Out-of-time appeal. Houston Superior Court. Before Judge Lukemire.
Cedric D. Arrington, pro se.
George H. Hartwig III, District Attorney, Venita S. McCoy, Marie R. Banks, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.
MILLER, Judge. Andrews, P. J., and Branch, J., concur.
Cedric Arrington, who pled guilty to armed robbery (OCGA § 16-8-41 (a)), appeals pro se from the trial court's order denying his motion for an out-of-time appeal.
As best as we can discern, Arrington contends that he did not knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty because neither the trial court nor trial counsel informed him of his constitutional rights, and trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him of his right to file a direct appeal. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
We review a trial court's denial of a motion for an out-of-time direct appeal for an abuse of discretion. Belcher v. State, 304 Ga.App. 645, 646 (1) (697 S.E.2d 300) (2010).
The record shows that Arrington was indicted on a single count of armed robbery. Thereafter, the State filed a " Notice of Intent to Present Matters in Aggravation of Sentencing," in which the State announced that if Arrington were convicted, it would introduce his prior felony convictions that would require him to serve the maximum sentence for armed robbery.
On January 22, 2009, Arrington entered into a negotiated plea, under which he pled guilty to armed robbery. As part of his plea agreement, Arrington executed a waiver of his post-conviction rights, indicating that in exchange for the State's agreement not to pursue [332 Ga.App. 482] enhanced penalties, Arrington agreed to never challenge his guilty plea after the sentence was entered or apply for a direct or an out-of-time appeal from his conviction and sentence. Although the waiver form provided that Arrington could raise a claim that counsel was ineffective, he indicated on the waiver form that he had been fully advised of his rights and that he was satisfied with his counsel's representation.
At the guilty plea hearing on January 22, 2009, Arrington confirmed that he had reviewed and signed the waiver of rights form, he was satisfied with trial counsel's representation, and no one had pressured or coerced him into pleading guilty. At the end of the hearing, the trial court accepted Arrington's guilty plea and sentenced him to 18 years.
On February 2, 2009, Arrington filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, asserting that he was pressured by trial counsel into pleading guilty based on trial counsel's advisement that the trial court would find him guilty and sentence him to life without parole. On February 10, 2009, the trial court denied Arrington's motion to withdraw his plea, finding that his motion was filed after his sentence was orally pronounced and that, as part of his negotiated plea, Arrington had agreed not to ...