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Lewis v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 20, 2013

Robert E. LEWIS, Jr. a/k/a Robert Earl Lewis, Jr. a/k/a Robert Lewis, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Rehearing Denied Dec. 3, 2013.

Certiorari Denied Feb. 13, 2014.

Page 1226

Robert E. Lewis Jr., appellant, pro se.

Office of the Attorney General by Elliott George Flaggs, attorney for appellee.

Before LEE, C.J., ISHEE and ROBERTS, JJ.

ROBERTS, J.

¶ 1. On August 28, 2008, Robert Lewis pled guilty in the Lowndes County Circuit Court to one count of capital murder. Lewis was sentenced, as a habitual offender, to life without the possibility of parole, in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Lewis filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) on November 30, 2011. The circuit court summarily dismissed Lewis's PCR motion, and it is from this dismissal that Lewis now appeals.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 2. On August 14, 2006, a Lowndes County grand jury indicted Lewis on one count of capital murder for the murder of T.C. Turner during the course of a robbery. Later, the State sought to amend Lewis's indictment to reflect his habitual-offender status pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev.2007), and the circuit court subsequently granted the State's motion.

¶ 3. Then, on August 28, 2008, a jury was impaneled to begin Lewis's trial for capital murder; however, Lewis, represented by three experienced attorneys, decided to enter a guilty plea to the charge of capital murder with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. In his

Page 1227

guilty-plea petition, Lewis agreed that he had been convicted of two prior felony grand-larceny charges; however, the petition also stated that Lewis was not charged as a habitual offender. The circuit court reviewed Lewis's guilty-plea petition, and it decided that Lewis should be sentenced as a habitual offender based on his prior felony convictions. The circuit court then asked Lewis whether he still wished to plead guilty to capital murder with the sentence of life without the possibility of parole as a habitual offender. Lewis responded that he wished to plead guilty. The circuit court accepted Lewis's guilty plea as freely and voluntarily entered.

¶ 4. During the sentencing phase of the guilty-plea hearing, the State presented proof of Lewis's prior convictions. The circuit court then sentenced Lewis to serve life without the possibility of parole as a habitual offender pursuant to section 99-19-81. Lewis's sentencing order was entered on the same day as his guilty plea was accepted. His sentencing order states that Lewis entered a guilty plea to the charge of capital murder as a section 99-19-81 habitual offender, and he was sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole.

¶ 5. Lewis filed his PCR motion with the circuit court on December 9, 2011. In it, he claimed that he was denied his right to due process by the circuit judge's failure to recuse himself from the case. He also claimed that the circuit judge breached the plea agreement, which was also a violation of his due-process rights. The circuit court summarily dismissed Lewis's PCR motion, finding it was barred from review because it was a subsequent writ. It is from this summary dismissal that Lewis now appeals. On appeal, he raises ...


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