FOURTH PETITION TO REINVEST JURISDICTION IN THE TRIAL COURT
TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR WRIT OF ERROR CORAM NOBIS [PULASKI
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO. 60CR-99-1834]
Hutcherson, pro se petitioner.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Karen Virgina Wallace,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for respondent.
F. WYNNE, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
Willie Hutcherson brings this petition to reinvest
jurisdiction in the trial court to file a petition for writ
of error coram nobis in his criminal case. In the petition,
Hutcherson contends that the State and his trial attorneys
violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by
failing to disclose the statements of two police officers and
that there was error in his trial. The petition reasserts an
allegation previously raised in this court, as well as an
issue of trial error that is outside the scope of a coram
nobis proceeding. We deny the petition.
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. Pitts v. State, 336 Ark. 580, 986 S.W.2d
407. 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. The burden is on the petitioner in the
application for coram nobis relief to make a full disclosure
of specific facts relied upon and not to merely state
conclusions as to the nature of such facts. McCullough v.
State, 2017 Ark. 292, 528 S.W.3d 833.
2000, Hutcherson was found guilty by a jury of four counts of
aggravated robbery, three counts of misdemeanor theft of
property, and one count of felony theft of property.
Hutcherson was sentenced as a habitual offender to an
aggregate term of 2880 months' imprisonment. The Arkansas
Court of Appeals affirmed. Hutcherson v. State, 74
Ark.App. 72, 47 S.W.3d 267 (2001).
2008, Hutcherson filed in this court his first petition to
reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a
petition for writ of error coram nobis. The principal claim
in the petition pertained to the statements of two police
officers. We declined to grant the petition because
Hutcherson admitted in the petition that the officers'
statements had been obtained by the defense during the
pretrial discovery process. Accordingly, the statements were
not hidden from the defense and extrinsic to the record.
Hutcherson v. State, CR-00-645 (Ark. Jan. 15, 2009)
(unpublished per curiam).
2015, Hutcherson filed a second coram-nobis petition that
also concerned the officers' statements. Again, there was
no claim that the statements were extrinsic to the record,
and the second petition was also denied. Hutcherson v.
State, 2015 Ark. 231 (per curiam).
2016, Hutcherson filed a third coram-nobis petition. As he
did in the first two petitions, he focused his grounds for
the writ on the two officers' statements that were known
to him before his trial was conducted. He added the claim
that the deputy prosecutor, his attorney, and the trial judge
were part of a "premeditated plan to intentionally
misrepresent" him by not handling the statements
properly. He stated that he obtained the statements from the
discovery material and that he passed the statements along to
his attorney, who gave the statements to the deputy
prosecutor rather than to the judge. He contended that the
deputy prosecutor failed to abide by the State's duty to
conduct on-going discovery and that the deputy
prosecutor's misconduct with respect to the ...