West Virginia Man Appeals to Reinstate Rights After DUI

A West Virginia man convicted of a fatal DUI in 2018 is appealing to the court to reinstate his post-sentence appeal rights. Keep reading for more information.

May 31, 2018

Chase Edward Turner was convicted of a felony DUI after his involvement in a crash that resulted in the death of Olivia Red. Turner was driving under the influence when he went the wrong way on Route 219. He collided with Red’s vehicle, killing her and severely injuring passenger Angela Phillips.

Judge Patrick T. Kiniry found Turner guilty of DUI manslaughter and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. Nearly four years later, Turner has filed a petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Relief Act which dramatically alters his circumstances.

What Is the Post-Conviction Relief Act?

The Post-Conviction Relief act is a procedure that enables the defendant in a criminal case to bring more evidence to the court after their initial trial and conviction. The purpose of this procedure is to allow those convicted of a crime to pursue a fair resolution to their case especially if the original verdict was unfavorable.

Post-conviction relief is different from an appeal because it is filed with the trial court and allows the defendant to focus on issues that were unclear or unfair in the original case. Additionally, a PCR argument is filed after the defendant loses their original appeal.

If a PCR motion is successful, the court may allow a new trial, modify the existing sentence, or order additional relief for the defendant depending on the case. The court will allow the following evidence in a PCR case:

  • DNA tests
  • Prosecution misconduct
  • Evidence or perjury
  • Ineffective or poor attorney counsel during the original trial
  • New laws or modifications since the verdict

During a post-conviction relief hearing, the defendant’s attorney will present the new evidence and establish the grounds for relief. The defendant may testify on their own behalf and the victim may be called on for an impact statement. Impact statements usually address the victim’s side of the story and concerns regarding the defendant’s release or behavior. Once the case has been presented, the court will decide whether to grant additional relief.

Attorney Trouble

Turner filed a petition for relief stating that his attorney for the original trial did not file an appeal on his behalf. He says that he asked his attorney to file an appeal the day he was sentenced and discussed options with him and his wife. He believed that an appeal was filed on his behalf. However, according to Turner, an appeal was never filed.

His attorney testified that Turner did not want to pursue an appeal. They told the court that they sent Turner a notice to inform him of his options should he choose to pursue an appeal later. The court found that the notice was dated after the trial, but Turner denies having received it. While in Turner’s case, it seems that PCR is unlikely, it is an alternative to appeals.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in West Virginia, The Wagner Law Firm can help. Our premier DUI attorney has helped countless clients pursue the most optimal result. Schedule your appointment today!