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Benoman v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 23, 2015

CHRISTOPHER BENOMAN A/K/A CHRISTOPHER DESHONE BENOMAN A/K/A CHRISTOPHER DESHANE BENOMAN A/K/A CHRISTOPHER D. BENOMAN, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/23/2014. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LESTER F. WILLIAMSON JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DENIED MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTOPHER BENOMAN (PRO SE).

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BY: BILLY L. GORE.

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

OPINION

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

LEE, C.J.

[¶1] On November 4, 2009, Christopher Benoman pleaded guilty in the Lauderdale County Circuit Court to two counts of lustful touching of a child. He was sentenced to fifteen years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. The trial court suspended both sentences and placed Benoman on five years' supervised probation. Benoman was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for each count, with both fines suspended, and $1,112.94 in restitution for the first count. On February 20, 2013, the trial court revoked Benoman's probation for the commission of second-offense driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving,

Page 610

and testing positive for marijuana. He was sentenced to fifteen years on each count of lustful touching, with the sentences to run concurrently. Benoman was ordered to pay $619.44 to the court for the first count and $1,619.50 to the court for the second count. On March 27, 2014, Benoman filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). The trial court denied Benoman's motion. Benoman now appeals, asserting that (1) he was mentally incompetent at the time of his plea, (2) errors in the factual basis of his plea warrant relief, and (3) the court, in another action, erred in dismissing his claim for failure to state a claim.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶2] When reviewing a trial court's denial or dismissal of a PCR motion, we will only disturb the trial court's decision if it is clearly erroneous; however, we review the trial court's legal conclusions under a de novo standard of review. Hughes v. State, 106 So.3d 836, 838 (¶ 4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012).

DISCUSSION

[¶3] According to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-5(2) (Supp. 2014), a motion for post-conviction relief following a guilty plea shall be made " within three (3) years after entry of the judgment of conviction." The judgment of conviction was entered on November 4, 2009. Benoman did not file his motion for relief within the statutory time period; thus, his motion for relief is time-barred, and no exceptions apply. Notwithstanding the time-bar, we will address the merits of Benoman's arguments.

I. COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL

[¶4] Benoman argues that he was incompetent to stand trial because he had previously been diagnosed with " bipolar disorder or manic depressi[on] and may have some issue of schizophrenia." He also argues that his trial counsel was ineffective because ...


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