Ex parte Christopher Eric Dalton.Annotate this Case
In 2009, Christopher Dalton pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder, one count of breaking and entering an automobile, and one count of misdemeanor theft. Dalton was sentenced to 2 terms of 30 years' imprisonment for his attempted-murder convictions, a 5-year prison sentence for his unlawful-breaking-and-entering conviction, and a 1-year prison sentence for his theft-of-property conviction. The sentences were to run concurrently. In November 2009, Dalton filed his first Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition, alleging that his counsel was constitutionally ineffective because he erroneously told Dalton that, on the 30-year sentence for attempted murder, he would be eligible for parole in 6 years. The Court of Criminal Appeals ultimately affirmed the trial court, finding that Dalton's counsel did not promise parole or that he would be eligible for parole in six years. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Criminal Appeals, "a promise of parole and a representation as to when a defendant will be eligible for parole are two different things." The case was remanded for the circuit court to determine whether Dalton's trial counsel misrepresented his eligibility for parole.