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Austin v. State

January 26, 1999

WILLIAM L. AUSTIN A/K/A LAVELLE AUSTIN APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



The opinion of the court was delivered by: King, J.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/07/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FRANK ALLISON RUSSELL

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MONROE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: POST-CONVICTION RELIEF DENIED

DISPOSITION: DENIAL OF POST CONVICTION RELIEF REVERSED; GUILTY PLEA VACATED; REMANDED FOR TRIAL-

EN BANC

¶1. On August 2, 1993, William Austin entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter. On May 10, 1996, he filed a motion to vacate his conviction and twenty year sentence pursuant to the Mississippi Post- Conviction Relief Act, Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-5(a), (e) and (f). The circuit court dismissed the motion and denied all relief sought by Austin. Aggrieved by the court's dismissal, Austin has now appealed and assigned four (4) points of error. This Court quotes these alleged errors verbatim:

"(1) THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCE WAS IMPOSED IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND/OR CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF MISSISSIPPI."

"(2) THERE EXISTS EVIDENCE OF MATERIAL FACTS, NOT PREVIOUSLY PRESENTED AND HEARD, THAT REQUIRES A VACATION OF THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCE IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE WHERE THERE WAS NO FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE PLEA AND WHERE COUNSEL FAILED TO DISCLOSE FACTS THAT PETITIONER ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE."

"(3) PETITIONER'S PLEA OF GUILTY IS INVOLUNTARY WHERE HE WAS NOT ADVISED BY COUNSEL OR TRIAL JUDGE THAT THE CHARGE HE WAS PLEADING GUILTY TO CARRIED A MINIMUM SENTENCE OF AT LEAST ONE YEAR IN PRISON."

"(4) THE AMENDMENT TO THE INDICTMENT AFTER THE PLEA OF NOT GUILTY TO MURDER WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL."

ΒΆ2. Finding error in the trial court's failure to find a factual basis for Austin's plea, and to inform Austin of the elements of and minimum sentence for manslaughter, this Court reverses the trial court's denial of ...


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