SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, GREENWOOD DISTRICT, NO. 66CR-98-72.
For PETITIONER: ROBERT PAUL HUGHES III., ATTORNEY GENERAL.
PRO SE SECOND PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS
In 1999, petitioner Leonard Noble was found guilty by a jury of residential burglary and rape and sentenced as a habitual offender to an aggregate sentence of 900 months' imprisonment. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed. Noble v. State,
CR-00-587 (Ark.App. Sept. 19, 2001) (original docket no. CACR 00-587).
In 2014, petitioner filed in this court a pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis. The petition for leave to proceed in the trial court was necessary because the trial court can entertain a petition for writ of error coram nobis after a judgment has been affirmed
on appeal only after we grant permission. Slocum v. State, 2014 Ark. 398, 442 S.W.3d 858 (per curiam) (citing Dansby v. State, 343 Ark. 635, 37 S.W.3d 599 (2001) (per curiam)). A writ of error coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy. 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 trial 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. Burks v. State, 2013 Ark. 188 (per curiam).
The writ is allowed only under compelling circumstances to achieve justice and to address errors of the most fundamental nature. Cromeans, 2013 Ark. 273. A writ of error coram nobis is available for addressing certain errors that are found in one of four categories: (1) insanity at the time of trial, (2) a coerced guilty plea, (3) material evidence withheld by the prosecutor, or (4) a third-party confession to the crime during the time between conviction and appeal. Wright v. State, 2014 Ark. 25 (per curiam); Greene, 2013 Ark. 251.
In the coram-nobis petition filed in 2014, petitioner alleged that the State had withheld evidence favorable to the defense. We denied the petition. Noble v. State, 2014 Ark. 332, 439 S.W.3d 47 (per curiam).
Now before us is petitioner's second pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis. In the petition, petitioner first makes the statement that he has had mental problems from an early age and that he tried to commit suicide in 1985. As proof of his mental condition, he has appended to the petition the affidavit of a person who avers that she believes that petitioner has mental problems. She notes that petitioner's father was killed in an accident when petitioner was a young child, that petitioner tried to pull his father from his casket, and that he would not eat or talk and had to be taken to a doctor.
While insanity at the time of trial is a ground for the writ, the burden is on the petitioner who claims a history of mental defect or illness to overcome the strong presumption that the judgment was valid. Hooper v. State, 2015 Ark. 108 (per curiam). If the allegation can be said to be an assertion of insanity at the time of trial, petitioner has presented no facts sufficient to demonstrate that there was information not known at the time of trial, or which could not have been known at the time of trial, that could have established that he was incompetent to proceed. The application for coram-nobis relief must make a full disclosure of specific facts relied upon as the basis for the writ. Millsap v. State, 2014 Ark. 493, 449 S.W.3d 701(per curiam). Neither petitioner's mere statement that he suffered from ...