WI Court of Appeals – District III
Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Chris Michael Shaughnessy
Case No.: 2022AP000110
Officials: Stark, P.J., Hruz and Gill, JJ.
Focus: Postconviction Motion for Resentencing-Plea Agreement
The State charged Shaughnessy with one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual exploitation of a child. The charges were based on allegations that forty-four-year-old Shaughnessy had sexually assaulted fifteen-year-old Carly. Carly was a friend of Shaughnessy’s
daughter, had previously dated Shaughnessy’s son, and had lived in Shaughnessy’s home for almost two years.
Shaughnessy appeals from an order denying his postconviction motion for resentencing. Shaughnessy argues that the State breached the plea agreement during its sentencing argument and that the circuit court relied on inaccurate information and improper factors when imposing his sentence. Shaughnessy has not shown by clear and convincing evidence that the court gave “explicit attention” or “specific consideration” to the inaccurate information, such that it “formed part of the basis for the sentence.” Shaughnessy further asserts that his trial attorney was constitutionally ineffective by failing to object to these alleged errors and by emphasizing negative information about Shaughnessy during his sentencing argument. In addition, Shaughnessy argues that the postconviction court erred by denying his postconviction motion without holding a Machner hearing. The appeals court concluded that the postconviction court properly denied this ineffective assistance claim without a Machner hearing because the record conclusively shows that Shaughnessy is not entitled to relief. Specifically, Shaughnessy cannot establish that his trial attorney’s remarks constituted deficient performance.