THIRD PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO
CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS [SEBASTIAN
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, GREENWOOD DISTRICT, NO. 66CR-98-72]
1999, petitioner Leonard Noble was found guilty by a jury of
residential burglary and rape and was 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)
(unpublished) (original docket no. CACR 00-587). On August
22, 2016, Noble filed this, his third pro se petition
requesting this court to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial
court to consider a petition for writ of error coram
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
to address 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 for leave to proceed in the trial court 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, 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. Westerman v. State, 2015 Ark.
69, at 4, 456 S.W.3d 374, 376.
seeks leave to proceed in the trial court for a writ of error
coram nobis, claiming the following: that he was not
identified as the rapist by the victim and no witness
identified him; that the prosecutor withheld doctor's
statements, medical examination results, results of
"testable" DNA, and comparisons of hair results,
particularly those labeled "Q-11"; that there was
no medical staff testimony; that the prosecutor told his
trial counsel there was no "testable" DNA but there
was "testable" evidence from the rape kit; that the
rape-kit results were withheld, which would have shown the
victim was not penetrated and that no rape had occurred; that
trial counsel requested testable material evidence and the
results of the medical examination but the State withheld the
evidence, specifically the results of the rape kit and the
hair; and that "Linda" was subpoenaed but was never
called to testify because the "prosecutor [ ] told
[t]rial [a]ttorney not to call her[, ]" which entitled
him to relief. Noble has previously petitioned this court
twice for leave to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court
to proceed with a petition for coram-nobis relief, and this
court has denied both petitions. See Noble v. State,
2015 Ark. 215, 462 S.W.3d 341 (per curiam); Noble v.
State, 2014 Ark. 332, 439 S.W.3d 47 (per curiam).
first petition to reinvest jurisdiction with the trial court
to entertain a petition for a writ of error coram nobis,
Noble argued that the trial court erred by not ordering a
psychological evaluation and not holding a hearing on his
mental condition and for not allowing the defense to hire an
expert witness to examine the physical evidence adduced at
trial. This court found that a claim that the trial court
made errors at trial does not fall within one of the four
categories that warrant coram-nobis relief nor do claims
concerning the sufficiency of the evidence or the credibility
of witnesses. See Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at 3-4, 462
S.W.3d at 344-45. Noble argued that the State withheld
evidence that there was no evidence to establish his guilt;
no testimony about evidence of rape from any medical staff
member; and no DNA evidence. Noble, 2014 Ark. 332,
at 3, 439 S.W.3d at 50. He further argued that neither the
victim nor any other witness was able to identify him as the
rapist and that the state crime-laboratory report and rape
kit did not reveal a match or any sign of rape to the victim.
See id. This court found that Noble failed to allege
that the records he claimed were withheld contained any
particular exculpatory information that was not known at the
time of trial and could not have been secured by the defense
because the State had somehow concealed it and that
Noble's vague claims were insufficient to satisfy his
burden that the writ should issue. Noble, 2014 Ark.
332, at 4-5, 439 S.W.3d at 50. Furthermore, to the extent
that Noble's assertions concerning the alleged
suppression of exculpatory evidence constituted claims that
the evidence was insufficient to sustain the judgment, claims
concerning sufficiency of the evidence are not cognizable in
coram-nobis proceedings. Id.
second petition to reinvest jurisdiction, Noble argued that
he was insane at the time of trial; however, Noble's mere
statement that he suffered from mental problems from a young
age and an affidavit stating that he had mental problems were
insufficient to demonstrate incompetence at the time of
trial. Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at 3, 462 S.W.3d at
344. Noble again argued that the State withheld evidence from
the defense. Specifically, Noble focused on a hair labeled
"Q-11" and that "Q-11" would have
established his innocence. Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at
4-5, 462 S.W.3d at 345. At trial, testing on "Q-11"
was discussed, and its results were known and discussed at
the time of trial. Id. Again, Noble argued that the
State suppressed medical and doctor's reports that would
have proven the victim was not raped. Noble, 2015
Ark. 215, at 5, 462 S.W.3d at 345-46. Specifically, Noble
claimed that the State did not present the evidence
fairly-not that the State hid the evidence from the defense.
Id. Such a claim is one of the sufficiency of the
evidence to sustain the judgment and, as this court found, is
not within the purview of a coram-nobis proceeding.
Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at 5, 462 S.W.3d at 346. Noble
further argued that counsel was ineffective, a claim that is
clearly not within the purview of a coram-nobis proceeding.
Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at 6, 462 S.W.3d at
present petition, Noble again fails to allege any facts
sufficient to distinguish his current claims from his two
prior attempts seeking coram-nobis relief, excepting one
claim regarding the subpoena of Linda as a
witness. His claims on the evidence and results
were known at the time of trial, and the majority of his
claims attack the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his
judgment and are not within the purview of a coram-nobis
proceeding. See Noble, 2015 Ark. 215, at 5, 462
S.W.3d at 346; Noble, 2014 Ark. 332, at 4-5, 439
S.W.3d at 50. When an issue could have been raised at trial
or is cognizable in some other legal proceeding, that issue
is not cognizable in a later error-coram-nobis proceeding.
Chatmon v. State, 2015 Ark. 417, at 7, 473 S.W.3d
542, 547 (per curiam). Due process does not require this
court to entertain an unlimited number of petitions to
reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a
petition for writ of error coram nobis in a particular case.
Swanigan v. State, 2016 Ark. 109 (per curiam);
see Rodgers v. State, 2013 Ark. 294, at 3-4 (per
curiam) ("[A] court has the discretion to determine
whether the renewal of a petitioner's application for the
writ, when there are additional facts presented in support of
the same grounds, will be permitted."). Here, however,
Noble does raise one new claim regarding a witness he
contended had been subpoenaed, Linda, and the failure of his
trial counsel to call her as a witness-couched in terms that
the prosecutor told trial counsel not to call the witness.
Whether Noble is making a claim that the prosecutor somehow
withheld the witness thus making a Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) claim or whether the claim
is an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, the claim
remains conclusory in nature and fails to establish that
there was some error. Mosley v. State, 333 Ark. 273,
968 S.W.2d 612 (1998); see Williams v. State, 2016
Ark. 92, 485 S.W.3d 254 (per curiam)
(ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are not cognizable
in error-coram-nobis proceedings). In order to carry his
burden to show the writ is warranted, a petitioner must
demonstrate that the State had specific evidence that would
have been sufficient to have prevented rendition of the
judgment. Harris v. State, 2010 Ark. 489 (per
curiam). All of Noble's claims remain vague regarding the
allegations of withheld evidence and are insufficient to meet
that burden. Noble has not stated any cognizable claim for
relief because all of his allegations concern a matter which
was known or could have been known at the time of trial and
addressed at that time. Watts v. State, 2013 Ark.
485, at 5 (per curiam).