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Name: In re Rocha
Case #: B180415
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/28/2005

In Rocha’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, he claimed that his counsel’s ineffectiveness deprived him of a fair trial. The court denied the petition, and he renewed it. The petition was renewed and denied again. The appellate court granted the petition. There were several eyewitnesses which Rocha’s counsel should have investigated, but failed to. Counsel should have known that the entire case rested upon his ability to discredit the eyewitness identifications. Further, there was evidence that counsel spent very little time preparing for trial. There was such an extreme dereliction of the duty to conduct a timely and reasonable investigation of the case as to constitute a breakdown in the adversarial process. The deficient performance of trial counsel was necessarily prejudicial and required a new trial.