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Bolden v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 16, 2015

JOSEPH BOLDEN A/K/A JOSEPH A. BOLDEN A/K/A JOSEPH ANTHONY BOLDEN A/K/A J. BOLDEN, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/05/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LEE J. HOWARD. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF DISMISSED.

JOSEPH BOLDEN, APPELLANT, Pro se.

FOR APPELLEE: JOHN R. HENRY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

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

OPINION

Page 569

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

ROBERTS, J.

[¶1] Joseph Bolden appeals the judgment of the Lowndes County Circuit Court, which dismissed as untimely his post-conviction-relief (PCR) motion. On appeal, Bolden alleges multiple errors amounting to a " denial of due process of law, and subject[ing him] to plain error." Upon review, we find that Bolden's issues are

Page 570

both time-barred and subsequent-writ barred. Additionally, his surviving claims are without merit. We thus affirm the trial court's ruling.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] Bolden was indicted on February 5, 1998, in Lowndes County on one count of sexual battery. The indictment charged that Bolden had " unlawfully, wilfully, and feloniously, engage[d] in sexual penetration with [M.B.],[1] a female child below the age of 14, by placing his tongue inside her vagina and engaging in sexual penetration[.]" On May 12, 1998, Bolden filed a petition to enter a guilty plea with the Lowndes County Circuit Court. The trial court held a hearing on Bolden's petition that day.

[¶3] In his petition, Bolden stated that he wished to plead guilty to the charge of sexual battery. He stated that he believed his lawyer was fully informed on all matters, and that his lawyer had counseled and advised him on the nature of the charge. The petition Bolden signed also stated that his attorney thoroughly discussed all aspects of the case with him. The petition enumerated the rights Bolden waived by pleading guilty, including the right to a speedy and public trial; the right to face and examine all witnesses against him; the right to compel his own witnesses and present evidence in his favor; the right to an attorney; the right to have the State prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; the right to testify in his own defense; and the right to appeal any conviction to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The petition laid out the minimum and maximum sentences available to the trial judge and noted that Bolden's plea would be " open," meaning there was no sentence recommendation from the State as an inducement for his plea. Bolden swore that he was satisfied with his attorney's advice and counsel, and noted that neither his attorney nor anyone else had promised or coerced him into entering a guilty plea. Finally, Bolden's sworn petition stated, " I plead 'guilty' and request the [c]ourt to accept the following factual basis for said plea: I licked the vagina of [M.B.], a child 12 years of age, and penetrated her with my tongue." The petition was signed and sworn to by Bolden.

[¶4] At the plea hearing, Bolden swore to the judge that it was his signature on the plea petition and that he and his attorney had gone over the petition before signing. The judge again covered all of the constitutional rights Bolden was giving up by pleading guilty. After going over each of these rights, Bolden asked the trial judge if he would be allowed to present mitigation witnesses on his behalf at sentencing. The judge told him yes and advised him that the State would be allowed to call its own witnesses as well. Bolden stated that he understood. After the judge told Bolden he could receive a maximum sentence of thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), Bolden responded that he understood. The State then presented the charge against Bolden, and Bolden stated that he understood the charge and was guilty of it. The judge then turned his attention to Bolden's attorney. He asked the attorney if he had explained Bolden's constitutional rights; counsel stated that ...


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