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Maines v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

October 29, 2014

MAINES
v.
THE STATE

Reconsideration denied December 8, 2014 -- Cert. applied for.

Plea bargain. Chatham Superior Court. Before Judge Bass.

Steven L. Sparger, for appellant.

Meg E. Heap, District Attorney, Shalena C. Jones, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

MCFADDEN, Judge. Andrews, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 383

McFadden, Judge.

The issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court, after finding that the defendant had received ineffective assistance of counsel in rejecting a plea offer from the state, erred in not ordering the state to re-offer that prior plea proposal to the defendant. Because such a decision was within the trial court's discretion and there has been no showing of an abuse of that discretion, we affirm.

Jimmie Maines was indicted for aggravated stalking of his former wife. During plea negotiations, the state offered to recommend a sentence of five years, with one year to be served in confinement, in exchange for Maines' guilty plea. Maines rejected the offer and made a counteroffer for six months in confinement. The state did not agree to the counteroffer, and Maines opted to enter a nonnegotiated guilty plea. A plea hearing was held, and Maines entered his nonnegotiated guilty plea. Before sentencing, Maines informed the court of the plea offer of five years, with one to serve, that had been made by the state. The court imposed a sentence of ten years, with six to be served in confinement.

Maines moved to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the motion, finding that plea counsel had been ineffective because he did not know the elements of the aggravated stalking offense charged and thus did not adequately explain those elements to Maines. Citing Lafler v. Cooper, 566 U.S. ___ (132 S.Ct. 1376, 182 L.Ed.2d 398) (2012), the court further ordered that the state was required to re-offer its original plea proposal to Maines.

At a subsequent hearing, the state argued that the court had misinterpreted Lafler, that the state was not required to re-extend the plea offer and that it would refuse to do so. After further discussions with counsel, the trial court did not require the state to re-offer the original plea proposal, and instead indicated to Maines that his options were either to exercise his right to a jury trial or to enter a plea. Maines opted to enter a guilty plea, and the trial court once again entered a sentence of ten years, to serve six. However, this time the court also granted Maines first offender status. Maines filed this direct appeal from the judgment of conviction entered on the guilty plea.

[330 Ga.App. 248] 1. Jurisdiction.

At the outset we note that a direct " appeal will lie from a judgment entered on a guilty plea only if the issue on appeal can be resolved by facts appearing in the record. [Cit.]" Morrow v. State, 266 Ga. 3 (463 S.E.2d 472) (1995). Because the issue raised in this appeal can be resolved by facts appearing in the record, the filing of a ...


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