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Young v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division

May 19, 2015

JEFFREY YOUNG, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent

Page 670

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable Edward W. Sweeney, Jr.

FOR APPELLANT: Amy E. Lowe, Assistant Public Defender, Office of the Missouri Public Defender, St. Louis, Missouri.

FOR RESPONDENT, Chris Koster, Attorney General, Karen L. Kramer, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, Missouri.

Kurt S. Odenwald, Presiding Judge. Robert G. Dowd, Jr., J., Concurs. Gary M. Gaertner, Jr., J., Concurs.

OPINION

Page 671

Kurt S. Odenwald, Presiding Judge

Introduction

Jeffrey Young (" Young" ) appeals from the judgment of the motion court denying his Rule 24.035[1] motion for post-conviction relief. Young avers that the motion court clearly erred in denying his Rule 24.035 motion without an evidentiary hearing because he alleged facts not refuted by the record demonstrating that he received constitutionally deficient assistance of counsel. In particular, Young alleges that counsel was ineffective in: (1) using his family members to convey legal advice and information; (2) failing to take adequate measures to address his difficulties with communication; and (3) failing to contest the determination of competency made by the Department of Mental Health and failing to request a second examination. Because Young failed to allege facts not refuted by the record demonstrating he is entitled to relief, the motion court did not clearly err

Page 672

in denying his Rule 24.035 motion without an evidentiary hearing. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the motion court.

Factual and Procedural History

On November 20, 2009, the State of Missouri charged Young with first-degree statutory sodomy and attempted first-degree statutory sodomy of P.R., Young's five year-old cousin. The State alleged that Young put his penis in P.R.'s anus (Count I) and pushed P.R.'s head and told P.R. to put his mouth on Young's penis (Count II).

Young retained Kristy Ridings (" Ridings" ) to serve as his defense counsel.[2] On May 17, 2011, Young appeared before the plea court with Ridings and entered blind guilty pleas to both charges. The plea court then engaged Young in a lengthy dialogue about whether he understood the nature of the charges against him, the range of punishment that he faced, the lack of a plea bargain, the fact that he was entering his pleas with the possibility of any sentence within the range of punishment, his rights to a trial, the facts of the offenses charged, and Young's actions in committing those offenses. Young affirmed that he understood the charges against him, understood the consequences of his pleas, and understood the rights he was waiving by pleading guilty. The plea court accepted Young's pleas as entered knowingly and voluntarily and ordered a Sentence Assessment Report to be completed before sentencing.

On August 12, 2011, the plea court sentenced Young to a term of ten years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. After briefly advising Young about his rights under Rule 24.035, the plea court continued the sentencing hearing to allow Young time to consult with counsel about Rule 24.035

The sentencing hearing resumed on September 9, 2011. Young appeared with Jeremy Farishon (" Farishon" ), an attorney in Ridings's law office. The plea court advised Young about his rights under Rule 24.035 and asked Young about the assistance he received from his defense counsel.[3] Young indicated that he was dissatisfied because his attorneys did not visit him in jail, did not explain his case or options to him, and ultimately only told him that he would lose if he went to trial. Because of Young's allegations, ...


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