PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT TO
CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS [GARLAND
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO. 26CR-14-711]
Hancock Law Firm, by: Sharon Kiel, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Argo Priest, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
DAN KEMP, Chief Justice.
before this court is a pro se petition to reinvest
jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for
writ of error coram nobis filed by petitioner James Elijah
was convicted of aggravated robbery and first-degree battery
and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 360 months'
imprisonment. The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed.
West v. State, 2017 Ark.App. 416, 530 S.W.3d 355.
Because West's claims are largely based on allegations
that challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his
conviction, we deny his request to proceed in the trial court
with a petition for error coram nobis relief.
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. Roberts v.
State, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771. A writ of error
coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy. Id.
Coram nobis proceedings are attended by a strong presumption
that the judgment of conviction is valid. Id.;
Westerman v. State, 2015 Ark. 69, 456 S.W.3d 374.
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. Roberts, 2013 Ark. 56, 425 S.W.3d 771. The
petitioner has the burden of demonstrating a fundamental
error of fact extrinsic to the record. Id.
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. Id.;
Howard v. State, 2012 Ark. 177, 403 S.W.3d 38.
petition for leave to reinvest jurisdiction for coram nobis
proceedings, West contends that the testimony of his
accomplices was patently false and that their testimony was
not sufficiently corroborated in that, according to West, the
backpack and cell phone that independently connected West to
the crimes did not belong to him but belonged to one of the
accomplices who had testified against West. Accordingly, West
contends that he was denied due process when the trial court
refused to direct a verdict in his favor despite the
allegedly dubious testimony and evidence offered in support
of West's guilt. West further contends that his appellate
attorney was ineffective by failing to adequately challenge
the sufficiency of the evidence on appeal, and that witnesses
had testified falsely in exchange for reduced sentences. West
argues that all of the above represents a miscarriage of
justice that entitles him to coram nobis relief. West is
to the sufficiency of the evidence constitute a direct attack
on the judgment and are not cognizable in a coram nobis
proceeding. Carner v. State, 2018 Ark. 20, 535
S.W.3d 634. Allegations that the evidence presented at trial
was not sufficient to support a finding of the
defendant's guilt are issues to be addressed at trial
and, when appropriate, on direct appeal. Id. Here,
West's challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence
raised in his petition pending before this court were
thoroughly addressed and rejected on direct appeal. See
West, 2017 Ark.App. 416, at 10, 530 S.W.3d at 361.
Likewise, this court has repeatedly held that
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are not grounds for
the writ but are properly raised in a timely petition for
postconviction relief pursuant to Arkansas Rule of ...