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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 3, 2013

James SMITH a/k/a James Estus Smith a/k/a Estus James Smith a/k/a Outlaw, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 1025

James Smith, appellant, pro se.

Office of the Attorney General by John R. Henry Jr., attorney for appellee.

Before LEE, C.J., MAXWELL and FAIR, JJ.

LEE, C.J.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 1. In May 2000, James Estus Smith pleaded guilty to murder, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and robbery, for which he was sentenced to fifteen years. Both sentences were ordered to be served in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with the robbery sentence to run consecutive to the murder sentence.

¶ 2. Smith timely filed his first motion for post-conviction relief (PCR), which the trial court dismissed. Smith appealed to this Court, asserting the following issues: (1) his guilty plea was involuntary; (2) he should have received an evidentiary hearing; and (3) he was entitled to a competency hearing. Smith v. State, 910 So.2d 635, 636 (¶ 1) (Miss.Ct.App.2005). We found Smith's issues to be without merit and affirmed the trial court's decision. Id. at 640 (¶ 29).

¶ 3. Smith filed his second PCR motion in May 2012, which the trial court summarily dismissed in July 2012. Smith subsequently filed an appeal, raising two issues: (1) ineffective assistance of counsel; and (2) a double-jeopardy violation.

¶ 4. The record indicates that Smith also filed a motion entitled " motion to stay appeal/discretionary dismissal" in the trial court on August 17, 2012. Smith included with his brief a ruling from the trial court treating his notice of appeal as a motion for permission to proceed with an out-of-time appeal. The trial court denied Smith's motion for relief on January 16,

Page 1026

2013. [1]

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶ 5. 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 ...


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