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RICKEY LEE HOLIFIELD A/K/A RICKEY
HOLIFIELD v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
Case Number: 2019-CP-00840-COA
Judge: Anthony “Tony” Lawrence III
Court: IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
Plaintiff's Attorney: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: BILLY L. GORE
Call 888-853-4800 if you need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Mississippi
Holifield has a history of drug-related convictions that are relevant to the arguments
presented in his PCR motion. On August 1, 2016, Holifield was charged in two separate
indictments for the following crimes: possession of methamphetamine (as a second drug
offender and habitual offender), which allegedly occurred on June 3, 2015; possession of
methamphetamine, which allegedly occurred on February 14, 2015; and possession of less
than thirty grams of marijuana (as a second drug offender and habitual offender), which
allegedly occurred on February 14, 2015. These crimes will be referred to as the 2015
crimes. Holifield allegedly committed four additional crimes on April 22, 2016; he was not
indicted for those crimes until August 1, 2017. The four new charges included trafficking
methamphetamine (Count I), possession of hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Count II),
possession of marijuana (Count III), and possession of alprozalan (Count IV). These crimes
will be referred to as the 2016 crimes.
¶3. On October 3, 2016, Holifield entered a guilty plea to the 2015 crimes for which he
For Count III, Holifield was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $250. For Count IV,
Holifield was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $1,000.
had already been indicted but not to the 2016 crimes for which he was still awaiting
indictment. The circuit court withheld acceptance of his guilty plea pursuant to Mississippi
Code Annotated section 41-29-150(d)(1) (Rev. 2013) and placed Holifield on nonadjudicated probation. As an additional condition of his non-adjudicated probation status,
Holifield was placed in the Drug Court program. Shortly after entering the Drug Court
program, Holifield violated several of the conditions of the program, including failing drug
tests and failing to enroll in required treatment programs. After a probation revocation
hearing on January 3, 2017, Holifield’s non-adjudicated status was revoked, and the trial
court accepted his guilty plea relating to the 2015 crimes of possession of methamphetamine
and possession methamphetamine and marijuana and sentenced him to serve consecutive
terms of eight years and four years in the MDOC’s custody.
¶4. On August 1, 2017, Holifield was indicted for the 2016 crimes. As stated, those
crimes are alleged to have occurred on or about April 22, 2016. 2 Holifield pled guilty to the
2016 crimes identified in Counts I through IV on October 9, 2017, and was subsequently
sentenced to serve a total of twenty years in the custody of the MDOC to run consecutively
to his twelve-year sentence previously ordered for the 2015 crimes. Holifield filed a motion
to reduce his sentence with the Mississippi Supreme Court which was dismissed without
prejudice on October 10, 2018.
¶5. On September 18, 2018, Holifield filed a PCR motion. Holifield asserted violations
2 The four new 2016 crimes occurred on April 22, 2016; however, they were not part
of the probation revocation hearing concerning the 2015 crimes, wherein Holifield was
ultimately sentenced to jail for violating the terms of his non-adjudicated status probation.
of his United States and Mississippi Constitutional rights against double jeopardy as a result
of his October 9, 2017 conviction for the 2016 crimes. Holifield alleged that the 2016 crimes
were included and disposed of in his October 3, 2016 plea agreement for the 2015 crimes.
Further, he alleged that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to impose a sentence for the 2016
crimes because he had already been convicted, sentenced, and was currently serving time for
those crimes. Finally, Holifield alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel for
the 2016 crimes because his counsel failed to offer a defense on his behalf at the hearing and
counsel’s failure to investigate his previous convictions led to Holifield being prosecuted
twice for the same crimes. The circuit court denied Holifield’s PCR motion on February 13,
2019. On March 15, 2019, Holifield filed a motion for reconsideration, which the circuit
court denied on April 24, 2019. Holifield appealed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
¶6. “When reviewing a [circuit] court’s decision to deny a [motion] for post-conviction
relief this Court will not disturb the trial court’s factual findings unless they are found to be
clearly erroneous.” Brown v. State, 731 So. 2d 595, 598 (¶6) (Miss. 1999) (citing Bank of
Miss. v. S. Mem’l Park Inc., 677 So. 2d 186, 191 (Miss. 1996)). Questions of law are
reviewed de novo. Id.
