JULIUS SCOTT TURNER A/K/A JULIUS S. TURNER A/K/A JULIUS TURNER APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 11/28/2016
HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON.
LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS JR., TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JULIUS SCOTT TURNER (PRO SE).
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH.
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND GREENLEE, JJ.
Julius Scott Turner appeals the denial of his motion for
post-conviction collateral relief (PCCR). We find no error
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On February 11, 2014, Turner entered a guilty plea to Count
I, possession of a controlled substance with intent, and
Count II, unlawful possession of a firearm or weapon by a
convicted felon. He was subsequently sentenced as a habitual
offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81
(Rev. 2014) to twelve years for Count I and ten years for
Count II, to run concurrently, for a total of twelve years to
serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
On February 13, 2015, Turner filed a motion for PCCR, which
the trial court denied. Turner now appeals and argues: (1)
his guilty plea was involuntarily entered, (2) he received
ineffective assistance of counsel, (3) his sentence as a
habitual offender is illegal, and (4) his constitutional
rights were violated.
We will not disturb a circuit court's denial of a motion
for PCCR unless the factual findings are clearly erroneous.
Kennedy v. State, 179 So.3d 82, 83 (¶5) (Miss.
Ct. App. 2015). However, questions of law are reviewed de
Voluntariness of Guilty Plea
Turner first argues his guilty plea was involuntarily
entered. Turner claims he pled guilty due to constant
pressure from his attorney and family. "When a PC[C]R
movant tries to get out of an already entered guilty plea, it
is the movant, not the State, who bears the burden of proving
by a preponderance of evidence that the guilty plea was
involuntary." Watkins v. State, 170 So.3d 582,
585 (¶11) (Miss. Ct. App. 2014).
"A guilty plea is not binding upon a criminal defendant
unless it is entered voluntarily and intelligently."
Holland v. State, 956 So.2d 322, 327 (¶11)
(Miss. Ct. App. 2007). "A plea is deemed 'voluntary
and intelligent' only where the defendant is advised
concerning the nature of the charge against him and the
consequences of the plea." Id. "[T]he
defendant must be advised that his guilty plea waives
multiple constitutional rights." Hill v. State,
60 So.3d 824, 828 (¶11) (Miss. Ct. App. 2011). However,
"[a] lawyer's 'persuading' a defendant to
plead guilty by 'every means at his disposal' does
not render the plea involuntary if that persuasion does not
result from fear, violence, deception, or improper
inducements." Brasington v. State, 760 So.2d
18, 26 (¶38) (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).
"[T]he most significant indicator of the voluntariness
of a defendant's guilty plea is the thoroughness with
which the defendant was interrogated by the lower
court." Watkins, 170 So.3d at 585-86 (¶12)
(internal quotation marks omitted). "The Court can place
great weight on the sworn testimony of a defendant given at a
plea hearing leaving the defendant with a high hurdle in
recanting that testimony." Pevey v. State, 914
So.2d 1287, 1290 (¶8) (Miss. Ct. App. 2005).
During Turner's plea hearing, the following exchange
THE COURT: Before you should be a petition to enter a plea of
Is there one?
[TURNER]: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Have you read that ...