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Schmidt v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 17, 2019

LORI SCHMIDT APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 10/01/2018

          ITAWAMBA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. THOMAS J. GARDNER III TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: LORI SCHMIDT (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: KAYLYN HAVRILLA McCLINTON

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

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. The Itawamba County Circuit Court denied Lori Schmidt's motion for post-conviction collateral relief (PCR). On appeal, Schmidt argues that (1) her trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance and (2) her guilty plea was involuntary. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On August 17, 2017, Schmidt pled guilty to one count of trafficking methamphetamine. The circuit court sentenced Schmidt to forty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with ten years to serve, thirty years suspended, and five years of post-release supervision. The circuit court also fined Schmidt $1, 000 and ordered her to pay $545 in restitution. In addition, the circuit court ordered Schmidt to serve her ten-year sentence day-for-day, with the sentence to run consecutively to the sentence imposed in another cause number.

         ¶3. On April 30, 2018, Schmidt filed her PCR motion and asserted that (1) her trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance; (2) material facts existed that had not been previously presented to the circuit court; (3) her right against self-incrimination was violated; (4) her right against an illegal search was violated; and (5) her sentence was not comparable to the sentence imposed on her co-defendant. In its order denying Schmidt's PCR motion, the circuit court found that each of Schmidt's claims lacked merit. Aggrieved, Schmidt appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. We review the circuit court's denial or dismissal of a PCR motion for abuse of discretion. Jones v. State, 274 So.3d 940, 945 (¶12) (Miss. Ct. App. 2018). While we will only disturb the circuit court's factual findings if they are clearly erroneous, we review questions of law de novo. Id.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶5. On appeal, Schmidt argues that her attorney provided ineffective assistance by failing to properly investigate the charge against her, interview potential witnesses, and subpoena documents. According to Schmidt, if her trial attorney had investigated the charge against her, he would have proved that the traffic stop leading to her arrest was unlawful. In addition, Schmidt asserts that she never would have pled guilty had she known about her attorney's alleged failure to investigate the charge against her. She ...


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