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Smith v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 28, 2015

JAMES DOUGLAS SMITH A/K/A JAMES D. SMITH, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WINSTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/06/2014. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. C.E. MORGAN III. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DENIED MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF.

AFFIRMED.

FOR APPELLANT: JAMES DOUGLAS SMITH (Pro se).

FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.

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

OPINION

Page 886

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

ROBERTS, J.

¶1. James Douglas Smith appeals the judgment of the Winston County Circuit Court, which denied his post-conviction-relief (PCR) motion on January 6, 2014. On appeal, Smith argues that the circuit court erred in denying his PCR motion as being time-barred and without merit. Smith claims that his guilty plea was involuntary, as it was coerced as a result of deception on behalf of his attorney and induced by the judge. Smith also claims that his thirty-year sentence for the crime of statutory rape is unlawful, as it exceeds his life we affirm.

FACTS

¶2. On March 31, 2009, a Winston County grand jury indicted Smith on one count of statutory rape, pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-65(1)(b) (Supp. 2009), alleging that on January 17, 2009, Smith " wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously [had] sexual intercourse with D.B.,[1] a female child under the age of fourteen (14) years[,] . . . while . . . Smith was then and there more than twenty-four (24) months older than the sad child." On August 8, 2009, Smith submitted a petition to enter a plea of guilty to statutory rape of a female child under the age of fourteen. The circuit court held a hearing on the petition that same day, where Smith admitted that he had sexual relations with a minor, D.B., against her will, at a time when the victim was under the age of fourteen and he was over the age of eighteen. The court subsequently accepted Smith's guilty plea, and upon the recommendation of the State, sentenced Smith to thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), as well as ordered him to pay a $500 fine plus court costs. On August 10, 2013, Smith filed his PCR motion in the Winston County Circuit Court, which was dismissed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶3. 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. Rowland v. State, 42 So.3d 503, 506 (¶ 8) ...


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