OF JUDGMENT: 01/12/2018
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: ANGELA YLONA COCKERHAM CHARLES
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
BILLY L. GORE
BARNES, C.J., McDONALD AND C. WILSON, JJ.
Dennis Lawrence Smith was sentenced to serve sixty years in
the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections
(MDOC) after he pleaded guilty to three counts of the sale of
cocaine with the subsequent offender enhancement. Smith filed
a post-conviction collateral relief (PCR) motion pursuant to
Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-39-5 (Rev. 2015),
arguing that his sentence was disproportionate to the crime
and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The circuit
court summarily dismissed Smith's motion without an
evidentiary hearing. Smith appeals that dismissal. In
addition to the issues raised in his PCR motion, on appeal he
argues for the first time that (1) his sentence amounts to a
life sentence under the circumstances and (2) there was no
evidence of a 1999 Rankin County conviction of possession of
a controlled substance subjecting him to an enhanced
punishment. Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Smith was indicted in the Rankin County Circuit Court on or
about August 15, 2013, on seven counts of violating
Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-139 (Rev.
2013). The indictment alleged that Smith was
subject to an enhanced punishment pursuant to Mississippi
Code Annotated section 41-29-147 (Rev. 2013) because he had
previously been convicted for possession of a controlled
substance in the Rankin County Circuit Court (Cause Number
10931) on August 23, 1999.
On November 18, 2013, during Smith's plea and sentencing
hearing, the court discussed the elements of the crimes Smith
pleaded guilty to:
Court: Now, this is a multi-count indictment. What counts is
he pleading to?
Mayes: He's pleading to 1, 3, and 4, with the
subsequent offender enhancement, Your Honor.
. . . .
Court: All right. In relation to Count 1, the elements are on
or about February 10th, 2013, in Rankin County, Mississippi,
you did willfully, unlawfully, feloniously, knowingly, and
intentionally sale, deliver, or transfer a quantity of
cocaine to a person at a time when you had been previously
convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Rankin
County Cause No. 10931 on or about August 23, 1999, and
therefore subject to enhanced punishment as a second or
subsequent drug offender. Do you understand those elements?
Smith: Yes, sir.
court addressed the elements in relation to each count Smith
pleaded guilty to. Smith admitted to the 1999 conviction as
to the other two counts as well. In addition, Smith agreed
with the factual basis which subjected him to an enhanced
Mayes: The State would further prove that this defendant was
convicted of possession of a controlled substance in the
Circuit Court of Rankin County in Cause No. 10931 on or about
August the 23rd of 1999, and as a result, is subject to
enhanced punishment as a second or subsequent offender under
the Uniform Controlled Substance Law.
Court: Do you have any disagreement with the factual basis?
Smith: No, sir.
Court: Mr. Houston, do you have any disagreement with the
Houston: No, Your Honor.
Smith proceeded to plead guilty to three counts of the sale
of cocaine as a subsequent offender. The circuit court
sentenced Smith to serve a term of sixty years in the custody
of the MDOC and to be released after serving fifty years for
Count I and one day for Count III and Count IV. After the court
sentenced Smith, there were no objections or disputes.
Smith's attorney only requested that Smith be sentenced
after the holidays without detailing a purpose for the
request. The court asked if there was
"anything further" and Smith's ...