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Hill v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 18, 2018

JUSTIN S. HILL A/K/A JUSTIN SCOTT HILL A/K/A ECKSTIEN A/K/A JUSTIN HILL APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/13/2016

          ALCORN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JAMES SETH ANDREW POUNDS TRIAL JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JUSTIN S. HILL (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LISA L. BLOUNT JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., FAIR AND TINDELL, JJ.

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. Justin Hill appeals the Alcorn County Circuit Court's denial of his petition for postconviction relief (PCR). Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On May 7, 2009, a grand jury indicted Hill in cause number CR09-066 of Count I, the depraved-heart (second-degree) murder of William Marion, and Count II, leaving the scene of an accident. See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 97-3-19(1)(b) (Rev. 2006), 63-3-401 (Rev. 2004), 63-3-405 (Rev. 2004). As part of a plea agreement, Count I was reduced to culpable-negligence manslaughter. On November 1, 2010, Hill pled guilty in cause number CR09-066 to both culpable-negligence manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. The circuit court sentenced Hill to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) for Count I and to a consecutive five-year sentence for Count II. The circuit court fined Hill $1, 000 for each count. On the same day, Hill also pled guilty by criminal information in cause number CR10-302 to DUI mutilation arising out of the same car accident for injuries suffered by William's wife, Susan Marion. For the DUI-mutilation charge, the circuit court sentenced Hill to twenty-five years in MDOC's custody, with the sentence to run consecutively to Hill's prior sentences.

         ¶3. On October 22, 2013, Hill filed his first PCR petition, which the circuit court denied. On October 7, 2016, Hill filed a "Petition for Correction of Sentence," in which he asserted that his sentences in cause numbers CR09-066 and CR10-302 violated his right against double jeopardy. In its December 13, 2016 order, the circuit court treated Hill's filing as a PCR petition. The circuit court found Hill's instant PCR petition was both successive-writ barred and time-barred. Notwithstanding these procedural bars, the circuit court found no merit to Hill's double-jeopardy claim. The circuit court therefore denied Hill's PCR petition.

         ¶4. Aggrieved, Hill appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5. "When reviewing a trial court's denial or dismissal of a PCR motion, we will only disturb the trial court's factual findings if they are clearly erroneous; however, we review the trial court's legal conclusions under a de novo standard of review." Bass v. State, 237 So.3d 172, 173 (ΒΆ4) (Miss. Ct. App. ...


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