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Mosley v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 28, 2014

EDMOND QUINTEZES MOSLEY A/K/A EDWIN MOSLEY A/K/A EDMOUND Q. MOSLEY A/K/A EDMOUND QUINTEZES MOSLEY A/K/A EDMOND MOSLEY A/K/A EDMOUND QUINTEZ MOSLEY, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/19/2013.

Page 128

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LESTER F. WILLIAMSON JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DENIED MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF.

FOR APPELLANT: EDMOND QUINTEZES MOSLEY (PRO SE).

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

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

OPINION

Page 129

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

JAMES, J.

¶1. Edmond Quintezes Mosley pled guilty in Lauderdale County Circuit Court to two counts of armed robbery, each count arising from a separate incident. Mosley was sentenced to serve forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Mosley filed a motion to vacate and set aside his guilty plea, which the trial court treated as a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR), and denied. Mosley now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. On March 26, 2011, a Lauderdale County grand jury returned two indictments charging Mosley with armed robbery. The first indictment, cause number 157-11, charged Mosley with armed robbery stemming from his participation in the November 16, 2010 armed robbery of Linda Edwards, doing business as Hodgepodge by Linda, and its employee, Mary Gibson. The second indictment, cause number 155-11, charged Mosley with armed robbery stemming from his participation in the November 19, 2010 armed robbery of Nan Casciaro, doing business as Antique Mall. In each case, Mosley was indicted as a habitual offender.

¶3. Mosley was also indicted for four additional felonies during the March 2011 term of the Lauderdale County grand jury: burglary of a building or other dwelling, armed robbery, and two separate counts of burglary of an automobile. On August 1, 2011, less than one month before Mosley's trial date, Mosley was indicted

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for a seventh felony: grand larceny. In all seven indictments, Mosley was indicted as a habitual offender.[1]

¶4. As part of a plea negotiation with the State, five indictments were dismissed in exchange for Mosley's guilty pleas to armed robbery in cause numbers 155-11 and 157-11. On August 22, 2011, Mosley pled guilty to the two armed robberies and was sentenced to forty years in the custody of the MDOC on each count of armed robbery, with the sentences to run concurrently.

¶5. On March 7, 2012, Mosley filed a motion to vacate and set aside his guilty plea, which the trial court treated as a PCR petition and denied. Mosley now appeals, raising the following issues: (1) whether Mosley was denied effective assistance of counsel; (2) whether Mosley's plea was voluntary and whether the trial court erred in denying Mosley's petition without first conducting an evidentiary hearing. Finding no error, we affirm.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶6. " 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." Purnell v. State, 126 So.3d 949, 951 (¶ 4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (quoting Hughes v. State, 106 So.3d 836, 838 (¶ 4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012)).

DISCUSSION

¶7. We first note, as did the trial court, that Mosley's petition fails to comply with the procedural requirements of the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act (UPCCRA). Here, the trial court properly treated Mosley's motion to vacate and set aside his guilty plea as a PCR petition pursuant to the UPCCRA. See Barrett v. State, 119 So.3d 396, 398 (¶ 7) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) ( " Pleadings that are cognizable under the UPCCRA will be treated as PCR motions that are subject to the procedural rules promulgated therein, regardless of how the plaintiff has denominated or characterized the pleadings" (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-9(2) (Supp. 2014) provides: " A [PCR petition] shall be limited to the assertion of a claim for relief against one (1) judgment only. If a petitioner desires to attack the validity of other judgments under which he is in custody, he shall do so by separate motions." Thus, " a separate motion for [PCR] must be filed for each cause number or conviction." Rigdon v. State, 126 So.3d 931, 934 (¶ 6) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (quoting Bell v. State, 2 So.3d 747, 749 (¶ 5) (Miss. Ct. App. 2009)). " This rule applies even when, as [here], the multiple convictions were imposed in the same plea hearing and sentencing order." Id. See also Hundley v. State, 803 So.2d 1225, 1229 (¶ 9) (Miss. Ct. App. 2001) (noting that section 99-39-9(2) requires separate PCR petitions to attack guilty pleas in two different cause numbers, even though the pleas were taken in the same hearing).

