PHILLIPS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, 54CR-01-272.
FIFTH PRO SE PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE
TRIAL COURT TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM
2003, petitioner Abraham Grant was found guilty by a jury of
capital murder in the shooting death of Rosetta Pittman and
first-degree battery in the wounding of Louise Perry. An
aggregate sentence of life imprisonment without parole was
imposed. We affirmed. Grant v. State, 357 Ark. 91,
161 S.W.3d 785 (2004).
2007, Grant filed in the trial court a petition for
postconviction relief that was denied, and he appealed to
this court. We dismissed the appeal. Grant v. State,
CR-07-784, (Ark. Feb. 7, 2008) (unpublished per curiam).
2010, Grant petitioned this court to reinvest jurisdiction in
the trial court so that he could proceed with a petition for
writ of error coram nobis. The petition was denied. Grant
v. State, 2010 Ark. 286, 365 S.W.3d 894 (per curiam). In
2014, Grant filed a second such petition, which was also
denied. Grant v. State, 2014 Ark. 466 (per curiam).
On February 26, 2015, Grant filed his third coram-nobis
petition, which was denied. Grant v. State,
2015 Ark. 159 (per curiam). On July 10, 2015, Grant filed a
fourth coram-nobis petition. The petition was dismissed as an
abuse of the writ because it raised grounds that this court
had already addressed when we considered an earlier petition.
Grant v. State, 2015 Ark. 323, 469 S.W.3d 356 (per
before us is Grant's fifth petition to reinvest
jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for
writ of error coram nobis. The petition for leave to proceed
is 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. Newman
v. State, 2009 Ark. 539, 354 S.W.3d 61. A writ of error
coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy. State v.
Larimore, 341 Ark. 397, 17 S.W.3d 87 (2000). Coram-nobis
proceedings are attended by a strong presumption that the
judgment of conviction is valid. Id. The function of
the writ is to secure relief from a judgment rendered while
there existed some fact that would have prevented the
judgment's 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. Newman, 2009 Ark. 539, 354 S.W.3d 61. The
petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a fundamental
error of fact extrinsic to the record. Roberts v.
State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771.
writ is allowed only under compelling circumstances to
achieve justice and to address errors of the most fundamental
nature. Id. 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. Howard v.
State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
grounds for reinvesting jurisdiction in the trial court,
Grant alleges that the State did not provide him with
information that could have been used by the defense to
impeach witness Louise Perry, who was present when the victim
was shot and who was wounded when one of the bullets that
passed through Pittman's body struck her. The petition is
not entirely clear, but it appears that Grant is asserting
that the impeachment evidence took the form of alleged
coercion by the police that forced Perty to accuse him of
being the shooter. He argues that it was a violation of due
process of law for him to be convicted by the State's use
of Perry's coerced statement when the jury was unaware of
the coercion. He further contends that examination of the
bullets removed from Pittman and Perry did not produce any
evidence that he was the perpetrator, which renders the
evidence insufficient to sustain the judgment.
has not stated a ground for the writ. Perry testified at
trial, and her testimony was subject to cross-examination by
the defense so that the circumstances under which her
pretrial statements were made to police could have been
brought out. Grant's allegations concerning Perty's
testimony and the failure of the State to produce evidence of
his guilt from the examination of the bullets amount to
assertions, not that the State concealed evidence from the
defense; rather, the evidence adduced at trial did not
support a finding of guilt. Issues concerning the sufficiency
of the evidence or the credibility of ...