OF JUDGMENT: 01/07/2016
From Which Appealed Bolivar County Circuit Court, Second
Judicial District Hon. Albert B. Smith III
Attorney For Appellant: Tim C. Holleman
Attorney For Appellee Office of the Attorney General By:
Billy L. Gore
Lee, C.J., Barnes, Ishee and Greenlee, JJ.
Kenny Walton appeals the denial of his motion for
post-conviction relief (PCR), which was on remand from this
Court. See Walton v. State, 165 So.3d 516 (Miss. Ct.
App. 2016) (Cause no. 2013-CA-01708-COA). Finding no error,
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
As the underlying facts of this case are detailed in our
prior opinion, we will address only those facts pertinent to
the issue raised in this appeal. Walton, Michael McGee,
Corderral McKnight, and Jasmond Matthews were indicted on
September 17, 2008, for conspiracy, armed robbery, aggravated
assault, arson, and kidnapping. The Bolivar County Circuit
Court appointed Walton a public defender, Rosharwin
In October 2008, the State's investigator interviewed
McKnight and Matthews, who had already entered guilty pleas.
A condition of their plea agreements was that they would
testify against their codefendants. On November 14, 2008, the
State filed a one-page Supplemental State's Report of
Discovery Disclosure, stating: "With written summary
pending and to be submitted to our office, the State submits
that its verbal knowledge of this date is that neither the
co-defendant Matthews[, nor] McKnight[, ] inculpate[s]
Michael McGee or Kenny Walton and [they] instead name other
accomplices[.]" A certificate of service indicated the
report was mailed and faxed to Walton's attorney,
Williams, and McGee's attorney, William Martin. However,
Williams denies receiving this discovery. Walton entered a
guilty plea to all counts on November 21, 2008, with
sentencing to be deferred pending Walton's "truthful
and complete testimony against the remaining defendant,
On May 22, 2009, Williams filed a motion to withdraw
Walton's guilty pleas, which the trial court denied.
McGee's trial was held May 27-28, 2009. McGee was
acquitted of all charges, as the witnesses, including Walton,
denied McGee or Walton was criminally involved. Williams
filed a renewed motion to withdraw the guilty plea on July 8,
2009, stating that Walton had shared information with him
that "would possibly absolve him from any criminal
responsibility, " and witnesses who testified at
McGee's trial supported Walton's "version of
facts." After a hearing, the court denied the
motion and sentenced Walton to fifty-one years to serve, as
he failed to testify for the State as agreed.
Walton filed a motion for reconsideration of his sentence.
The trial court held that it was "without authority or
jurisdiction to reconsider [Walton's] sentence" and,
additionally, there was "no new evidence warranting a
reconsideration of sentence" presented at the hearing.
The trial court further ruled that the motion to reconsider
was actually a PCR motion, which the court denied.
Walton filed a PCR motion on June 12, 2012, and the court
dismissed the motion as a successive writ. Walton appealed,
and on May 19, 2015, this Court remanded the case for an
evidentiary hearing on Walton's claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel. Specifically, we "reverse[d] and
remand[ed] to the trial court to make findings of fact on
whether Williams learned of Matthews's and McKnight's
October 2008 statements [to the investigator, ] whether
[Williams] reviewed these with Walton prior to entering his
guilty plea, and the effect any non-disclosure had on
Walton's plea." Walton, 165 So.3d at 528
At an evidentiary hearing held on August 31, 2015, Williams
testified that he did not receive the supplemental discovery
from the State, which is consistent with his prior testimony.
He also claimed he did not know Matthews and McKnight had
testified at McGee's trial that two other individuals,
not Walton and McGee, had participated in the
crimes. However, Williams did aver that, prior to
Walton's guilty plea, he "had been in contact"
with Matthews and his attorney, and Matthews "indicated
that [Walton] was not involved" in the crimes. Williams
said he shared that information with Walton prior to the
entry of his guilty plea, and Walton entered his plea in
light of that information. Based on this ...