As Corrected April 13, 2015.
APPEAL FROM THE MILLER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. 46CR-08-649. HONORABLE JOE E. GRIFFIN, JUDGE.
Danny Wright, Pro se, appellant.
In 2009, appellant Danny Wright entered a plea of guilty to kidnapping and stalking in the first degree. He was sentenced to serve an aggregate sentence of 180 months' imprisonment with suspended imposition of a sentence of 60 months' imprisonment.
In 2011, appellant filed in the trial court a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, which constituted a request for postconviction relief pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2009). See Bell v. State, 2011 Ark. 379 (per curiam). The trial court denied the motion, and appellant appealed to this court. He subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, which we granted on January 26, 2012.
In 2013, appellant filed in the trial court a pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis. In the petition, he alleged that he was " coerced, however subtly," into pleading guilty by threats from his retained counsel that he would receive a life sentence if he elected to go to trial. He further contended that he was advised by counsel that he would only be required to serve one-third of his sentence before being eligible for parole, but he later learned that a prior conviction in Texas in 1995 for attempted murder would obligate him to serve 100 percent of his sentence. The trial court rejected the allegations as grounds for issuance of a writ of error coram nobis, and appellant brings this appeal. He reiterates in his brief the claims raised in the petition as grounds for reversal of the order.
The standard of review of a denial of a petition for writ of error coram nobis is whether the circuit court abused its discretion in denying the writ. Wilburn v. State, 2014 Ark. 394, 441 S.W.3d 29 (per curiam). An abuse of discretion occurs when the circuit court acts arbitrarily or groundlessly. Nelson v. State, 2014 Ark. 91, 431 S.W.3d 852. We do not find cause to reverse the trial court's order.
A writ of error coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy more known for its denial than its approval. Millsap v. State, 2014 Ark. 493, 447 S.W.3d 121 (per curiam) (citing Cromeans v. State, 2013 Ark. 273 (per curiam)). Coram-nobis proceedings are attended by a strong presumption that the judgment of conviction is valid. Greene v. State, 2013 Ark. 251 (per curiam). The function of the writ is to secure relief from a judgment rendered while there existed some fact that would have prevented its rendition if it had been known to the
circuit court and which, through no negligence or fault of the defendant, was not brought forward before rendition of the judgment. Id. The petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a fundamental error of fact extrinsic to the record. Mooney v. State, 2014 Ark. 453, 447 ...