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Orr v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 17, 2017

ELI ORR APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/23/2016

         LOWNDES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. LEE J. HOWARD, JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ELI ORR (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KAYLYN HAVRILLA MCCLINTON

         EN BANC.

          FAIR, J.

         ¶1. Eli Orr was indicted in 2009 on one count of the sale or transfer of cocaine and one count of possession of less than .1 gram of a controlled substance. In 2013, the State moved to amend the indictment to charge Orr as a second or subsequent offender.

         ¶2. In the middle of trial, Orr decided to plead guilty to Count I - the sale or transfer of cocaine. As part of his guilty plea, the State agreed to retire Count II to the files. The court held a hearing on Orr's petition to plead guilty, and Orr was sentenced to serve thirty-five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with thirty years to serve and five years' post-release supervision.

         ¶3. In April 2013, Orr was indicted for possession of a controlled substance while in jail. He filed a petition to plead guilty and was sentenced to serve three years in the custody of the MDOC, consecutive to his previous sentence.

         ¶4. In January 2016, Orr filed a post-conviction relief (PCR) petition for his conviction on his first sentence - the sale or transfer of cocaine. The circuit court denied Orr's petition after an evidentiary hearing. Orr appealed.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. We review a circuit judge's denial of a PCR petition for clear error and will not disturb his factual findings absent such error. Wrenn v. State, 207 So.3d 1252, 1256 (¶13) (Miss. Ct. App. 2017) (citing Brown v. State, 731 So.2d 595, 598 (¶6) (Miss. 1999)). However, we review conclusions on questions of law de novo. Id.

         1. Voluntariness of Plea

         ¶6. Orr argues that his guilty plea was involuntary because he was threatened with a lengthier prison sentence if the case continued at trial. He further claims that he was intoxicated at the time of his plea and that the trial court made him believe he had to plead guilty. Lastly, Orr argues that, as part of his guilty plea, he was required to ...


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