Convicted rapist Alliano drops appeal, will die in prison - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Convicted rapist Alliano drops appeal, will die in prison

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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UPDATE: Convicted Cordova serial rapist Anthony Alliano dropped his appeal in Shelby County Criminal Court and will serve a 178 year sentence.

Alliano will die in prison.

"This will end this matter in court today Mr. Alliano. Do you understand that?," said Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee.
MORE: Serial rapist sentenced to 178 years in jail

 "Yes, sir," said Alliano said, who admitted to raping seven Cordova women and girls over a seven-year period.

Alliano was finally arrested in 2010. He pleaded guilty in March 2013 to a long list of charges and he was given what amounts to a life sentence.
MORE: Victim proposes legislation for statute of limitations on rape

 Judge Coffee told Alliano he got a good deal from prosecutors.

"Mr. Alliano let me assure you that if these cases were tried, the 178 years that the State of Tennessee recommended on this case, is a much better deal than you would get if you were tried on these cases and convicted on these cases," Judge Coffee said.

Alliano decided to fight his conviction in January, filing what's called a petition for post conviction relief, he wanted his plea overturned.

In his petition Alliano said he didn't get proper representation from Blake Ballin, his attorney at the time of the plea. But his current lawyer, Drew Plunk, said his investigation didn't find any wrongdoing.

"I tried to look even beyond the issues that he had written in the original petition, and they just weren't there," Plunk said.

That's why they dropped the challenge.

Judge Coffee said Ballin did a remarkable job representing Alliano.
"This was absolutely a decision Mr. Alliano made on his own," Ballin said. "He was given two decisions or two options. They weren't very good ones but he made his own choices."
Prosecutors made the plea deal so the victims wouldn't have to deal with a trial. Now the case is finally closed.

"I'm glad that we were able to put Mr. Alliano in jail for 178 years," said Shelby County Deputy District Attorney General Jennifer Nichols. "That's where he belongs."

Judge Coffee slammed the state law that allowed Alliano to challenge his guilty plea. From the bench he took the rare step of challenging state lawmakers to change the law.

Judge Coffee wants the Tennessee General Assembly to change the laws that allow people who voluntarily plead guilty to challenge those pleas.

In Tennessee once someone makes a guilty plea they have one year to come back and challenge that plea. In this case Alliano argued he was coerced into making the plea and he said he didn't get effective legal representation.

His own lawyer says he couldn't find any evidence and the judge says this kind of petition shouldn't be allowed.

"The legislature in the State of Tennessee General Assembly needs to look at doing away with the petition for post conviction relief on guilty pleas because it is not in the best interest of administration of justice to put folks through a continuing year where it's sitting basically at home holding their breath waiting and hoping that a petition is not filed on something that absolutely has no merit," Judge Coffee said.

When Alliano was sentenced in March 2013 he was asked under oath whether he was happy with his legal representation. He told Judge Coffee he was satisfied.

Several times during Monday's hearing Judge coffee said this law should be reconsidered. He also encouraged the district attorney's office to work to have the law changed, but defense attorneys say it's an important avenue that is necessary in some cases.


(from earlier)

Convicted serial rapist, Anthony Alliano is expected in court this morning to ask a Shelby County Criminal Court judge to reverse his guilty plea that resulted in a plea deal.

Alliano was sentenced in March 2013 to 178 years in prison after pleading guilty to rape, robbery and burglary charges.  DNA evidence linked him to seven rape cases in Cordova between 2003-10.

Alliano's youngest rape victim was 12.

Alliano says he attorney led him to believe he was going to trial, but then told him it was in his best interest to plead guilty.  He says, if he had been given a trial, the state would have offered him a better plea deal.


MORE: 3 rape survivors file federal lawsuit over untested rape kits

Last week three women who were raped by Alliano filed a federal lawsuit against him, the city of Memphis and several other groups over the scores of untested rape kits.

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