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Purnell v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 26, 2013

Robert PURNELL a/k/a Robert T. Purnell a/k/a Robert Tyrone Purnell, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 950

Robert Purnell, appellant, pro se.

Office of the Attorney General by Billy L. Gore, attorneys for appellee.

Before IRVING, P.J., ROBERTS and JAMES, JJ.

JAMES, J.

¶ 1. A Hinds County grand jury indicted Robert Purnell on one count of forcible rape. Purnell pled guilty to one count of sexual battery and was sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi

Page 951

Department of Corrections (MDOC), with fifteen years suspended and five years of supervised probation. Over four years later, Purnell filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). The circuit court summarily dismissed Purnell's PCR motion, and it is from this dismissal that Purnell now appeals. We find no error and affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 2. On June 8, 2004, a grand jury, drawn from the First Judicial District of Hinds County, indicted Robert Purnell on one count of forcible rape. The indictment read, in pertinent part: " Robert T. Purnell, a male person [,] ... on or about the 23rd day of December, 2002[,] did willfully and unlawfully have forcible sexual intercourse with [the victim,] a female person, in violation of [Mississippi Code Annotated] section 97-3-65(4)(a)...."

¶ 3. On June 2, 2008, Purnell entered a voluntary plea of guilty to one count of sexual battery. Purnell was sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the MDOC, with fifteen years suspended and five years of supervised probation. On August 7, 2012, Purnell filed a PCR motion arguing that the age of the victim was an essential element of the crime of sexual battery. On September 6, 2012, the circuit court dismissed Purnell's PCR motion, finding that the age of the victim is not an essential element of sexual battery. In his pro se brief before this Court, Purnell argues: (1) that his PCR motion is excepted from the three-year statute of limitations; and (2) that his indictment lacked the necessary elements of sexual battery. Finding no error, we affirm.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶ 4. " When reviewing a trial court's denial or dismissal of a PCR motion, we will only disturb the trial court's factual findings if they are clearly erroneous; however, we review the trial court's legal conclusions under a de novo standard of review." Hughes v. State, 106 So.3d 836, 838 (¶ 4) (Miss.Ct.App.2012).

DISCUSSION

¶ 5. First, we find that Purnell's PCR motion is time-barred. " This Court will affirm the summary dismissal of a PCR motion if the movant fails to demonstrate ‘ a claim procedurally alive substantially showing the denial of a state or federal right.’ " White v. State, 59 So.3d 633, 635 (¶ 4) (Miss.Ct.App.2011) (quoting Robinson v. State, 19 So.3d 140, 142 (¶ 6) (Miss.Ct.App.2009)). Purnell argues that the victim-impact statements made during his sentencing hearing denied him due process of law. However, Purnell does not state what the statements were or how the alleged statements prejudiced him. ...


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