FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. 26CR-10-519.
HONORABLE MARCIA R. HEARNSBERGER, JUDGE.
Lamont Oliver, Pro se, appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Pamela Rumpz, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
2012, appellant Kelly Lamont Oliver entered a negotiated plea
of guilty to attempted first-degree murder and aggravated
robbery. He was sentenced to an aggregate term of 780
months' imprisonment. On May 19, 2015, Oliver filed in
the trial court a pro se petition for writ of error coram
nobis. The petition was denied. Oliver brings this appeal.
standard of review of an order entered by the trial court on
a petition for writ of error coram nobis is whether the trial
court abused its discretion in granting or denying the writ.
Newman v. State, 2014 Ark. 7, at 13-14. An abuse of
discretion occurs when the trial court acts arbitrarily or
groundlessly. Nelson v. State, 2014 Ark. 91, 431
S.W.3d 852. The trial court's findings of fact, on which
it bases its decision to grant or deny the petition for writ
of error coram nobis, will not be reversed on appeal unless
they are clearly erroneous or clearly against the
preponderance of the evidence. Newman v. State, 2014
Ark. 7, at 13-14. There is no abuse of discretion in the
denial of error-coram-nobis relief when the claims in the
petition were groundless. Nelson, 2014 Ark. 91, 431
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.
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. Newman v. State, 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.
petition, Oliver first stated that he had filed a petition
for writ of habeas corpus in federal court, alleging that he
was denied effective assistance of counsel when he entered
his plea, and that the claim would be " reiterated
herein." The ineffective-assistance-of-counsel
allegations raised in the coram-nobis petition, however, did
not establish a ground for the writ. This court has
repeatedly held that ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims
are not cognizable in error-coram-nobis proceedings and that
such proceedings are not a substitute for raising
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims under our
postconviction rule, Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure
37.1. White v. State, 2015 Ark. 151, at 4-5, 460
S.W.3d 285, 288.
also argued in his petition that his guilty plea was coerced,
which is one of the grounds on which the writ may issue.
Oliver did not allege that the plea was the result of fear,
duress, or threats of mob violence as previously recognized
by this court as grounds for a finding of coercion.
SeeWeekly v. State, 2014 Ark. 365, 440
S.W.3d 341 (per curiam). Instead, he contended that he
suffered from a mental disease or defect and that he entered
the plea when he had not been receiving his psychiatric
medication, was out of touch with his mother on whom he
relied, was affected by his attorney's " stronger
will," and was " scared to death." He further
asserted that his attorney, the trial court, and everyone in
the courtroom was hostile to him, which, when coupled with
his mental instability and desire to please the court, caused
him to enter the plea. He stated that he had a history of
suicide attempts and had been prescribed medication to treat
mood and depressive disorders. Oliver alleged that there was
a doctor who would testify to his mental disease or defect,
but counsel erroneously advised him that the doctor was
neither licensed nor qualified. Thus, the crux of
Oliver's claim for issuance of the writ was primarily the
claim that his plea was the result of his mental state. This
court has held that, when claiming insanity at the time of
trial, the burden is on the petitioner who claims a history
of mental disease or defect to overcome the strong
presumption that the judgment was valid. Noble v.
State, 2015 Ark. 215, at 3, 462 S.W.3d 341, 344 (per
curiam). The petitioner ...