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Porter v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

April 2, 2019

KEITH LADALE PORTER A/K/A KEITH PORTER APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/07/2018

          HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. ROGER T. CLARK TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: JOEL SMITH

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KEITH LADALE PORTER (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: JEFFREY A. KLINGFUSS

          BEFORE J. WILSON, P.J., GREENLEE AND McCARTY, JJ.

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. The Harrison County Circuit Court dismissed Keith Porter's third motion for post- conviction relief (PCR). Porter appeals, asserting: (1) his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim overcomes the procedural bar; and (2) two letters from the Harrison County Circuit Clerk qualify as newly discovered evidence and overcome the procedural bar. We affirm the circuit court's order and find that the PCR motion was properly dismissed.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. A Harrison County grand jury indicted Porter in November 2015 for armed robbery. Another grand jury indicted him in July 2016 for drive-by-shooting and unlawful possession of firearm or weapon by a convicted felon. Porter pled guilty to armed robbery and unlawful possession in March 2017. The Harrison County Circuit Court sentenced him to serve twenty-five years with twenty years suspended for armed robbery and ten years for unlawful possession. His sentences were to run concurrently with each other, in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), and with five years of non-reporting post-release supervision.

         ¶3. Porter's history of filings in this Court and other state courts is voluminous.[1]

         ¶4. In October 2016, Porter filed a pro se document titled "Insufficient Counsel and Failure to be Granted my Motion of Discovery." Our supreme court denied relief. Porter v. State, 2016-M-01517 at *1 (Miss. Nov. 28, 2016). He directly appealed his plea of guilty to armed robbery and unlawful possession in April 2017, and we dismissed the appeal without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction. Porter v. State, 2017-TS-00522-COA at *1 (Miss. Ct. App. June 6, 2017).

         ¶5. Porter first filed for PCR in August 2017. The circuit court denied his petition, finding that he waived his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim when he pled guilty. The court noted that "[w]ithout the plea agreements, Porter faced three years to life in MDOC custody," and that his voluntarily made plea significantly lowered his potential prison time. He appealed the order, but later moved for voluntary dismissal. We granted the dismissal in March 2018. Porter v. State, 2017-TS-01623-COA at *1 (Miss. Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2018).

         6. He moved again for PCR in August 2017, specifically challenging his guilty plea to unlawful possession. He asserted that his habitual-offender status was not adequately proven and that his counsel was ineffective. And again the circuit court denied his petition, finding his claims waived after his guilty plea. Porter appealed, but his case was dismissed after he failed to file a brief. Porter v. State, 2018-CP-00187-COA at *1 (Miss. Ct. App. Aug. 7, 2018); see M.R.A.P. 2(a)(2).

         ¶7. This is an appeal of the circuit court's February 7, 2018 dismissal of Porter's third PCR motion. The circuit court determined that it was a successive filing. But Porter argues: (1) his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim overcomes the procedural bar; and (2) two letters from the Harrison County Circuit Clerk qualify as newly ...


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