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Pugh v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

November 7, 2019

Eddie L. PUGH, Appellant
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee

Page 199

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 200

          PRO SE APPEAL FROM THE POINSETT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 56CR-16-273], HONORABLE DAN RITCHEY, JUDGE

          Eddie L. Pugh, pro se appellant.

         Leslie Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Joseph Karl Luebke, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.

         OPINION

         SHAWN A. WOMACK, Associate Justice

          Appellant Eddie L. Pugh brings this appeal from the denial and dismissal by the circuit court of his pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis and his pro se motion to correct a mistake in the sentencing order. In his brief, Pugh refers to his claim that there was a mistake in the sentencing order, but he does not include the motion in the addendum to his brief. Accordingly, we address this appeal solely as an appeal from the decision of the circuit court to decline to issue the writ. As Pugh has failed to demonstrate that the circuit court abused its discretion in declining to issue the writ, the order is affirmed.

          I. History

          Pugh entered a plea of guilty in 2016 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment. Imposition of an additional sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment was suspended. In 2018, Pugh filed in the trial court both the motion to correct the sentencing order and the coram nobis petition. The motion and petition were denied and dismissed in one order entered September 14, 2018. As stated, Pugh contends on appeal that the trial court was wrong not to issue the writ.

          II. Standard of Review

          The 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, 2014 WL 197789. An abuse of discretion occurs when the court acts arbitrarily or groundlessly. Nelson v. State, 2014 Ark. 91, 431 S.W.3d 852. There is no abuse of discretion in the denial of error coram nobis relief when the claims in the petition were groundless. Osburn v. State, 2018 Ark. 341, 560 S.W.3d 774.

          III. Nature of the Writ

          A writ of error coram nobis is an extraordinarily rare remedy. State v. Larimore,341 Ark. 397, 17 S.W.3d 87 (2000). The function of the writ is to secure relief from a judgment rendered while there existed some fact that would have prevented its ...


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