Ex parte Stafford

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXASSep 12, 2018
NO. WR-88,247-04 (Tex. Crim. App. Sep. 12, 2018)

NO. WR-88,247-04

09-12-2018

EX PARTE THOMAS EUGENE STAFFORD, Applicant


ON APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS CAUSE NO. B-16-0352-CR-W3 IN THE 161ST DISTRICT COURT FROM ECTOR COUNTY Per curiam. ORDER

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the clerk of the trial court transmitted to this Court this application for a writ of habeas corpus. Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. Crim. App. 1967). Applicant was convicted of driving while intoxicated and sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. He did not appeal his conviction.

Applicant contends, among other things, that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance because he did not perfect appeal and coerced Applicant to plead guilty by promising a sentence of five years' imprisonment.

Applicant has alleged facts that, if true, might entitle him to relief. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984); Ex parte Patterson, 993 S.W.2d 114, 115 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). In these circumstances, additional facts are needed. As we held in Ex parte Rodriguez, 334 S.W.2d 294, 294 (Tex. Crim. App. 1960), the trial court is the appropriate forum for findings of fact. The trial court shall order trial counsel to respond to Applicant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court may use any means set out in TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 11.07, § 3(d).

If the trial court elects to hold a hearing, it shall determine whether Applicant is indigent. If Applicant is indigent and wishes to be represented by counsel, the trial court shall appoint an attorney to represent Applicant at the hearing. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 26.04.

The trial court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether Applicant was denied right to a meaningful appeal because Applicant's counsel failed to timely file a notice of appeal. The trial court shall also make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether counsel promised Applicant he would receive a specific sentence and, if so, whether this caused an involuntary guilty plea. The trial court shall also make any other findings of fact and conclusions of law that it deems relevant and appropriate to the disposition of Applicant's claim for habeas corpus relief.

This application will be held in abeyance until the trial court has resolved the fact issues. The issues shall be resolved within 90 days of this order. A supplemental transcript containing all affidavits and interrogatories or the transcription of the court reporter's notes from any hearing or deposition, along with the trial court's supplemental findings of fact and conclusions of law, shall be forwarded to this Court within 120 days of the date of this order. Any extensions of time must be requested by the trial court and shall be obtained from this Court. Filed: September 12, 2018
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