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Supreme Court of Indiana.

COREY MIDDLETON, Appellant (Petitioner below), v. STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee (Respondent below).

No. 32S01-1704-PC-226

Decided: April 21, 2017

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT, Jeffrey A. Baldwin, Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles, Zahn, & Paul, Indianapolis, IN ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE, Curtis T. Hill, Jr., Attorney General of Indiana, Jesse R. Drum, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana

Corey Middleton filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging several claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The post-conviction court denied Middleton's petition, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Middleton v. State, 64 N.E.3d 895 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016), reh'g denied. In so doing, the court determined Middleton's counsel performed deficiently as to one of Middleton's claims. Id. at 903. But the court ultimately rejected that claim, finding Middleton had “not established that but for counsel's error, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” Id. at 902. Middleton seeks transfer, contending, among other things, that the Court of Appeals applied the incorrect standard in making this assessment.

We agree with our colleagues' ultimate resolution of Middleton's claims. We note, however, that to demonstrate prejudice from counsel's deficient performance, a petitioner need only show “a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 694 (1984) (emphasis added). “A reasonable probability is a probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome.” Id. See, e.g., Campbell v. State, 19 N.E.3d 271, 274 (Ind. 2014); Wilkes v. State, 984 N.E.2d 1236, 1241 (Ind. 2013) (quoting Strickland).

Accordingly, we grant transfer and summarily affirm the Court of Appeals opinion pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 58(A), with the exception of its misstatement of Strickland's prejudice standard.

Per Curiam.

All Justices concur.

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Docket No: No. 32S01-1704-PC-226

Decided: April 21, 2017

Court: Supreme Court of Indiana.

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