Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division
JERRELL J. BELL, Appellant,
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 13SL-CC02474,
Honorable Colleen Dolan
P. Page, Judge
J. Bell ("Defendant") appeals from the denial of
his Rule 24.035 motion for post-conviction relief without an
evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
January 25, 2011, Reginald Gillespie and Jerome Streeter were
standing near the corner of Shepley Drive and Lilac Drive in
St. Louis County. Defendant shot at Mr. Gillespie, intending
to hit him, but missed. Instead, the bullet hit Mr. Streeter,
seriously injuring him.
was charged with one count of felony assault in the first
degree, as a class A felony, and one count of armed criminal
action. On November 2, 2011, attorney Christine Goulet
("Plea Counsel") entered her appearance on behalf
April 11, 2013, Defendant appeared in court with Plea Counsel
and pleaded guilty- pursuant to a plea agreement-to the
felony assault charge. During the hearing, the court found no
probable cause to indicate that Plea Counsel was ineffective.
Defendant received a twelve year sentence.
timely filed both his pro se and amended motion for
post-conviction relief per Rule 24.035,  which the court
denied without an evidentiary hearing.
submits two points on appeal, asserting in each that the
motion court clearly erred in denying his motion for
post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing,
thereby depriving him of his right to due process of law and
effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Fifth,
Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution and Article I, sections 10 and 18(a) of the
Missouri Constitution, as well as his right to be free of
cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution. Specifically, Defendant
contends that (I) the trial court clearly erred in accepting
Defendant's guilty plea on the class A felony without a
sufficient factual basis, and (II) Plea Counsel was
ineffective in brokering and recommending the plea deal
containing the class A felony, and but for Plea Counsel's
acts, the results of his proceedings would have been
Point I - No Clear Error by Trial Court in Accepting
Defendant's Guilty Plea
first contends that the trial court clearly erred in
accepting Defendant's guilty plea on the class A felony
without a sufficient factual basis. We disagree.
review of the denial of a Rule 24.035 motion is limited to
determining whether the trial court's findings and
conclusions are clearly erroneous. See Rule
24.035(k). The motion court's findings and conclusions
will be deemed clearly erroneous only if a review of the
entire record leaves this court with the definite and firm
impression that a mistake has been made. Chipman v.
State, 274 S.W.3d 468, 471 (Mo. App. S.D. 2008); see
also Weeks v. State, 140 S.W.3d 39, 44 (Mo. banc 2004).
Defendant's burden is by a preponderance of the evidence.
Roberts v. State, 276 S.W.3d 833, 835 (Mo. banc
2009). Appellate review in ...