PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s supreme court has overturned an attempted murder conviction because the defendant’s lawyer didn’t let him testify at trial.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously Thursday that Bartolo Ford’s attorney, Daniel Lilley, provided ineffective counsel because he didn’t allow Ford to testify in his own defense about the night he led police on a chase in a dump truck.
Ford rammed a police cruiser, and was shot in the hip. He was ordered to serve nine years for aggravated attempted murder and other charges.
The court said that because Ford didn’t testify, the jury was deprived of testimony about his state of mind that evening in 2008. Lilley, who died two years ago, argued Barolo suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in the Gulf War.