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Pulliam v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 13, 2019

UNDRA PULLIAM A/K/A ANDRE PULLIAM APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/01/2018

          LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. THOMAS J. GARDNER III JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JAMES H. POWELL III

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

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

          GREENLEE, J.

         ¶1. Undra Pulliam appeals the Lee County Circuit Court's denial of his post-conviction petition for an out-of-time appeal. Because the circuit court did not consider the relevant portions of the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In February 2015, Pulliam was indicted for the sale, transfer, or distribution of more than 2 grams but less than 10 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant in violation of Mississippi Code Annotated section 41-29-139 (Rev. 2013). In August 2016, the indictment was amended to charge Pulliam with being a non-violent habitual offender under Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-81 (Rev. 2015).

         ¶3. After a jury trial, Pulliam was found guilty as charged, and the trial court sentenced him, as a habitual offender, to serve twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC).[1] The trial court entered its judgment and sentence on August 24, 2016.

         ¶4. On September 19, 2017, Pulliam filed a post-conviction petition for an out-of-time appeal. In the petition, Pulliam stated that he was never notified of his right to court-appointed appellate counsel, his right to appeal his conviction, or the time limits for filing an appeal. In support of his claims, Pulliam attached a letter from his trial attorney, dated September 12, 2016, to his petition.

         ¶5. In the letter, Pulliam's attorney informed him that he had been convicted of sale of more than 2 grams but less than 10 grams of crack cocaine. Pulliam's attorney also informed him that he was sentenced, as a habitual offender, to serve twenty years in the custody of the MDOC. His attorney concluded the letter by stating: "Your file is now closed in our office today. I wish you well." The letter indicates that Pulliam's sentencing order was enclosed. The record does not reflect that Pulliam's attorney filed a motion to withdraw from representation.[2]

         ¶6. On February 1, 2018, the circuit court entered an order denying Pulliam's petition without a hearing. On appeal, Pulliam claims that had the trial court granted his petition for an out-of-time appeal, he would have been able to demonstrate that the amendment to his indictment was untimely, his right to confrontation was violated, and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.

         STANDARD ...


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