Shelton felt that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated during his encounter with the police, he thought his attorney should have filed a motion to suppress evidence. Upon review of the police encounter video, the Court determined that his detainment and subsequent pat-down was brief and constitutional, and therefore, the motion to suppress was unwarranted. The Court also relied upon the record to show that Mr. Shelton’s counsel thoroughly investigated the case in spite of Mr. Shelton’s opinions otherwise. The last point of contention regarding the attorney’s performance was his lack of objection to the scales used in weighing the cocaine. The Court determined that his objection would have been pointless because, as was demonstrated during the trial, the scales followed a chain of custody, proving that their accuracy was not compromised.
Ultimately, Frederick Shelton’s attorney worked within the scope of his legal abilities, and the Court of Appeals recognized his satisfactory performance, denying the grant for a new trial.