¶7. All of the constitutional violations and deficiencies in procedure that Holifield
claimed in his PCR motion stem from his argument that the 2016 crimes were part of the
guilty plea he entered on October 3, 2016, and that he was prosecuted and sentenced twice
for the same crime. We analyze a double jeopardy violation under the “same-elements” test,
which the United States Supreme Court established in Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S.
299, 304 (1932). “The Blockburger test instructs us to determine whether each offense
contains an element not present in the other; if not, they are labeled the same offense for
double-jeopardy purposes, and successive prosecution and/or punishments are
constitutionally barred.” Graves v. State, 969 So. 2d 845, 847 (¶8) (Miss. 2007) (citing
Powell v. State, 806 So. 2d 1069, 1074 (Miss. 2001)). The Court held, “The applicable rule
is that, where the same act or transaction constitutes a violation of two distinct statutory
provisions, the test to be applied to determine whether there are two offenses or only one, is
whether each provision requires proof of a fact which the other does not.” Blockburger, 284
U.S. at 304 (emphasis added).
¶8. In this case, the plea transcript from October 3, 2016, clearly indicates that Holifield
pled guilty only to the crimes that he was charged as committing on June 3, 2015, and
February 14, 2015. The 2016 crimes allegedly occurred on April 22, 2016, and Holifield was
not indicted until August 1, 2017. The October 9, 2017 hearing transcript clearly indicates
that on that date he pled guilty to the four 2016 crimes and not the 2015 crimes. Further,
Holifield entered into his plea agreement for the 2015 crimes on October 3, 2016. He was
not indicted for the 2016 crimes until August 1, 2017, approximately nine months later.
Finally, it is clear from the circuit court pleadings, orders, and the record made at the time
of the plea hearing that the plea deal that Holifield entered into on October 3, 2016, was
limited to the 2015 crimes. Holifield’s two guilty pleas and two convictions did not arise
from the same act or transaction but were a product of crimes committed in 2015 and then
additional crimes committed in 2016. It would be impossible for the 2016 crimes to be
prosecuted in violation of the double jeopardy clause because they occurred on different
dates, in different locations, and involved different drugs. Further, given the fact that the
2016 crimes were not a part of Holifield’s 2016 plea agreement, it therefore follows that he
was not prosecuted twice for the same crimes; his arguments to the contrary are without
¶9. Holifield also alleged ineffective assistance of counsel at a “critical stage of a criminal
procedure.” He asserted that his “legal counsel allowed him to be prosecuted twice for the
same crimes . . . in violation of the double jeopardy clause.” Further, he asserted that his
counsel failed to offer a defense on his behalf and should have informed the court that the
2016 crimes had already been prosecuted. Finally, Holifield alleged that “had legal counsel
investigated the court records, he would have seen that there was no legal way the petitioner
could have received sentences on the 2017 cause numbers.” As previously stated above,
there was no double jeopardy violation, and therefore there is no evidence to substantiate
Holifield’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. This argument is without merit.
¶10. Holifield asserts additional issues and arguments on appeal that were not contained
in his original PCR motion. Holifield asserts additional arguments in his brief concerning
violations in the prosecution of the 2015 crimes. Further, Holifield asserts an additional
argument of waiver concerning the prosecution of the 2016 crimes in his brief, which was
not addressed in his original PCR motion.
¶11. “In Southern v. Mississippi State Hosp., 853 So. 2d 1212, [1214-15 (¶5)] (Miss. 2003),
[the supreme court] reiterated the important procedural tenet that ‘[a] trial judge cannot be
put in error on a matter not presented to him.’” Chantey Music Pub. Inc. v. Malaco Inc., 915
So. 2d 1052, 1060 (¶28) (Miss. 2005). “Precedent mandates that this Court not entertain
arguments made for the first time on appeal as the case must be decided on the facts
contained in the record and not on assertions in the briefs.” Id. (citing Parker v. Miss. Game
& Fish Comm’n, 555 So. 2d 725, 730 (Miss. 1973)). Because Holifield failed to set forth
these additional arguments in his original PCR motion, these issues are waived and
procedurally barred on appeal
Outcome: After review, we find that there is no basis to support Holifield’s claims in his PCR
motion. Accordingly, we affirm the circuit court’s denial of Holifield’s PCR motion.