Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Graves v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

December 18, 2013

GREGORY JAMES GRAVES
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

Eyler, Deborah S., Graeff, Hotten, JJ.

OPINION

Graeff, J.

On March 10, 1998, Gregory Graves, appellant, pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County to one count of robbery with a deadly weapon, Case Number 97-1476B, and two counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony or crime of violence, Case Numbers 97-1468B and 97-1477B. The court sentenced appellant to concurrent 20 year terms for each count, with all but five years suspended, followed by five years of probation.

On October 26, 2011, appellant filed a Petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis, alleging that the convictions subjected him to a potentially greater sentence in pending federal court charges. The circuit court granted appellant's petition with respect to the robbery conviction and his handgun conviction in Case Number 97-1477B. It denied, however, his petition with respect to the handgun conviction in Case Number 97-1468B.

On appeal from the denial of his petition with respect to Case Number 97-1468B, appellant presents three questions for our review, [1] which we have reordered, reworded, and consolidated into the following questions[2]:

1. Did the circuit court err in finding that appellant waived his right to coram nobis relief?
2. Did the circuit court err in denying appellant's petition for writ of error coram nobis because his guilty plea was involuntary?

For the reasons set forth below, we answer both questions in the affirmative, and therefore, we shall reverse the judgment of the circuit court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

At the March 10, 1998, plea hearing, appellant and his co-defendant, Jeffery McDowney, pleaded guilty to several charges involving robberies of restaurants in Prince George's County. Mr. McDowney entered his pleas prior to appellant.

With respect to Case Number 97-1468, [3] the conviction at issue here, which involved a robbery of a Little Caesar's Pizza restaurant, the prosecutor read the following facts that would have been adduced at trial:

[T]he evidence would show that on June 15th, 1997 approximately 2055 hours Mr. McDowney and co-defendant Mr. Graves entered Little Caesar's Pizza restaurant on Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Prince George's County, Maryland. Mr. McDowney threatened to smack one of the employees in the face with a gun if she didn't shut up.
The witness ran to the back of the establishment to call 911. The defendant Mr. McDowney displayed the handgun, and demanded funds from a Tekia Govan. The co-worker Mr. Reid was told to open the register, and he complied. And Mr. McDowney and Mr. Graves fled with fifty-five dollars in U.S. currency from the restaurant located at the aforesaid address[.]
In that case the State would call Vincent Reid and co-employee Tekia Govan, Alphonso Hayes, and Terrell Jones of the Prince George's County Police Department.

After the prosecutor read the facts underlying the co-defendant's and appellant's additional pleas, which are not at issue here, the court accepted Mr. McDowney's pleas and sentenced him.

Immediately thereafter, the court began its plea colloquy with appellant. The court asked appellant: "Now, you were here when [the prosecutor] was reading off all the facts of those different individual robberies. Did you hear what he said?" Appellant responded in the affirmative. Appellant also agreed that he had "talked this matter over" with his attorney, that his attorney had answered all his questions about the case, that he had "read over the sheet that talks about your rights that [he] would have had, had [he] gone to trial, " and that he understood those rights and he was giving them up.

Appellant's attorney then informed the court that appellant would

enter pleas in case 97-1468B, Count 2, the handgun charge, 20 years, suspend all but 5. As to case 97-1477B, Count number 2, 20 years, suspend all but 5, another handgun charge. And as to case 97-1476B, 20 years suspend all but 5. Five years probation, and all the pleas are to run concurrently.

Appellant acknowledged that he understood the agreement he was making, that he was making the plea because he "really [was] guilty of the[] charges, " and that no one made any promises or forced him to enter his plea. The court determined that there was "a factual basis on which to accept the plea, and the plea [was] freely, voluntarily, understandingly made." It then accepted the plea and sentenced appellant to concurrent 20 year ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.