¶8. Mosley's PCR petition stated that his petition stemmed from his guilty plea and conviction on August 22, 2011, for the offense of armed robbery in which the trial court sentenced him to serve a term of forty years in the custody of the MDOC.

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Nowhere in the petition does Mosley specifically identify the proceeding by cause number or reference facts necessary to identify a particular cause number. Thus, it would have been proper for the trial court to dismiss Mosley's petition on that basis alone. Nevertheless, we address the merits of Mosley's claims.

I. Whether Mosley was denied effective assistance of counsel.

¶9. Mosley first argues that his trial counsel failed to effectively represent him and that a coercive conversation took place with his attorney in which Mosley's attorney " crossed the line" in advising him to plead guilty.

¶10. " There is a strong but rebuttable presumption that trial counsel was competent and that trial counsel performed within the wide range of reasonable conduct expected from counsel." Pruitt v. State, 53 So.3d 24, 27 (¶ 14) (Miss. Ct. App. 2010) (citing Busby v. State, 994 So.2d 225, 227 (¶ 8) (Miss. Ct. App. 2008)). In order to rebut this presumption, Mosley must show that: " (1) his trial counsel's performance was deficient, and (2) the trial counsel's deficiency prejudiced his defense." Id. In order to challenge his guilty plea on the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel, Mosley must demonstrate that " counsel's errors proximately resulted in the guilty plea and, but for counsel's errors, he would not have entered the guilty plea." Deloach v. State, 937 So.2d 1010, 1011 (¶ 5) (Miss. Ct. App. 2006) (citing Reynolds v. State, 521 So.2d 914, 918 (Miss. 1988)).

¶11. Mosley claims that his trial counsel used coercive tactics in convincing Mosley to plead guilty, asserting:

Any counsel place[d] in the same position . . . would have advised [Mosley] to exhaust his constitutional rights to trial, . . . [rather] than plea [sic] guilty to a [forty-]year . . . sentence that is beyond the conscience of humanly trying to complete. [Mosley] states that he has supporting affidavits to collaborate [sic] [his] claims that a coercive conversation had taken place between . . . [Mosley's attorney,] . . . [Mosley,] and members of [Mosley's] family that really crossed the line when advising your client to accept a plea bargain.

¶12. In his affidavit, Mosley stated that his attorney was mad at him on his trial date, subsequent to his plea hearing, because Mosley was indicted on an additional charge that caused the State to withdraw a previous plea deal.[2] In support of his claim, Mosley provided affidavits from two family members, both of whom claimed that Mosley's attorney told Mosley that if he did not accept the plea offer of a forty-year sentence, Mosley could face life in prison. However, Mosley's affidavit and the affidavits of his family members merely demonstrate that prior to the trial date, Mosley's attorney advised Mosley not to accept the plea of forty years; however, the day of the hearing, Mosley's attorney changed course, advising Mosley to take the plea in light of the latest indictment, which brought Mosley's total number of felony indictments to seven. There is nothing in the record indicating that Mosley's attorney did anything but correctly inform Mosley that he could face life in prison if he chose to exercise his rights to a jury trial and was subsequently convicted.

¶13. As to the alleged " threats," Rule 8.04(B)(3) of the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court

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provides in part that: " Defense attorneys must advise [the] defendant of all pertinent matters bearing on the choice of plea, including likely results or alternatives." It is apparent that Mosley's attorney did not " threaten" or " coerce" Mosley into pleading guilty, but properly advised Mosley of the possible sentence he faced if Mosley did not accept the State's plea bargain. Mosley's attorney would have been in error if he had failed to advise Mosley of the sentence that he faced if convicted by a jury.

¶14. We find no evidence that Mosley's attorney's performance was deficient, or if so, that Mosley suffered any prejudice. Accordingly, this issue is without merit.

II. Whether Mosley's plea was voluntary and whether the trial court erred in denying Mosley's petition without first conducting an evidentiary hearing.

¶15. Mosley submits several arguments challenging the voluntariness of his guilty plea. Mosley first argues that his plea was involuntary. Mosley also asserts that the trial court failed to find a factual basis for his guilty plea. Finally, Mosley argues that he was misinformed by the trial court regarding his parole eligibility and, therefore, the trial court erred in ...


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