CHRISTOPHER CARBIN A/K/A CHRIS CARBIN A/K/A CHRIS J. CARBIN A/K/A CHRISTOPHER JAMES CARBIN A/K/A CHRISTOPHER J. CARBIN APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 10/24/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. SMITH MURPHEY JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTOPHER CARBIN (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
KAYLYN HAVRILLA MCCLINTON
LEE, C.J., WILSON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
In 1988, Christopher Carbin pleaded guilty to three counts of
kidnapping, and one count each of armed robbery, jail escape,
conspiracy to commit jail escape, aggravated assault on a
law-enforcement officer, and grand larceny. He was sentenced
as a habitual offender to serve a total of forty-five years
in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Over the years, Carbin has filed nine separate motions for
postconviction relief (PCR). Several of the motions were
dismissed due to Carbin's failure to pay filing fees.
Others were dismissed as time-barred and successive-writ
barred. See Carbin v. State, 942 So.2d 231, 232
(¶1) (Miss. Ct. App. 2006) (affirming the trial
court's dismissal of Carbin's third PCR motion as a
This appeal concerns Carbin's ninth PCR motion. He
originally filed several documents, including one titled
"Brief of Habeas Corpus, " in which he argued that
the evidence was insufficient to support his
habitual-offender status and his conviction and sentence for
jail escape. The trial court treated Carbin's filings as
a PCR motion. The trial court determined Carbin's motion
was time-barred and successive-writ barred. Although Carbin
claimed his fundamental constitutional rights were affected,
the trial court found that Carbin failed to overcome the
Carbin now appeals, arguing that he was improperly sentenced
as a habitual offender and that his guilty plea was not
entered into voluntarily. As Carbin raises the guilty-plea
issue for the first time on appeal, we decline to review it.
See Marshall v. State, 136 So.3d 443, 445 (¶3)
(Miss. Ct. App. 2013).
When reviewing a trial court's denial or dismissal of a
PCR motion, we will only disturb the trial court's
decision if the trial court abused its discretion and the
decision is clearly erroneous; however, we review the trial
court's legal conclusions under a de novo standard of
review. Hughes v. State, 106 So.3d 836, 838
(¶4) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012).
Carbin argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove he
was a habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated
section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015). Carbin's PCR motion is
procedurally barred as a successive writ under Mississippi
Code Annotated section 99-39-23(6) (Rev. 2015). But
"errors affecting fundamental constitutional rights are
excepted from the procedural bars of the [Uniform
Postconviction Collateral Relief Act]." Rowland v.
State, 42 So.3d 503, 506 (¶9) (Miss. 2010). The
right to be free from an illegal sentence is a fundamental
right that survives the procedural bar. Boyd v.
State, 155 So.3d 914, 918 (¶13) (Miss. Ct. App.
2014). However, "the mere assertion of a constitutional
right violation does not trigger the exception"; rather,
the claim must at least appear to have some basis of truth.
Evans v. State, 115 So.3d 879, 881 (¶3) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2013) (citations and internal quotation marks
The trial court noted that certified judgments of conviction
and sentence evidencing Carbin's prior convictions were
admitted without objection by Carbin. Noting that certified
copies of judgments of conviction are sufficient to support
habitual-offender status, the trial court found Carbin failed
to overcome the procedural bar. See Short v. State,
929 So.2d 420, 426 (¶16) (Miss. Ct. App. 2006)
("The best evidence of a conviction is a certified copy