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Gaulden v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 13, 2018

JOHN FRANK GAULDEN A/K/A JOHN GAULDEN A/K/A JOHN F. GAULDEN APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/17/2017

         AMITE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. FORREST A. JOHNSON JR. JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JOHN FRANK GAULDEN (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., CARLTON AND WILSON, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. In June 2013, John Frank Gaulden pled guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated assault of a jailer. More than three years after the Amite County Circuit Court entered its sentencing order, Gaulden filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR). The circuit court summarily dismissed it because it was time-barred and none of Gaulden's claims were exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations. Gaulden appeals and argues: (1) his PCR motion is not time-barred because he raises errors affecting his fundamental constitutional rights; (2) his guilty pleas were involuntary; (3) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) the multi-count bill of criminal information against him was improper. We find no error and affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. In June 2013, Gaulden waived indictment and filed a petition to plead guilty to three charges listed in a bill of information:[1] two counts of unlawful possession of a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated assault of a jailer. Gaulden's guilty-plea hearing occurred on June 12, 2013. After accepting Gaulden's guilty pleas, the circuit court sentenced him to concurrent one-year sentences for each conviction for unlawful possession of a motor vehicle and a consecutive twenty-year sentence for aggravated assault. The circuit court entered its sentencing order on June 12, 2013.

         ¶3. Gaulden filed his PCR motion on November 7, 2016. He attached copies of his guilty-plea petition, the sentencing order, the bill of information, and a printout of the statute that criminalizes simple and aggravated assault. Gaulden also filed a supplemental memorandum of law on January 23, 2017. After reviewing the motion, its exhibits, and the supplemental brief, the circuit court summarily dismissed Gaulden's PCR motion because it was time-barred and no exceptions to the three-year limitations period applied.

         ¶4. Gaulden appeals and argues that: (1) his PCR motion was not time-barred because he raised errors affecting his fundamental constitutional rights; (2) his guilty pleas were involuntary; (3) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and (4) the multi-count bill of information was improper.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5. "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." Berry v. State, 230 So.3d 360, 362 (¶3) (Miss. Ct. App. 2017).

         DISCUSSION

         I.Time- ...


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