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Farr v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 5, 2017

KAREN FARR A/K/A KAREN LEE FARR A/K/A KAREN L. FARR APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/24/2016

         MARSHALL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ANDREW K. HOWORTH JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KAREN FARR (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH

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

          IRVING, P.J.

         ¶1. Karen Farr pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in the Marshall County Circuit Court. Subsequently, Farr, acting pro se, filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) and asserted the following issues: (1) she did not receive a "Motion of Discovery, " despite repeated requests; (2) she was coerced into pleading guilty; (3) she received ineffective assistance of counsel; (4) law enforcement was negligent in failing to arrest the victim, Ronnie Perry, on several outstanding warrants, which could have prevented his death; (5) Perry's role as a confidential drug informant for Marshall County law enforcement created a conflict of interest in her case; and (6) the "interests of justice" warrant a reduction in her sentence. The circuit court denied Farr's motion, and she filed this appeal. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. Farr was indicted on one count of murder for deliberately striking Perry with her vehicle, causing his death, and for one count of leaving the scene after striking him. While out on bail, Farr was charged with the crime of aggravated assault, and her bail was subsequently revoked.

         ¶3. On March 6, 2013, Farr entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter. The State agreed to retire to the files the second charge of leaving the scene. Farr also pleaded guilty to the aggravated-assault charge that she incurred while out on bail. The court conducted a plea hearing on both the manslaughter and aggravated-assault charges, and accepted Farr's guilty pleas with respect to both. The court sentenced Farr to serve twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) for manslaughter, with none suspended, and twenty years for aggravated assault, with fifteen years suspended, five years to serve, and five years of post-release supervision. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively.

         ¶4. On March 7, 2016, Farr filed her PCR motion, [1] which the trial court denied on March 28, 2016. Farr filed a letter on April 3, 2016, in which she requested information about how to proceed since the circuit court had denied her PCR motion. The circuit court interpreted this letter as a notice of appeal.[2]

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. "A trial court's dismissal of a PCR motion will not be reversed absent a finding that the trial court's decision was clearly erroneous." Stokes v. State, 199 So.3d 745, 748 (¶7) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016) (citation omitted). "However, when issues of law are raised, the proper standard of review is de novo." Id. (citation omitted).

         ¶6. Farr sets forth six issues in her appellate brief; however, she fails to cite to any authority for any of those issues. "As an appellate court, we are not required to consider an argument which is not supported by authority." Doss v. State, 956 So.2d 1100, 1102 (¶7) (Miss. Ct. App. 2007) (citation omitted). An argument on appeal "shall contain the contentions of appellant with respect to the issues presented, and the reasons for those contentions, with citations to the authorities, statutes, and parts of the record relied on." M.R.A.P. 28(a)(7). While we will not ignore a meritorious claim simply because it is inartfully drafted, the deficiencies in Farr's brief transcend beyond mere inartful drafting. See Hill v. State, 940 So.2d 972, 974 ...


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