Before Sullivan, P.j., Banks And Roberts, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roberts, Justice
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/20/98
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST CONVICTION RELIEF
¶1. Defendant, Jessie Lee Ivy, appeals from the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Mississippi, where he pled guilty in August 1978 to the capital murder of Ellena Jane Hixson, committed in 1973. The trial court sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.
¶2. On October 13, 1997, Ivy filed his initial motion for post conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, alleging that his life sentence was improperly imposed by the trial court. On February 20, 1998, the trial court denied Ivy's motion ruling that it was time barred by the three (3) year statute of limitations contained in the Mississippi Post Conviction Relief Act.
¶3. Aggrieved by the ruling of the court below, Ivy now petitions this Court for post conviction relief asserting the following points of error:
"I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S POST CONVICTION RELIEF MOTION AS BEING TIME BARRED.
II. THE TRIAL COURT COULD NOT IMPOSE A LIFE SENTENCE UPON APPELLANT, ABSENT A RECOMMENDATION OF THE JURY."
¶4. The Judge below was in error when he denied the Appellant's petition. Although, the Appellant filed his petition ten (10) years after the applicable statute of limitations had expired, petitions alleging an illegal sentence are not subject to the time bar. However, after considering Ivy's petition for post conviction relief on the merits, we find that the trial court which originally sentenced him did have the authority to impose a life sentence. Therefore, Ivy's petition is without merit and is denied.
¶5. In 1978, a Lowndes County grand jury indicted Jessie Lee Ivy for the capital murder of Ellena Jane Hixson, while engaged in the commission of the crime of kidnaping. The Circuit Court ...