Considered on Briefs August 25, 2014
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT BEADLE COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE ROBERT L. TIMM, Judge.
JEFF LARSON, Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorney, for petitioner, and appellant.
MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, KIRSTEN E. JASPER, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for respondent, and appellee.
WILBUR, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and KONENKAMP, ZINTER and SEVERSON, Justices, concur.
[¶1] John LeGrand, serving a 40-year sentence for a conviction of first-degree manslaughter, appeals the habeas court's judgment and order denying his application for a writ of habeas corpus. LeGrand claims that (1) his guilty plea was constitutionally deficient; (2) he was denied due process of law and his right to a jury trial when the circuit court denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea; and (3) he was
denied his right to effective assistance of counsel. We affirm the habeas court.
[¶2] John LeGrand, an independent building contractor, lived in a trailer park in Huron, South Dakota with his wife and three children. On the morning of April 16, 2009, LeGrand's employee R.J. Hein confronted LeGrand about unpaid wages. A short time later, LeGrand was driving when a vehicle in the opposite lane turned and purposefully blocked LeGrand's path. Hein exited the other vehicle and approached LeGrand's vehicle. As LeGrand accelerated to avoid Hein, Hein slipped on the road. LeGrand testified that he believed he ran over Hein's leg. Later that day, a mutual friend told LeGrand that Hein was upset and that " there was going to be problems."
[¶3] Around 5:30 that evening, Hein arrived at LeGrand's trailer while LeGrand, his wife, and his two youngest children were at home. LeGrand testified that he equipped himself with a loaded shotgun out of fear and confronted Hein at the front of his home. As LeGrand approached Hein, Hein charged into his home with a knife. LeGrand fired four shots at Hein fatally wounding him. LeGrand alleged that all of the shots occurred in the hallway of his home. Law enforcement discovered Hein's body on the driveway. Two knives were found on Hein's person and a third knife was found near ...