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Magness v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

April 30, 2015

JOHN W. MAGNESS, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Page 338

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 339

NO. 71CR-09-159. HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUDGE.

John W. Magness, Pro se, appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

OPINION

Page 340

PRO SE APPEAL FROM THE VAN BUREN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT AND PRO SE MOTION FOR ORAL ARGUMENT

PER CURIAM

After a 2011 jury trial, appellant John W. Magness was convicted of four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, possession of a firearm by a felon, two counts of fleeing, and resisting arrest. The judgment reflects that he received an aggregate sentence of 300 months' imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of Correction. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. Magness v. State, 2012 Ark.App. 609, 424 S.W.3d 395. Magness then filed in the trial court a timely pro se petition for postconviction relief under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.1 (2014). The trial court dismissed and denied the petition. This appeal followed.

Magness asserts as grounds for his appeal that the trial court erred in finding that each of the three attorneys who represented him was not ineffective, that the trial court erred in failing to grant postconviction relief because his trial attorney had committed suicide, and that the trial court incorrectly relied on a case decided after Magness's petition was filed when it denied relief on his claim that there had been an illegal search and seizure. Magness additionally alleges that the State failed to show that he was not entitled to Rule 37 relief and that the trial court's written findings were not adequate under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37.3. We find no reversible error and affirm. Magness's motion for oral argument is denied.[1]

This court does not reverse the grant or denial of postconviction relief unless the trial court's findings are clearly erroneous. Young v. State, 2015 Ark. 65. A finding is clearly erroneous

Page 341

when, although there is evidence to support it, the appellate court, after reviewing the entire evidence, is left with the definite and firm conviction ...


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