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Wilson v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 7, 2020

ROMELLO WILSON A/K/A ROMELLO CURTIS WILSON A/K/A ROMELLO C. WILSON APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/20/2018

          MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER TRIAL JUDGE.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ROMELLO WILSON (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: DARRELL CLAYTON BAUGHN

          BEFORE BARNES, C.J., TINDELL AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

          TINDELL, J.

         ¶1. On May 15, 2018, Romello Wilson filed an unsuccessful motion for post-conviction collateral relief (PCR), arguing that his plea was involuntary, he was wrongfully denied parole eligibility, and he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Wilson now appeals the circuit court's denial of his PCR motion. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. On August 4, 2016, a Madison County grand jury indicted Wilson for armed robbery and kidnapping stemming from an incident that occurred on or about April 5, 2016. Wilson pled guilty to both crimes on November 16, 2016, and on December 8, 2016, the circuit court sentenced him to fifteen years for armed robbery and fifteen years for kidnapping to be served in the Mississippi Department of Correction's custody. Wilson's two sentences were set to run consecutively, giving him a total of thirty years to serve. Pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 47-7-3(1)(g)(i) (Rev. 2015), Wilson was ineligible for parole.

         ¶3. On May 15, 2018, Wilson filed a PCR motion with the circuit court, claiming that he had not been made aware of his ineligibility for parole at the time of his plea and that he was wrongfully denied parole. Wilson further argued that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. On July 20, 2018, the circuit court denied Wilson's PCR motion, finding his arguments to be without merit. Aggrieved, Wilson appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. This Court reviews the dismissal or denial of a PCR motion for abuse of discretion, and we will only disturb the circuit court's findings if they are clearly erroneous. West v. State, 226 So.3d 1238, 1239 (¶3) (Miss. Ct. App. 2017). The circuit court's legal conclusions, however, are reviewed de novo. Id. Furthermore, for PCR motions, the movant has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is entitled to relief. Shavers v. State, 215 So.3d 502, 505 (¶7) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016).

         ANALYSIS

         ¶5. Because the crux of Wilson's first two arguments involve parole eligibility, we address the substance of this contention first.

         I. Wilson's Parole Eligibility

         ¶6. Wilson argues that the circuit court wrongfully denied him the "right" to parole. Wilson states that he is eligible for parole upon serving fifty percent of his sentence under ...


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