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Wash v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 2, 2017

WILLIE WASH APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/05/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ROBERT P. CHAMBERLIN TRIAL JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: WILLIE WASH (PRO SE).

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH.

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. Willie Wash appeals the Circuit Court of DeSoto County's judgment denying his motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). Finding no error, we affirm.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In November 2013, Wash was indicted for one count of third-offense felony shoplifting, in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-23-93(6) (Rev. 2006), for stealing eight containers of Gain washing detergent and one pack of Bounty paper towels from a Walmart. Wash was charged as a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-83 (Rev. 2015), as two of his numerous other prior felonies were violent in nature.[1] On May 1, 2014, Wash pleaded guilty to the shoplifting as charged, and as a result, the State agreed to lower his habitual-offender status to section 99-19-81, thereby allowing Wash to receive the maximum term of imprisonment prescribed for the crime of shoplifing rather than life imprisonment. The court sentenced Wash to serve five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and to pay a fine of $1, 000.

         ¶3. On April 23, 2015, Wash filed a lengthy PCR motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel, irregularities in his indictment, involuntary plea, vindictive prosecution, and other constitutional violations. More specifically, Wash argued that he never received a preliminary hearing and that one of his prior crimes was listed twice on the indictment. Attached to his motion were numerous letters written by Wash to his counsel from January through April 2014, as well as bar-complaint information.[2] In the letters, Wash complained about his counsel's assistance and the falsity of his indictment; he requested the "discovery package" for his case and a rule book. In May 12, 2015, Wash filed an amended PCR motion, making similar claims, but additionally arguing that the State breached the plea agreement in violation of the State and Federal Constitutions because he was promised eligibility for parole after serving fifty percent of his sentence.

         ¶4. On June 5, 2015, the circuit court denied Wash's motion, finding his claims without merit. Nearly five months later, on November 9, 2015, Wash appealed the denial. The next day, the circuit court issued an order granting leave for Wash to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis, and this Court subsequently permitted Wash's out-of-time appeal.[3]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5. When reviewing a circuit court's denial of a PCR motion, the appellate court will only disturb the circuit court's factual findings if they are clearly erroneous. Matters of law are reviewed de novo. Doss v. ...


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