ERIC PIERCE A/K/A ERIC V. PIERCE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/13/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER JR. TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ERIC PIERCE (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Eric Pierce, appearing pro se, appeals the judgment of the
Circuit Court of Attala County denying his motion for
post-conviction relief (PCR) as a successive writ and
time-barred. Finding no error, we affirm.
OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On February 3, 2009, Pierce was indicted for armed robbery.
He pleaded guilty a few weeks later. The robbery occurred in
November 2008 when Pierce was eighteen years old. The victim,
Melton King, was the owner of a Sonic restaurant. He was
walking across a grocery-store parking lot with a bank bag
containing $1, 265 of Sonic's funds. Pierce came up to
King, held a pistol to him, and instructed him to "give
me the money." King gave Pierce money from his pocket
and the bag of money. Pierce then fled. King pursued Pierce
in his vehicle, hitting and injuring him. Law-enforcement
officers were able to arrest Pierce in the parking lot.
Pierce later confessed to the crime.
The circuit court sentenced Pierce to serve seventeen years
in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections
(MDOC). On August 19, 2010, the circuit court dismissed
Pierce's first PCR motion, wherein he argued that his
plea was involuntary and that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel. He did not appeal the dismissal. His
second PCR motion, seeking relief on the same grounds as his
first PCR motion, was dismissed by the circuit court on
February 3, 2012. Pierce appealed, and this Court affirmed
the dismissal in Pierce v. State, 115 So.3d 869, 873
(¶14) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013), finding his motion was
barred as successive, and his arguments were without
On April 25, 2016, Pierce filed his third PCR motion in the
circuit court, arguing that he is excepted from any
procedural bars because his sentence is illegal, and that his
attorney misinformed him about pleading guilty. Pierce claims
his initial plea was "not guilty, " but his counsel
persuaded him to plead guilty as "the best option,
" and told him that MDOC would release him once he
turned twenty-one years old. The circuit court was not
persuaded, and denied his motion as time-barred and
successive. Pierce timely appealed.
When considering a circuit court's denial of a PCR
motion, the appellate court will not disturb the circuit
court's factual findings unless they are clearly
erroneous. Questions of law, however, are reviewed de novo.