BOBBY EUGENE EPPS A/K/A BOBBY E. EPPS, APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PANOLA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/20/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES MCCLURE III. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DENIED MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.
BOBBY EUGENE EPPS, APPELLANT, Pro se.
FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BILLY L. GORE.
BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND JAMES, JJ.
¶1. Bobby Eugene Epps pled guilty in the Panola County Circuit Court to manufacturing methamphetamine, as a habitual offender pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2007), and was sentenced to twenty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Epps filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR), which the trial court denied. Aggrieved, Epps now appeals raising the following issues: (1) whether the trial court improperly sentenced him as a habitual offender pursuant to section 99-19-81; and (2) whether he was denied effective assistance of counsel. Finding no error, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2. On October 29, 2009, a Panola County grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Epps with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of precursors, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of marijuana. Epps was indicted as a habitual offender pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-83 (Rev. 2007).
¶3. Epps entered into a plea agreement with the State. The terms of the agreement were reflected in a petition to enter a plea of guilty filed by Epps on January 22, 2010. Pursuant to the agreement, Epps agreed to plead guilty to count two of the indictment: manufacture of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. In exchange for his guilty plea to manufacturing methamphetamine, the State agreed to reduce Epps's habitual-offender status from section 99-19-83 to section 99-19-81. The State also agreed to retire the remaining four charges of the indictment to the file.
¶4. On January 22, 2010, Epps pled guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine as a habitual offender pursuant to section 99-19-81. During the plea hearing, the following exchange occurred between the trial court, James Hale, representing the State, and David Walker, Epps's trial counsel:
[Mr. Hale]: Your Honor, . . . Mr. Epps was originally indicted as a [section] 99-19-83 habitual offender. As part of this plea negotiation, we have agreed to reduce that to . . . [a] habitual offender under [section] 99-19-81. I would at this time offer his . . . five prior convictions, ...