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Frierson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 12, 2017

BERNICE FRIERSON A/K/A BERNICE JAMES FRIERSON A/K/A BERNICE J. FRIERSON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/01/2016

         PEARL RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. ANTHONY ALAN MOZINGO, TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BERNICE FRIERSON (PRO SE)

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

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

          ISHEE, J.

         ¶1. In 2013, Bernice Frierson pleaded guilty in Pearl River County Circuit Court to one count of possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to distribute. Frierson was sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). In 2016, Frierson filed a motion for postconviction relief (PCR). The circuit court denied Frierson's PCR motion, finding that the motion was deficient. Frierson now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On July 8, 2013, Frierson pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-139(a)(1) (Supp. 2016). He was sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the MDOC.

         ¶3. Frierson filed an amended motion[1] for PCR in the Pearl River County Circuit Court on October 27, 2015, claiming that: (1) the circuit court erred in accepting his guilty plea because there was no factual basis presented during his plea hearing; (2) he was not informed of the minimum and maximum sentences he could receive for the charge to which he pleaded guilty; (3) his indictment was insufficient because it did not specifically state where he was going to sell the drugs found in his car at the time of the arrest; and (4) his counsel was ineffective. On March 1, 2016, the circuit court dismissed Frierson's amended motion as deficient in that the motion failed to conform to the requirements of Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-9 (Rev. 2015). Specifically, the circuit court found the motion to be deficient because it lacked a "concise statement of the claims or grounds upon which it [was] based, a sworn statement of the specific facts [that were] within [Frierson's] knowledge, and a specific statement of facts which [were] not within his knowledge."

         ¶4. Frierson appealed on March 11, 2016, asserting the following: (1) there was no factual basis presented during his guilty-plea hearing; (2) he was not informed of the minimum and maximum possible sentences for his charge; (3) his indictment was insufficient; and (4) his counsel was ineffective in failing to prevent these errors.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. Section 99-39-9(1)(c)-(e) provides that a PCR motion requires-among other things-a concise statement of the claims or grounds upon which it is based, a sworn statement of the specific facts within the movant's knowledge, and a specific statement of facts that are not within the movant's knowledge.

         ¶6. In its order dismissing Frierson's motion, the circuit court made clear that it was dismissing the motion as deficient under section 99-39-9. Specifically, the circuit court found that Frierson's motion lacked various components required by the statute. First, it lacked a concise statement of the claims or grounds upon which Frierson's motion was based. Second, it lacked a sworn statement of the ...


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