Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wallace v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 24, 2018

REGINALD DESMOND WALLACE A/K/A REGINALD WALLACE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/31/2016

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JANE E. TUCKER

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: ABBIE EASON KOONCE

         EN BANC

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. Reginald Wallace pled guilty to armed robbery, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The trial court sentenced Reginald to thirty years for the armed robbery, thirty years for the kidnapping, and five years for the conspiracy. The trial court set the three sentences to run concurrently. Reginald initially filed for post-conviction relief (PCR) in 2014. On appeal, this Court found no error in the trial court's resolution of the issues originally raised in Reginald's PCR motion. Wallace v. State, 184 So.3d 993, 1003 (¶32) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016). However, we reversed the trial court's dismissal and remanded the case for further proceedings upon finding that Reginald was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on whether his trial counsel failed to effectively communicate an offer to plead guilty to the lesser offense of robbery. Id. On remand, the trial court held the evidentiary hearing and denied Reginald's PCR motion. Reginald now appeals arguing the trial court erred in finding that his attorney effectively communicated the plea offer to him. While we disagree with the trial judge's evidentiary finding that the plea offer was effectively communicated to Reginald, we nonetheless affirm the trial court's judgment denying Reginald's PCR motion for the reasons set forth in this opinion.

         FACTS

         ¶2. Antonio Wallace, Demarcus Timmons, Kimberly Gates, Kenisa Rush, and Reginald Wallace each acted in some measure in the robbery of a Sand Dollar store and the kidnapping of its employee. They planned to take the store's deposit bags from a store employee, Kimberly Lewis, when she left the store to make a bank deposit. On November 28, 2011, Timmons, Gates, and Reginald, in a car owned by Gates, parked next to Lewis's car and waited. Antonio drove Rush, also a Sand Dollar employee, to the store. Shortly after Rush reported to work, she alerted Antonio in a text message that Lewis had left the Sand Dollar store. After Lewis got in her car with the bank deposit, Timmons entered on the passenger side, pointed a gun at her, and made her drive to the Embassy Suites. Reginald and Gates followed in Gates's car. At the Embassy Suites, Timmons took the deposit bags and Lewis's cell phone, tossed Lewis's car keys, and returned to Gates's car.

         ¶3. On April 4, 2012, the grand jury indicted Antonio, Timmons, Gates, Rush, and Reginald on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. All but Antonio pled guilty. Gates, the owner of the getaway car, pled guilty to robbery and received a sentence of twenty years with ten years suspended. Rush, the coworker who sent the text message, pled guilty to robbery and received a sentence of twenty years with thirteen suspended. Timmons, the gunman, pled guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to thirty-two years. Antonio, who both planned and participated in the robbery, went to trial and was sentenced to thirty-four years each for the armed robbery and kidnapping and five years for the conspiracy.

         ¶4. On the day before his trial date, Reginald entered an open plea, one made without a sentencing recommendation from the State, to armed robbery, kidnapping, and conspiracy. As stated previously, the trial court sentenced Reginald to serve concurrently thirty years for the armed robbery, thirty years for the kidnapping, and five years for the conspiracy.

         ¶5. After being sentenced Reginald filed a motion for PCR. In response to Reginald's initial PCR motion, the State attached an affidavit of Ottawa Carter. Carter was Reginald's attorney during the plea-bargaining process. In that affidavit, Carter stated that Reginald turned down an offer from the prosecutor for Reginald to plead guilty to the lesser charge of simple robbery.[1] Carter further stated that Reginald and Reginald's mother, Patricia Greer, refused to consider the offer. Reginald and Greer replied that they first learned of the offer to plead to the lesser charge of robbery in Carter's posttrial affidavit. Reginald asserted that Carter's failure to communicate that more favorable offer to him violated his right to effective assistance of counsel.

         ¶6. We found in Wallace, 184 So.3d at 1003 (¶32), that the initial points of error in Reginald's PCR motion lacked merit. Left only with the question of whether Carter communicated the favorable plea offer to Reginald, we directed the trial court on remand to hold an evidentiary hearing on the issue. The evidentiary hearing we ordered was Reginald's opportunity to present and supplement the record on his only remaining PCR claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

         ¶7. In October 2016, the trial court held that hearing. At the hearing, Reginald and his mother testified that Carter never presented the plea offer to either of them. Carter testified that he simply could not recall if he had or had not presented the offer to Reginald. However, after reviewing Carter's earlier affidavit, the trial court found Carter's affidavit and his knowledge of Carter's reputation to be controlling. As such, the trial court found that Carter had communicated the plea offer of the lesser offense of robbery to Reginald and denied Reginald's PCR motion. Reginald appeals.

         STANDARD ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.