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Spraggins v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 18, 2017

LATRAI SPRAGGINS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/06/2016

         CLAY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. HENRY L. LACKEY JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: LATRAI SPRAGGINS (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ABBIE EASON KOONCE

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE, FAIR, AND WILSON, JJ.

          ISHEE, J.

         ¶1. Latrai Spraggins pleaded guilty to statutory rape in the Clay County Circuit Court. Spraggins then filed a motion for postconviction relief (PCR). In that motion, Spraggins waged a collateral attack on his conviction and the sentence he received. The circuit court denied the motion. Spraggins now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In April 2009, Spraggins was indicted for the statutory rape of C.H., [1] which was stated to have taken place in or around mid-January 2009. At the time of the rape, C.H. was a child over the age of fourteen, but under the age of sixteen, and thirty-six or more months younger than Spraggins, and not his spouse. After many continuances, the assignment of new counsel, and the necessary appointment of a new judge due to recusal, Spraggins pleaded guilty on August 6, 2012. He was sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with ten years suspended, and five years of postrelease supervision.

         ¶3. On December 22, 2015-more than three years after his plea of guilty was entered-Spraggins filed a PCR motion. In that motion, Spraggins alleged a violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial, that his conviction should not stand due to mental incompetency, and that he was not made aware of his right to appeal his guilty plea or sentence. On February 6, 2016, the circuit court summarily denied his motion for relief. This appeal followed. We affirm.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶4. "A circuit court's denial of post-conviction relief will not be reversed absent a finding that the court's decision was clearly erroneous." Wood v. State, 200 So.3d 491, 493 (¶4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016). "[W]hen issues of law are raised, [however, ] the proper standard of review is de novo." Id.

         ¶5. The sole issue raised on appeal by Spraggins is that his counsel, and the circuit court, failed to properly advise him regarding his constitutional right to a direct appeal. Alternative issues raised in his original PCR motion, but abandoned on appeal, will not be addressed by this Court. See Clay v. Clay, 837 So.2d 215, 220 (¶27) (Miss. Ct. App. 2003) (holding issues not discussed in briefs are considered abandoned and waived on appeal). In rebuttal, the State argues that Spraggins's motion is time-barred, and furthermore, that he is not entitled to a direct appeal pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-35-101 (Rev. 2015). We agree.

         ¶6. To begin, Spraggins pleaded guilty on August 6, 2012; he filed his PCR motion on December 22, 2015. Therefore, his PCR motion is time-barred under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-5(2) (Rev. 2015), as he filed it more than three years after the entry of his judgment of conviction. Owens v. State, 17 So.3d 628, 634 (¶17) (Miss. Ct. App. 2009). In addition, we find that none of the statutorily enumerated exceptions within section 99-39-5(2) apply to Spraggins's claims. See Miss. Code Ann. ยง 99-39-5. ...


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