Lukehart v. StateAnnotate this Case
Defendant was tried and convicted for the murder of a five-month-old. Defendant was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and sentence of death but remanded for resentencing on the aggravated child abuse conviction. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to vacate judgment and sentence. The lower court denied Defendant's claims. Defendant then appealed, asserting that his counsel was ineffective. The Supreme Court denied the appeal. Thereafter, Defendant filed a successive motion to vacate judgment and sentence with special request for leave to amend, asserting that his counsel was ineffective. The circuit court summarily denied the motion and subsequent rehearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because Defendant's motion was untimely, the postconviction court properly summarily denied the motion; and (2) because Defendant did not address the merits of his claim on appeal, and because the postconviction court did not rule on the merits, the Court would not reach the merits of his claim.