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Scott v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

June 9, 2015

JAMES LEON SCOTT, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent

Editorial Note:

Not Final until expiration of the rehearing period. See MO R RCP Rule 84.16 regarding unpublished opinions.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Adair County, Missouri. The Honorable Russell Ellis Steele, Judge.

For Appellant: Casey Taylor, Columbia, MO.

For Respondent: Shaun Mackelprang, Jefferson City, MO.

Before Division One: James Edward Welsh, P.J., Thomas H. Newton, and Karen King Mitchell, JJ. All concur.

OPINION

James Edward Welsh, Presiding Judge

Page 594

James Scott appeals the circuit court's denial, following an evidentiary hearing, of his claim tat he was abandoned by his post-conviction counsel in his Rule 24.035 case. We affirm.

Background

The State charged Scott with the class C felony of possession of a controlled substance, as a " persistent drug offender," and the class A misdemeanor of driving while revoked. In March 2011, Scott appeared before the circuit court to enter a guilty plea to the drug charge, pursuant to a plea agreement with the State. At the plea hearing, the prosecutor recited the range of punishment for the drug offense and outlined the anticipated evidence. After inquiring to ensure that the plea was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary and supported by a sufficient factual basis, the court accepted Scott's guilty plea.[1] On April 18, 2011, the judge sentenced Scott to twenty years' imprisonment. Scott did not appeal his conviction.

Scott filed a timely pro se motion for post-conviction relief (" PCR" ), pursuant to Rule 24.035, on July 22, 2011. Scott alleged that his trial counsel was ineffective, that Scott was not made aware of the terms of the plea agreement, that his sentence was excessive, and that collusion or threats affected the outcome of his case.

Page 595

The circuit court appointed Kirk Zwink to represent Scott, and Zwink entered his appearance on January 10, 2012. Nothing further was filed on Scott's behalf until January 17, 2013, when Scott filed a pro se amended PCR motion. The amended motion alleged that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to seek suppression of the evidence and in not contesting the chain of custody of the seized drugs. The motion also stated that post-conviction counsel had ...


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