Pursuant to the provisions of Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the clerk of the trial court transmitted to this Court this application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967). Applicant was convicted of seven counts of sexual assault of a child and seven counts of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment on each count. The Third Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Syfers v. State, 03-09-00278-CR (Tex. App.--Austin, delivered July 22, 2010, no pet.).
Applicant contends, inter alia, that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance because he failed to adequately investigate the facts of this case and call several favorable defense witnesses who were available and willing to testify on his behalf at both the guilt-innocence and punishment phases of his trial. The Applicant has provided several sworn affidavits and other exhibits in support of his claim.
Applicant has alleged facts that, if true, might entitle him to relief. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984); Ex parte Patterson, 993 S.W.2d 114, 115 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). In these circumstances, additional facts are needed. As we held in Ex parte Rodriguez, 334 S.W.2d 294, 294 (Tex. Crim. App. 1960), the trial court is the appropriate forum for findings of fact. The trial court shall order trial counsel to respond to Applicant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court may use any means set out in Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 11.07, § 3(d). In the appropriate case, the trial court may rely on its personal recollection. Id.
If the trial court elects to hold a hearing, it shall determine whether Applicant is indigent. If Applicant is indigent and wishes to be represented by counsel, the trial court shall appoint an attorney to represent Applicant at the hearing. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 26.04.
The trial court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether the performance of Applicant's trial counsel was deficient and, if so, whether counsel's deficient performance prejudiced Applicant. The trial court shall also make any other findings of fact and conclusions of law that it deems relevant and appropriate to the disposition of Applicant's claim for habeas corpus relief.
This application will be held in abeyance until the trial court has resolved the fact issues. The issues shall be resolved within 90 days of this order. A supplemental transcript containing all affidavits and interrogatories or the transcription of the court reporter's notes from any hearing or deposition, along with the trial court's supplemental findings of fact and conclusions of law, shall be forwarded to this Court within 120 days of the date of this order. Any extensions of time shall be obtained from this Court.
Filed: February 5, 2014
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