ELLINGTON, P. J., ANDREWS and RICKMAN, JJ.
appeal stems from the denial of a motion to withdraw a guilty
plea, and this is the second appearance of this case before
this Court. In its first appearance, a direct appeal, Calvin
Alexander challenged the lower court's denial of his
motion to withdraw his plea of guilty to three counts of
aggravated child molestation, three counts of child
molestation, two counts of statutory rape, and two counts of
enticing a child for indecent purposes. See Alexander
v. State, 328 Ga.App. 300 (761 S.E.2d 844) (2014).
Alexander claimed that his plea counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by failing to advise him that because he was
sentenced as a recidivist, he would be ineligible for parole
under the plea. Id. Relying upon Williams v.
Duffy,  this Court affirmed the lower court's
denial of Alexander's motion, and held that because
parole ineligibility is a collateral consequence of a guilty
plea, Alexander could not prove that his plea counsel
performed deficiently by failing to discuss that consequence
with him. Id. at 307.
of certiorari, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed and in
doing so, overruled Williams and held that when it
came to parole eligibility, "an attorney's failure
to inform his or her client that he or she would be
ineligible for parole as a recidivist for the entirety of a
lengthy prison sentence is constitutionally deficient
performance." Alexander v. State, 297 Ga. 59,
65 (772 S.E.2d 655) (2015). The Supreme Court remanded for
the lower court to evaluate Alexander's motion under the
two-prong test in Strickland v.
remand, the lower court again denied Alexander's motion
to withdraw his guilty plea. No hearing was held. The court
ruled that Alexander failed to show either deficient
performance or harm under the Strickland test. It is
from this ruling that Alexander now appeals. We affirm.
reviewing a lower court's determination of a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, we give deference to the
trial court's factual findings, which are upheld on
appeal unless clearly erroneous; however, we review the lower
court's legal conclusions de novo." (Punctuation and
footnote omitted.) Navarrette v. State, 298 Ga.App.
637 (680 S.E.2d 649) (2009).
[A] criminal defendant who seeks to withdraw his guilty plea
due to ineffective assistance of counsel must meet the . . .
two-part test of Strickland v. Washington -
deficient performance and prejudice. Specifically, a
defendant who pleads guilty and seeks to overturn his
conviction because of counsel's errors must show both
that counsel's performance was deficient and that there
is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have
insisted on going to trial.
(Punctuation and footnotes omitted.) Hall v. State,
313 Ga.App. 670, 672 (2) (722 S.E.2d 392) (2012).
whether trial counsel's performance was deficient,
[Alexander] has failed to meet the prejudice prong of the
Strickland test, and it is not necessary for us to
examine the [deficient] performance prong of the test."
(Citation omitted.) Walker v. State, 299 Ga. 250,
251 (787 S.E.2d 718) (2016). To satisfy the prejudice prong,
Alexander was required to
set out special circumstances that might support the
conclusion that [he] placed particular emphasis on [his]
parole eligibility in deciding whether or not to plead
guilty. A court making a
Strickland/Hill prejudice inquiry must examine what the
defendant would have done at the guilty plea hearing had [he]
been given the correct information.
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Cox v.
Howerton, 290 Ga. 693, 694 (723 S.E.2d 891) (2012).
pre-remand hearing on Alexander's motion to withdraw his
guilty plea, Alexander testified that had he known that he
would not have been eligible for parole, he would not have
pled guilty. The lower court, however, was entitled, as it
did, to discredit Alexander's testimony at the motion to
withdraw hearing that he would not have entered a plea if he
had known he would not have been eligible for parole. See
Gomez v. State, 300 Ga. 571, 573 (797 S.E.2d 478)
(2017). The court determined that Alexander did not place any
"particular emphasis" on his parole eligibility and
that there were no "special circumstances" that
caused him to place particular emphasis on parole
eligibility. The lower court summarized proffered
evidence of Alexander's guilt of the charged
crimes; found that Alexander strongly believed
that he would be convicted at trial; and found that the
maximum sentence Alexander could have received after a
trial compared to the "more lenient sentence following a
plea" weighed against his claim that he would have gone
to trial had he known he would have been ineligible for
parole. Notably, by entering a non-negotiated guilty plea,
Alexander "assumed the risk of receiving a sentence of
extended duration." Cox, 290 Ga. at 695.
record supports the lower court's factual findings and
determinations, and under the circumstances of this case, we
cannot say that the lower court's conclusion that
Alexander did not meet his burden of showing prejudice under
the Strickland v. Washington test was in error.
"Accordingly, the trial court did not err when it denied
[Alexander's] motion to withdraw his guilty plea on ...