Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division
HERBERT W. MORRISON, Appellant,
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Honorable Ellen H.
S. ODENWALD, Judge.
W. Morrison ("Morrison") appeals from the judgment
of the motion court denying his Rule 24.035 motion for
post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing.
Morrison pled guilty to multiple charges and was sentenced to
thirty years in prison. On appeal, Morrison contends that the
motion court clearly erred in denying his Rule 24.035 motion
without an evidentiary hearing because plea counsel was
ineffective for pressuring him to plead guilty. Because
Morrison testified that he was content with plea counsel at
both the plea hearing and the sentencing hearing, the record
refutes his claim that his guilty plea was involuntary.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the motion court.
and Procedural History
State charged Morrison with nineteen separate counts
including: three counts of possession of child pornography;
two counts of first-degree child molestation; three counts of
first-degree statutory sodomy; two counts of first-degree
promoting child pornography; two counts of first-degree
statutory rape; three counts of second-degree statutory rape;
two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor; one count of
second-degree statutory sodomy; and one count of
second-degree child molestation. The charges against Morrison
arose mostly from allegations by M.M., Morrison's adopted
daughter. M.M.'s anticipated testimony would purportedly
detail incidents where Morrison sexually abused M.M. and
forced M.M. to perform sexual acts while M.M. was between the
ages of five and eighteen. The State also intended to
introduce photographs and sexually explicit images to support
M.M.'s statements, including forty-four CDs, most of
which contained child pornography. On the morning of
Morrison's scheduled trial, Morrison entered a blind
guilty plea on all nineteen charges.
plea hearing, the trial court questioned Morrison extensively
regarding his knowledge of the plea and his counsel. Morrison
testified that he had plenty of time to speak with plea
counsel, was satisfied with plea counsel's services, and
was not threatened or promised anything to plead guilty. The
trial court also explained the charges against Morrison, the
range of punishments, and Morrison's rights. Morrison
subsequently plead guilty to all charges. The State described
the factual basis for the offenses and Morrison agreed that
the stated facts were substantially correct. The trial court
accepted the plea and found that Morrison entered into the
guilty plea freely, intelligently, and voluntarily.
subsequent sentencing hearing, the trial court asked Morrison
more questions about his plea. The following exchange
Q: Did you have enough time to talk to [plea counsel] before
you entered your pleas at that time?
A: I did.
Q: Did he do everything you asked him to do?
Q: Did he do anything you told him not ...