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2007-MO-057 - Turner v. State

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court


Timothy A. Turner, Petitioner,

v.

State of South Carolina, Respondent.


ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI


Appeal From Richland County
 J. Ernest Kinard, Post-Conviction Relief Judge


Memorandum Opinion No.  2007-MO-057
Submitted September 18, 2007 – Filed September 24, 2007 


REVERSED


Deputy Chief Attorney Wanda H. Carter, South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, Division of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Petitioner.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Assistant Attorney General Robert L. Brown, of Columbia, for Respondent.


PER CURIAM:  Petitioner pled guilty to robbery, grand larceny, and third degree burglary.  He was sentenced to imprisonment for fifteen years for robbery, five years for grand larceny, and five years for burglary, the sentences to run concurrently.  No direct appeal was taken.

Petitioner seeks a writ of certiorari from an order of the circuit court denying petitioner’s application for post-conviction relief (PCR), but granting petitioner a belated review of his direct appeal issues pursuant to White v. State, 263 S.C. 110, 208 S.E.2d 35 (1974).  We grant the petition, dispense with further briefing, and reverse the order of the PCR judge.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, such as when there is reason to think a rational defendant would want to appeal (for example, because there are nonfrivolous grounds for appeal) or when the defendant reasonably demonstrated he was interested in appealing, there is no constitutional requirement that a defendant be informed of the right to a direct appeal from a guilty plea.  Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U.S. 470 (2000); Weathers v. State, 319 S.C. 59, 459 S.E.2d 838 (1995).

In this case, petitioner was advised of his right to a direct appeal by the plea judge.  However, he never requested a direct appeal and failed to show any nonfrivolous grounds for appeal.  Accordingly, the PCR judge erred in granting petitioner a belated review of his direct appeal issues.  We, therefore, reverse the order of the PCR judge.

REVERSED.

TOAL, C.J., MOORE, WALLER, PLEICONES and BEATTY, JJ., concur.