OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. VERNON R. COTTON JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JAMES HOWARD GRAY (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LISA L. BLOUNT
IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND GREENLEE, JJ.
James Howard Gray, proceeding pro se, appeals the judgment of
the Scott County Circuit Court and argues that the court
erred in dismissing his motion for post-conviction relief
(PCR) for four reasons: (1) his motion should not have been
barred as a successive writ; (2) his sentence was illegal;
(3) his probation should not have been revoked; and (4) he
was denied counsel at his revocation hearing. We affirm.
On April 3, 2007, Gray was indicted on one count of statutory
rape. On February 18, 2008, he pleaded guilty to the lesser
crime of gratification of lust. He was sentenced to fifteen
years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (MDOC), with ten years suspended and five years
to serve, followed by five years of post-release supervision.
The court also ordered him to pay a $1, 500 fine and court
costs in monthly installments of $150. According to the
State, Gray's post-release supervision began on April 11,
On March 27, 2014, Gray was arrested on three counts of
uttering a forgery in Scott County. He was subjected to a
revocation hearing; however, the circuit court did not revoke
his post-release supervision. Essentially, Gray was given a
second chance to abide by the conditions of his post-release
supervision; however, on June 13, 2014, he was charged with
two counts of grand larceny. On August 18, 2014, a second
revocation hearing was held, and Gray's MDOC probation
officer Michael Gilmer testified about Gray's most recent
arrest and his failure to pay the fine and court costs to the
circuit clerk in the amount of $1, 593, as ordered by the
court. As a result, his post-release supervision was revoked.
Gray was not represented by counsel at the revocation
By Gray's own admission in his current PCR motion, he has
previously filed two PCR motions attacking his sentence and
the revocation of his post-release supervision. As noted by
the court in its order, on May 22, 2015, Gray filed a motion
to clarify, and on November 9, 2015, he filed a motion to
reconsider his sentence. The court treated them as PCR
motions and denied both. Gray did not appeal either denial.
On February 4, 2016, Gray filed a third PCR motion that is
the basis for this current appeal, again, attacking his
sentence and revocation. Consequently, the court denied and
dismissed his motion as a procedurally barred successive
writ. Gray appeals.
"When reviewing a lower court's decision to deny a
[PCR motion, an appellate court] will not disturb the trial
court's factual findings unless they are found to be
clearly erroneous." Brown v. State, 731 So.2d
595, 598 (¶6) (Miss. 1999). "But when issues of law
are raised, the proper standard of review ...