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Berry v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 14, 2017

RAHEEM BERRY APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/24/2016

         GRENADA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOSEPH H. LOPER JR.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: RAHEEM BERRY (PRO SE).

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: BILLY L. GORE.

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND GREENLEE, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. Raheem Berry appeals the Grenada County Circuit Court's denial of his motion for postconviction relief (PCR). On appeal, Berry argues (1) the circuit court abused its discretion by denying his PCR motion without holding a hearing; and (2) his trial attorney failed to inform him of his right to appeal his sentence and his right to an attorney on appeal. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's denial of Berry's PCR motion.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On January 27, 2014, Berry pled guilty to second-degree murder. See Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19(1)(b) (Rev. 2014). Following a plea colloquy, the circuit court accepted Berry's guilty plea and sentenced him to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Berry raised no direct appeal of his conviction and sentence. However, on December 21, 2015, Berry filed a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence, which the circuit court treated as a PCR motion under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-5 (Rev. 2015). On May 24, 2016, the circuit court entered both an opinion discussing the merits of Berry's PCR claims and an order summarily denying his PCR motion. Aggrieved, Berry appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶3. "When reviewing a circuit court's denial or dismissal of a PCR motion, we will reverse the judgment of the circuit court only if its factual findings are 'clearly erroneous'; however, we review the circuit court's legal conclusions under a de novo standard of review." Boyd v. State, 65 So.3d 358, 360 (¶10) (Miss. Ct. App. 2011).

         DISCUSSION

         ¶4. Berry alleges "the circuit court abuse[d] its discretion [by] denying [his PCR] claim without a hearing[.]" Without providing any supporting affidavits, Berry argued in his PCR motion that his guilty plea was not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently entered because (1) he "was misled to believe he did not have a right to a direct appeal of his sentence"; (2) the circuit court failed to inquire whether he acted in ...


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