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Stokes v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 4, 2014

DERRICK STOKES, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/10/2013.

MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER, TRIAL JUDGE.

DERRICK STOKES, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BILLY L. GORE.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

CARLTON, J.:

¶1. Derrick Stokes pled guilty to the charges of gratification of lust and exploitation of a child. The Madison County Circuit Court sentenced Stokes to serve fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for the gratification-of-lust conviction, and to serve an additional ten years, with five years suspended, for the exploitation conviction. Stokes now appeals from the denial of his second motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. On May 14, 2008, Stokes pled guilty to two of the charges in the six-count indictment filed against him. Stokes pled

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guilty to exploitation of a child and gratification of lust, and the Madison County Circuit Court sentenced Stokes to fifteen years in the custody of the MDOC for the first charge. As for the second charge, the circuit court sentenced Stokes to ten years in the custody of the MDOC, with five years suspended and five years to serve, followed by five years of post-release supervision. Additionally, the circuit court ordered Stokes's sentences to run consecutively.

¶3. On January 25, 2010, Stokes filed his first PCR motion, alleging that his guilty plea was not voluntary and that his lawyer was ineffective. Stokes v. State, 66 So.3d 746, 747 (¶ 2) (Miss.Ct.App. 2011). Stokes, who insists that he is legally deaf, also claimed that the trial court erred by accepting his guilty plea without appointing an interpreter to assist him during the guilty-plea proceedings. The circuit court denied Stokes's first PCR motion on March 5, 2010. Stokes appealed from the trial court's denial of his PCR motion. On appeal, this Court dismissed Stokes's appeal for his failure to timely file his notice of appeal. This Court declined to address the issues raised by Stokes in his appeal after finding no justification for Stokes's failure to timely file his appeal.

¶4. On April 8, 2013, Stokes filed a second PCR motion claiming, once again, that he was legally deaf and that if a qualified sign-language interpreter had been part of the guilty-plea proceedings, Stokes would not have pled guilty. The trial court found Stokes's claims time-barred and successive-writ barred and entered an order on May 10, 2013, denying Stokes's PCR motion.

¶5. Stokes timely appealed this denial of his PCR motion on May 24, 2013. Stokes asserts that he was denied due process of the law due to the refusal of the trial court to grant him ...


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