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Hooghe v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 6, 2014

THOMAS J. HOOGHE A/K/A THOMAS HOOGHE, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

Page 241

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/06/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. GERALD W. CHATHAM SR. TRIAL COURT MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION COLLATERAL RELIEF DISMISSED.

FOR APPELLANT: THOMAS J. HOOGHE (Pro se).

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: SCOTT STUART.

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

OPINION

Page 242

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

GRIFFIS, P.J.

¶1. Thomas Hooghe appeals the dismissal of his motion for post-conviction collateral relief (PCCR). Hooghe argues that there was no factual basis to support his guilty plea; he was prejudiced by the amended, superseding indictment; the amended, superseding indictment was the result of prosecutorial vindictiveness and misconduct; and he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We find no error and affirm.

FACTS

¶2. On August 5, 2011, DeSoto County Deputy Sheriff Shane Foster saw a car almost come to a complete stop on Interstate 55. He called dispatch and ran the

Page 243

tag number. The dispatcher reported the vehicle had been stolen out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Deputy Foster stopped the vehicle.

¶3. Detective Jerry Owensby was dispatched to the scene. Hooghe refused to speak about the car, but told Detective Owensby that he had eaten at a steakhouse in Southaven, Mississippi, and had been driving around. Hooghe would not tell Detective Owensby where he was from or where he was going. Detective Owensby suspected that Hooghe was driving under the influence, so Hooghe was taken into custody, where he refused to provide a breath sample.

¶4. On December 13, 2011, Hooghe was indicted and charged with the crime of receiving stolen property, a violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-70 (Supp. 2013). On June 29, 2012, the State filed a motion to amend the indictment to charge Hooghe as a habitual offender, under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2007).

¶5. On July 18, 2012, a grand jury issued an amended, superseding indictment. Hooghe was charged with the crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, a violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-17-42 (Supp. 2013). He was also charged under section 99-19-81 as a habitual offender.

¶6. On August 20, 2012, Hooghe pled guilty to the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. As part of the plea agreement, the habitual-offender charge was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. The circuit court accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Hooghe to serve ten years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

¶7. Hooghe filed documents with the Circuit Court of DeSoto County. On January 22, 2013, the circuit judge entered an order that directed the circuit clerk to file Hooghe's documents and to treat the filed documents as a PCCR motion. In the documents, Hooghe claimed ineffective assistance of counsel, the indictment was defective, and his right to a speedy trial was violated. By order dated May 6, 2013, the circuit judge dismissed Hooghe's PCCR motion. It is from this judgment that Hooghe now appeals.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶8. This Court will not reverse a trial court's dismissal of a PCCR motion unless the trial court's decision was clearly erroneous. Madden v. State, 75 So.3d 1130, 1131 (¶ 6) (Miss. Ct. App. 2011) (citation omitted). When reviewing questions of law, this Court's standard of review is de novo. Id. (citing Brown v. State, 731 So.2d 595, 598 (¶ 6) (Miss. 1999)).

ANALYSIS

I. Whether the trial court erred in accepting Hooghe's guilty plea.

¶9. Hooghe asserts that the trial court had no factual basis to ascertain that Hooghe had any connection to the car theft in Arkansas. Also, Hooghe contends that because the car was stolen in another ...


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