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King v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 24, 2017

EDDRICK KING A/K/A EDDRICK LEPATRICK KING A/K/A PATRICK KING APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/02/2016

         LEFLORE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. RICHARD A. SMITH TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: EDDRICK KING (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LISA L. BLOUNT

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. Eddrick King appeals the Leflore County Circuit Court's dismissal of his petition for postconviction relief (PCR). On appeal, King asserts that his guilty plea to armed robbery was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made and that his counsel was ineffective. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On March 22, 2004, a Leflore County grand jury indicted Eddrick King and Tywanda Jackson for capital murder and kidnapping. The trial court appointed Ray Charles Carter from the Office of Capital Defense to represent King. Thereafter, King waived indictment and entered guilty pleas to the charges of manslaughter, armed robbery, and kidnapping. Pursuant to the plea deal, King was sentenced to twenty years for manslaughter, thirty years for armed robbery, and five years for kidnapping. The sentences for manslaughter and armed robbery were ordered to run concurrently, and the sentence for kidnapping was ordered to run consecutively to the sentences in the first two counts.

         ¶3. On January 7, 2016, King filed his PCR petition, arguing that his guilty plea to armed robbery was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made. In his petition, King claimed that he was reluctant to plead guilty to armed robbery, since he was actually innocent of the crime. However, King asserts that his attorney induced him to plead guilty by "promising" him that he would be eligible for parole after serving ten years of his thirty-year sentence. King attached supporting affidavits from his mother, Elizabeth Fair, and sister, Cassandra Fair. Both affidavits stated that King was told that he would become eligible for parole after serving ten years of his sentence.

         ¶4. On April 19, 2016, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing, and King, Elizabeth, and Carter testified. Neither the written transcript nor the audio recording of the guilty pleas was available. Carter testified that he represented King as an attorney employed by Mississippi Capital Defense. According to Carter, he never makes statements to his clients about their parole eligibility. Carter also testified that he did not recall King's mother being present when Carter discussed the guilty pleas with King and could not remember her being available a single time when he spoke with King. Carter testified that he had no reason to believe that King was incompetent at the moment that King agreed to the plea.

         ¶5. After Carter's testimony, Elizabeth testified that during King's plea deal she heard Carter tell King that he had to serve ten years or less. Elizabeth testified that she spoke with King regarding his plea, and he reiterated that he had to serve ten years of his sentence or less. When asked if King was content with the plea, Elizabeth stated that she did not think King was satisfied.

         ¶6. King testified that he asked Carter questions about the plea because he was considering going to trial to prove his innocence, but Carter advised against a trial. King testified that he was induced to take a plea by Carter's promise that he would be released in ten years, with good behavior. King testified that he wanted to go to trial on the armed-robbery charge, because he was actually innocent of the charge.

         ¶7. When asked if he remembered being informed about parole, probation, good time, or trusty time, King testified that he did not recall. King testified that he only remembered Carter's promise that he would only serve ten years. King was questioned about his legal representation prior to Carter being assigned his case. King admitted that he fired two attorneys prior to Carter because he was dissatisfied with their representation. ...


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