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United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit
Aug. 1, 1975


Thomas C. MacDonald, Jr., Tampa, Fla., for petitioner-appellant.

Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., Raymond L. Marky, Carolyn Snurkowski, Asst. Attys. Gen., Tallahassee, Fla., for respondent-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Before GEWIN, AINSWORTH and MORGAN, Circuit Judges.

AINSWORTH, Circuit Judge:

The sole issue presented for review in this habeas corpus case is whether petitioner was denied effective assistance of counsel, appointed to represent him and two codefendants on a murder charge, because such representation allegedly resulted in a conflict of interest. The district court concluded that petitioner was not denied effective assistance of counsel and dismissed the petition. We reverse.

Factual Background

On the morning of September 1, Earl Wilson, a teenage prisoner at the Florida Industrial School at Marianna, Florida, was found dead in a "confinement cottage" (a cell approximately 7 feet by 10 feet, resembling a concrete bunker), where petitioner Foxworth (then 14 years of age) and seven other teenage boys (ages 11 to 17) had been held for periods varying from a few days in the case of some of the boys to a few weeks in the case of Foxworth himself. The cell contained one set of bunk beds, an open bucket for toilet needs (emptied once daily), a bucket for drinking water, and a continuously burning light bulb.