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Williams v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 22, 2018

ROBERT WILLIAMS A/K/A ROBERT KORTEZ WILLIAMS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/07/2017

          HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. LISA P. DODSON, JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ROBERT WILLIAMS (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KATY TAYLOR GERBER

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND TINDELL, JJ.

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. On February 28, 2011, Robert Williams pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (Cause No. B2401-2011-00123), receiving stolen property (Cause No. B2401-2010-00394), and malicious mischief (Cause No. B2402-2010-00612). The Harrison County Circuit Court, First Judicial District, sentenced Williams to twenty-five years-ten years for the charge of receiving stolen property, ten years for the possession charge, and five years for the malicious-mischief charge-with the sentences to run consecutively in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). The court's sentencing order specified that if Williams completed the Regimented Inmate Discipline program and a long-term drug and alcohol program, he would be brought back before the court for reconsideration of his sentences. Williams completed the programs, and on February 13, 2012, the circuit court suspended the remainder of his sentences for a period of three years and placed him on supervised probation.

         ¶2. On January 31, 2013, MDOC field officer Troy Carpenter filed a petition for revocation, alleging Williams had violated several conditions of his probation. On March 26, 2013, the circuit court held a revocation hearing. MDOC field officer Michael Griffith testified that he and Carpenter had conducted a home visit on Williams and discovered marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia, and alcohol.[1] Additionally, another person present at the home was a convicted felon, and Williams had failed to pay his court costs and fines. Williams acknowledged that he smoked marijuana while on probation and had three positive drug screens. Finding Williams in violation of the terms and conditions of his probation, the circuit court reinstated his sentences. The circuit court ordered Williams to participate in a Therapeutic Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program (TDARP) and, upon completion of the program, to present himself before the court for a possible reconsideration of his sentences.

         ¶3. While in custody, the MDOC issued Williams a Rules Violation Report on February 11, 2014, alleging he was found to be in possession of contraband (a mobile phone, spice, and cigarettes). At a hearing held on March 24, 2014, the circuit court determined that Williams had failed to complete the TDARP and reinstated his sentences, with credit for time served.

         ¶4. On April 8, 2014, Williams filed a motion for reconsideration, noting that he was a first-time offender and that his failure to complete the TDARP was due to his transfer to different MDOC facilities and being forced to restart the program each time. Finding that a motion seeking to reconsider a sentence "must be filed within ten (10) days or before the end of the term of court, " the circuit court denied Williams's motion for lack of jurisdiction as it was not filed within the required ten-day period.[2]

         ¶5. Williams filed a motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) on July 6, 2015, citing the discovery of new evidence. He attached a second-step-response form from the MDOC's Administrative Remedy Program (ARP), dated April 3, 2014, denying Williams's request for credit for the drug and alcohol program at the Alcorn County Correctional Facility because he did not complete the program. The circuit court addressed his motion as both a motion for reconsideration and a PCR motion. With regard to the reconsideration of his sentence, the circuit court again denied the motion for lack of jurisdiction. Alternatively, the court determined none of the allegations presented in Williams's motion provided any exceptions to procedural bars "within the provisions of the post[-]conviction[-]collateral[-]relief statutes." See Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-5(1) (Rev. 2015). Because Williams had attached the ARP form to his motion, the court also dismissed the motion as untimely "insofar as it [sought] judicial review of the ARP decision." See Miss. Code Ann. § 47-5-807 (Rev. 2015).

         ¶6. On October 24, 2016, Williams filed a second PCR motion. He claimed his probation was unlawfully revoked, his sentence was unlawful, and he was denied due process. On June 8, 2017, the circuit court found Williams's PCR motion was procedurally barred as a successive writ under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-23(6) (Rev. 2015). The circuit court further found Williams's claims that his due-process rights were violated, and his probation was unlawfully revoked, were without merit and provided no exception to the procedural bar.[3] The circuit judge also noted that Williams failed to raise these issues in his first PCR motion. Aggrieved, Williams appeals.

         ¶7. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's dismissal.

         STANDARD ...


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