VICTOR D. JONES A/K/A VICTOR DEWAYNE JONES A/K/A VICTOR JONES APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 07/13/2017
FROM WHICH APPEALED HON. DAVID H. STRONG JR. PIKE COUNTY
CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: VICTOR D. JONES (PRO SE).
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LAURA HOGAN TEDDER.
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
This appeal relates to Victor Jones's fourth pro-se
motion for post-conviction relief (PCR),  challenging his
2004 guilty plea on two counts of sexual battery. The Circuit
Court of Pike County dismissed Jones's motion with
prejudice, finding it time barred and barred as a successive
writ. Additionally, the circuit court ruled that it lacked
jurisdiction because the underlying criminal action had been
directly appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. We affirm
the circuit court's dismissal for the same reasons set
out in Jones III. However, we reverse as to the
jurisdictional issue for the reasons set out by the supreme
court in Jones II-MSC.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On June 29, 2004, Jones pleaded guilty in the Pike County
Circuit Court to two counts of sexual battery. The State
recommended a sentence of twenty years, with ten years to
serve, ten years suspended, and five years of probation for
each count, to be served concurrently. The circuit-court
judge, however, did not accept the State's recommendation
and sentenced Jones to serve twenty years on each count to
run consecutively. Jones filed a direct appeal which was
dismissed for failure to pay the costs of appeal. See
Jones II-COA, 119 So.3d at 351 (¶3).
Jones filed his first PCR motion at the end of 2004,
including claims of a faulty indictment, an involuntary
guilty plea, and ineffective assistance of counsel. Jones
I, 962 So.2d at 572 (¶2). This Court affirmed the
circuit court's dismissal of his PCR motion, agreeing
that Jones's guilty pleas were voluntary and his counsel
effective. Id. at 572-73 (¶¶3, 6).
Jones filed his second PCR motion in April 2011, and again,
it was summarily dismissed. The circuit court found that it
lacked jurisdiction, and the PCR motion was time barred and
barred as a successive writ. Jones II-COA, 119 So.3d
at 351 (¶5). On appeal, Jones argued the dismissal was
error because his sentence was illegal. Also, Jones claimed
he should have had a mental-health evaluation before he was
allowed to enter his plea. Id. at 351 (¶2).
However, we noted he had not raised his mental health in his
previous PCR motion, where his guilty plea had been found
voluntary. Id. at 352 (¶10). This Court
affirmed, finding the issues without merit, and also agreeing
that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction because Jones
failed to seek permission from the Mississippi Supreme Court
to file his PCR motion. Id. at (¶¶12-13).
The Mississippi Supreme Court granted certiorari review and
reversed as to the jurisdictional issue. The supreme court
explained that Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-7
(Supp. 2012) requires a petitioner to seek leave of the
supreme court to file a motion for PCR only "where the
conviction and sentence have been affirmed on appeal
or the appeal has been dismissed." Jones
II-MSC, 119 So.3d at 325 (¶5) (emphasis added by
the supreme court) (quoting Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-7
(Supp. 2012)). And because Jones was only allowed to appeal
the sentence from his guilty plea under Trotter v.
State, 554 So.2d 313, 315 (Miss. 1989), abrogated on
other grounds by Betterman v. Montana, 136 S.Ct. 1609
(2016), this statute was not applicable. Jones
II-MSC, 119 So.3d at 325 (¶5). The supreme court
affirmed that the PCR was time barred and barred by res
judicata. Id. at 326 (¶9). The supreme court
also found Jones's argument that he was "legally
incompetent" to plead guilty without merit. The supreme
court stated that in the order denying the first PCR motion,
the circuit court found it had "personally observed the
defendant's demeanor, appearance and manner in answering
the court's questions and it appeared to the court that
the defendant was competent to understand and did understand
the circumstances surrounding his guilty plea."
Id. at (¶7). The supreme court also noted:
"In support of his second PCR filing, Jones submitted
some of his medical records, but none appears responsive to
his mental competency, in general, or at the time of his
On August 30, 2013, fifteen days after the supreme court
handed down Jones II-MSC, Jones filed his third PCR
motion. He again argued that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel, his guilty plea was involuntary, he
should have received a competency hearing, and he was
incompetent when he was coerced into pleading guilty.
Jones III, 174 So.3d at 904 (¶6). He again
filed numerous mental-health records with his PCR motion, and
again, none of them related to his competency at the time of
his guilty plea in 2004. Id. at 908 (¶15).
Further, he complained that the circuit court did not honor
the plea agreement. Id. at 904 (¶6). The
circuit court summarily dismissed Jones's motion, finding
it procedurally barred as a successive writ and time barred,
noting: "The motion is substantively identical to three
previously filed motions which have all been denied."
Id. at 904-05 (¶6).
Jones appealed, focusing solely on his lack of competency to
enter a guilty plea- again arguing that his attorney was
ineffective and his plea was involuntary. This Court noted
these two issues had been raised before in his prior PCR
motions and typically would be procedurally barred by time
and successive. Id. at 906-07 (¶10). However,
because Rowland v. State, 42 So.3d 503, 507
(¶12) (Miss. 2010), excepts from the procedural bars
errors affecting fundamental constitutional rights, this
Court found Jones's claims of mental incompetency were
not subject to procedural bars. Nonetheless, we found the issue
without merit because it had already been determined in
Jones II-MSC. Id. at 907 (¶¶11,
13). There, the supreme court found no evidence that Jones
was incompetent at the time he submitted his guilty plea.
Id. at 907-08 (¶13). Accordingly, this Court
affirmed the dismissal of the third PCR motion, and the
supreme court denied certiorari review. Id. at 908
In January 2016, Jones filed his fourth PCR motion-the
subject of the instant case. He attached numerous documents,
including general articles about mental-health disorders, the
prior opinions on his appeals, his defense counsel's
response to a bar complaint in 2010, a letter from the Pike
County district attorney in 2005 explaining that the judge is
not under an obligation to follow their sentence
recommendation, mental-health records from a stay at the
Whitfield State Hospital (Whitfield) from January 20, 1993 until
February 12, 1993, and records from prison. He also included
an affidavit from his mother ...