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IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ALASKA
SARAH J. COFFMAN,
) Court of Appeals No. A-9703
) Trial Court No. 3PA-04-108 Civ
) O P I N I O N
STATE OF ALASKA,
) No. 2130 — December 7, 2007
Appeal from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Palmer,
Eric Smith, Judge.
Appearances: Verne E. Rupright, Wasilla, for the Appellant.
Michael Sean McLaughlin, Assistant Attorney General, Office
of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Talis J.
Colberg, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.
Before: Coats, Chief Judge, and Mannheimer and Stewart,
Sarah J. Coffman was convicted of first-degree burglary (burglary of a
residence) and second-degree murder (felony murder of the homeowner). She received
25 years in prison for the murder, and a consecutive 5 years for the burglary.
Coffman appealed, raising several claims of evidentiary and procedural
error, and also asserting that she received ineffective assistance from the attorney who
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represented her at trial. In Coffman v. State, Alaska App. Memorandum Opinion
No. 4541 (March 6, 2002), 2002 WL 341988, we rejected all of these claims and
affirmed Coffman’s convictions.
For present purposes, it is important to note that, although Coffman’s direct
appeal presented several issues concerning the lawfulness of her conviction, it did not
include a claim that her sentence was excessive. Coffman now seeks post-conviction
relief based on her appellate attorney’s failure to pursue an exce