ERIC DENORRIS KENNEDY A/K/A ERIC D. KENNEDY A/K/A ERIC KENNEDY APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 03/15/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. WINSTON L.
KIDD TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ERIC DENORRIS KENNEDY (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BARBARA WAKELAND BYRD
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WILSON, JJ.
Following the Hinds County Circuit Court's order denying
his motion for postconviction relief (PCR), Eric Kennedy
filed a motion requesting that the circuit court reopen the
time to file a notice of appeal. The circuit court denied
Kennedy's motion. Kennedy now appeals.
After our review, we find no abuse of discretion in the
circuit court's denial of Kennedy's motion for an
out-of-time appeal. We therefore affirm the circuit
In 1997, a Hinds County grand jury indicted Kennedy and
Nakiea Sutton for capital murder, in violation of Mississippi
Code Annotated section 97-3-19(2) (Supp. 1997), stemming from
the burglary and subsequent murder of Thomas Ward.
On June 10, 1998, Kennedy pleaded guilty to the
lesser-included offense of murder. The record reflects that
in exchange for Kennedy pleading guilty, the State would
recommend that Kennedy receive a sentence of life in prison.
The plea petition reflects that the State would also agree
not to seek adjudication of Kennedy's guilt in another
matter that was then pending.
At the plea hearing, Kennedy testified that he had reviewed
his plea petition with his attorney, and that he understood
it. Kennedy testified that he also understood the allegations
set forth against him, and he admitted that he did commit the
The circuit court explained that by pleading guilty, Kennedy
waived the right to appeal his conviction, and Kennedy
testified that he understood that fact. Kennedy also swore
that he had not been threatened or promised anything in
exchange for his guilty plea. Kennedy assured the circuit
court that he was satisfied with his counsel's services,
and thought he had been properly advised and represented.
Kennedy's counsel stated that, based on his conversations
with Kennedy, he thought Kennedy fully understood the
consequences of pleading guilty. After questioning Kennedy
and his counsel, the circuit court accordingly found that
Kennedy's guilty plea was "intelligently and
understandingly" made and accepted the plea. The circuit
court sentenced Kennedy to serve life in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The record reflects that Kennedy filed his first PCR motion
in 1998. The record further reflects that the circuit court
denied Kennedy's ...