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GREGORY, Justice.
Habeas corpus. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Williams.
Petitioner Tyrone B. Hendricks, was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to serve twenty years in the penitentiary. His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in Hendricks v. State, 157 Ga. App. 715 (278 SE2d 453) (1981). Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus was denied in April, 1981. We granted his application to appeal the denial of his petition for habeas corpus. We affirm.
Petitioner's sole enumeration of error is that he was denied effective assistance of counsel at trial in that his attorney refused him the opportunity to take the witness stand and testify in his own behalf. Petitioner avers that, had he been permitted to, he would have testified that he had conspired with the victim of the armed robbery to steal items from the Majik Market store; this, he contends, would have proved that he was not guilty of armed robbery, but guilty only of theft by taking and conspiracy.
Petitioner states that his attorney refused to allow him to testify because (1) "the closing argument was more important than [petitioner's] testimony" and (2) the attorney feared petitioner's history of prior convictions might come to light on cross-examination. Petitioner complains, however, that his right to closing argument was lost when his attorney attempted to introduce certain testimony at trial; further, petitioner asserts that he was willing to explain his prior convictions to the jury and to demonstrate to them that he had "changed."
We noted in Reid v. State, 235 Ga. 378, 379 (219 SE2d 740) (1975) that under the ABA Standards, relating to the Administration of Criminal Justice (1974), "whether to testify in his own behalf" is a decision which is "to be made by the accused after full consultation with counsel." ABA Standards, The Defense Function 5.2 (a) (iii), p. 127. We agree with the habeas court that the evidence presented authorized a finding that petitioner made the decision, albeit reluctantly, to not testify in his own behalf after full consultation with his attorney concerning the risks involved.
Lewis R. Slaton, District Attorney, Joseph J. Drolet, Benjamin H. Oehlert III, Assistant District Attorneys, Arthur K. Bolton, Attorney General, for appellees.
Robert L. Whatley, for appellant.
Thursday May 21 22:24 EDT

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