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Degroat’s Appeal Denied

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

The state court of appeals denied a Putnam County man’s appeal of drug charges.

Merle Aaron Degroat was found guilty by a Putnam County Criminal Court in the 2015 case. Charges included the manufacture of methamphetamine and burglary of a motor vehicle.

Degroat argued that he did not receive effective counsel in the case. The court disagreed.

“Petitioner has not shown that trial counsel rendered deficient performance by failing to adequately consult with him prior to Petitioner entering the guilty pleas,” Judge Thomas Woodall wrote in the decision. “The post-conviction court specifically found that trial counsel’s testimony was credible.”

The appeals court said it is the duty of the trial court solely to determine the credibility of witnesses, as well as the weight and value of their testimony.


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