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Lawyer didn't 'coerce' woman to plead guilty to stabbing boyfriend 7 times, Pa. court says

A Dauphin County woman’s claims that her lawyer coerced her into pleading guilty to stabbing her boyfriend seven times has failed to fly with a state Superior Court panel.

Court records show Asia Harper, 26, wasn’t misled when she pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and other charges for the November 2012 incident in Susquehanna Township, President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman concluded.

And her lawyer was speaking the truth when he told Harper she could face 20 to 40 years in prison if she was convicted of an attempted murder count that was dropped as part of her plea agreement, Gantman noted in a opinion issued this week. The plea deal set Harper’s jail stay at 5 to 15 years.

Gantman also rejected Harper’s contention that her lawyer ignored her request to immediately appeal her sentence. Harper didn’t provide proof that she ever made such a request, the state judge found.

Harper’s claim that her lawyer ignored her claims that the victim had physically abused her didn’t gain any traction, either. Gantman noted that consideration was including in the sentence she received in the plea agreement.

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