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Oliphant v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

August 4, 2017

REGGIE OLIPHANT, Movant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Thomas E. Mountjoy, Judge

          WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.

         Reggie Oliphant ("Oliphant"), appeals from the judgment of the motion court denying his Rule 24.035[1] motion to set aside his convictions for four counts of forgery as a persistent offender. Because the motion court's decision to deny the post-conviction motion after an evidentiary hearing was not clearly erroneous, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         In November 2012, Oliphant was charged by felony information, as a persistent offender, with ten counts of forgery occurring in November 2011.

         On March 9, 2015, Oliphant and plea counsel appeared at a plea hearing and announced Oliphant's intention to plead guilty to Counts I through IV, as a persistent offender, pursuant to a plea agreement with the State.

         The trial court acknowledged receipt of a written plea agreement, which stated that Oliphant would receive concurrent sentences of eight years on Counts I through IV, would pay restitution in the amount of $3, 500, the State would dismiss Counts V through X, and a Sentencing Assessment Report would be waived. The State and Oliphant confirmed that was the plea agreement, and it was Oliphant's intention to plead guilty under that plea agreement. Oliphant also confirmed that he had signed the written plea agreement after reading it and understanding it, he had sufficient time to talk with plea counsel regarding his guilty plea, had told plea counsel everything he needed to know about his case to render proper advice, and was satisfied with plea counsel's services. Oliphant acknowledged that he understood he had a right to a jury trial and all associated rights, and by pleading guilty, he was giving up those rights. Oliphant confirmed no one suggested to him he should answer questions untruthfully.

         The State recited for the record that Oliphant was pleading guilty to Counts I through IV as a persistent felony offender. As such, the State declared that the range in punishment for both a class C and a class B felony was from 1 day to 1 year in the county jail, 2 to 15 years in the Department of Corrections, and a fine not to exceed $5, 000.

         The State further recited that if the case were to proceed to trial, the evidence would be that on or about November 18 and 20, 2011, Oliphant, acting with others, with the purpose to defraud, transferred with the knowledge or belief that they would be used as genuine, checks numbered 13456, 13426, 13427, and 13464, knowing the checks had been filled out to appear that they were competed with the authority of one who did not give such authority. Oliphant agreed with the facts stated for each count. Plea counsel also agreed that the State could make a submissible case.

         Oliphant denied that anyone had made him any promises, other than the plea agreement, or pressured him to plead guilty. Oliphant stated he was pleading guilty because he was guilty. Oliphant waived his right to a Sentencing Assessment Report. Oliphant then pleaded guilty to Counts I through IV as a persistent offender. The trial court found there was a factual basis for the pleas of guilty and accepted Oliphant's pleas of guilty as voluntarily made with an understanding of his rights.

         Oliphant had three other cases pending before the court, including a class B felony offense of distribution of a controlled substance as a persistent drug offender, and two probation cases.[2] In addition, Oliphant had recently been sentenced in another county to 13 years as a persistent drug offender, which precluded him from being eligible for parole Plea counsel and the State agreed that the recommendation on Oliphant's drug case was 10 years, with probation being denied, concurrent with other sentences. Plea counsel also asked the trial court to revoke Oliphant's probation in the two other cases and sentence Oliphant to seven years on each, to be served concurrently with his other sentences. Oliphant agreed he was not contesting the revocation of his probation and was waiving his right to a hearing.

         The trial court then stated its intent to grant allocution as to all four pending cases, and then proceed to sentencing. The trial court asked Oliphant: "By way of allocution, is there any legal reason the Court should not sentence you on each of these cases?" Oliphant replied, "No, sir."

         The trial court sentenced Oliphant, consistent with the plea agreement, to eight years for each of the four counts, to be served concurrently with each other and other sentences, with restitution ordered as previously announced. The State then dismissed Counts V through X, in accordance with the plea agreement.

         After being sentenced, Oliphant told the court that plea counsel had done everything he had asked of him, that he was satisfied with plea counsel's services, and that he had no complaints about plea counsel's representation. The trial court found no ...


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