(Memphis) Anthony Alliano’s rape victims may have thought one part of a nightmare was over, but that changed Friday.
“It awakened a nightmare for them for him to be back in court,” said Deborah Clubb with the Memphis Area Women’s Council.
After reaching a plea deal with prosecutors in lieu of a trial and getting a 175-year sentence, Alliano has now filed a petition, saying his attorney Blake Ballin led him to believe he was going to trial, but then said it would be in his best interest to plead guilty.
Alliano wrote, “I believe if I had proceeded to trial, the state would have offered me a much better plea agreement. My attorney reassured me that he would be able to beat the majority of charges if we proceeded to trial.”
Alliano says his attorney didn’t thoroughly investigate his case and coerced him to plead guilty.
He says an ineffective counsel violates his constitutional rights.
Andrew Plunk is now Alliano’s new court-appointed attorney.
“He still has rights and we have to make sure those rights are afforded to him,” said Plunk.
Judge Lee Coffee made it clear to Alliano in court, while he could possibly get the plea overturned and go to trial, it may not turn out like he thinks
“Mr.Alliano if you are tried on these cases and convicted on these cases you will probably get upward of a lot more time in prison that what the State of Tennessee allowed you to plead guilty to,” said Judge Coffee.
“Anthony Alliano needs to go back to jail and sit there quietly for 175 years and stop using taxpayer dollars coming back through the system,” said Clubb.
From all indications, Alliano plans to move forward and get his case re-heard.
He will be back in court March 31, 2014.
The Ballin Law Firm told us by phone they have no comment on Alliano’s claim they didn’t give him effective counsel. They say they don’t agree, and effectively represented him.