PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO
CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS AND MOTION
FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO.
DAN KEMP, Chief Justice
Jesse Goins brings this petition to reinvest jurisdiction in
the trial court so that he may file a petition for writ of
error coram nobis in his criminal case and a motion for
appointment of counsel. In the petition, Goins contends that
the trial court and the State violated Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by failing to disclose
that a juror was biased. As Goins's claim does not establish
a ground for the writ, the petition is denied. The denial of
the petition renders the motion for appointment of counsel
Nature of the Writ
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 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. Green v. State,
2016 Ark. 386, 502 S.W.3d 524. 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. 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
Grounds for the Writ
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.
1994, Goins and his codefendant Arthur Davis were found
guilty by a jury of the aggravated robbery of a convenience
store, and both were sentenced to terms of life imprisonment.
We affirmed. Goins v. State, 318 Ark. 689, 890
S.W.2d 602 (1995). The evidence adduced at trial established
that two men, Arthur Davis and Lamar Davis, entered the
store, threatened the manager of the store with a large
lock-blade knife--slightly cutting her throat--and threatened
her with a handgun. The two men took a bank bag containing
cash from the register. They were attempting to bind the
manager with duct tape when a car driven by Barry Cooper and
with his father, William Cooper, as a passenger, drove up to
the gas pumps outside. Arthur Davis and Lamar Davis
immediately ran from the store to an old blue car waiting in
the parking lot with Goins in the driver's seat. The
manager took down the license-plate number of the car as it
drove away and asked Barry Cooper to call the police. Goins,
Arthur Davis, and Lamar Davis were later apprehended in the
car, which contained a large lock-blade knife, a handgun, and
the bank bag taken from the store. While the manager was not
able to identify Goins at trial as being the driver of the
car, she testified that he had been in the store once before
and that she remembered his face. Barry Cooper testified that
he did not see the face of the driver.
direct appeal, this court held that the State sufficiently
proved Goins's presence as the driver of the car on the
day of the robbery.
Claim of a Brady Violation
establish a Brady violation, the petitioner must
satisfy three elements: (1) the evidence at issue must be
favorable to the accused, either because it is exculpatory or
because it is impeaching; (2) that evidence must have been
suppressed by the State, either willfully or inadvertently;
(3) prejudice must have ensued. Howard, 2012 Ark.
177, 403 S.W.3d 38. The mere fact that a petitioner alleges a
Brady violation is not sufficient to provide a basis
for error coram nobis relief. Wallace v. State, 2018
Ark. 164, 545 S.W.3d 767; see also Penn v. State,
282 Ark. 571, 670 S.W.2d 426 (1984) (a mere naked allegation
that a constitutional right has been invaded will not suffice
to warrant coram nobis relief).
Brady violation alleged by Goins in his petition
pertains to juror Lisa Cooper. Before voir dire of the jury
panel had begun, the trial court inquired of the panel of
potential jurors if there was anyone who had a reason to
believe that he or she should not sit on the jury. Lisa
Cooper came forward and a bench conference was held between
her and the court out of the hearing of the courtroom but
with all counsel present, and she returned to the jury box.
During voir dire, Lisa Cooper did not respond when the deputy
prosecutor inquired whether any person on the panel knew of
any reason he or she could not give both the State and the
defense a fair trial. Arthur Davis's attorney questioned
Lisa Cooper concerning whether she would judge the testimony
of Barry Cooper, who would be called to testify as a witness
for the State, in the same way she would judge the other
witnesses. Lisa answered that she could do so and that she
would not believe Barry's testimony if she did not think
that his testimony was true. When Goins's attorney
inquired if anyone on the panel had read about the case, Lisa
Cooper answered that she had read about it in the local
contends as grounds for the writ that neither the trial court
nor the State revealed to the defense that Lisa was a blood
relative of Barry to the "first degree of
consanguinity" and that her bias denied him a fair
trial. He asserts further that she had acquired knowledge of
the robbery from Barry and William Cooper and had formed her
belief of his guilt from that knowledge. As support for the
claim that he was ...