RUSSELL D. WRIGHT, Petitioner and Appellant,
DARIN YOUNG AND/OR BOB DOOLEY, WARDEN OF SOUTH DAKOTA STATE PENITENTIARY, Respondent and Appellee.
CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON FEBRUARY 19, 2019
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT DAVISON
COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE PATRICK T. SMITH Judge
D. LEE Yankton, South Dakota Attorney for petitioner and
J. JACKLEY Attorney General MATTHEW W. TEMPLAR Assistant
Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for
respondent and appellee.
GILBERTSON, Chief Justice
Russell D. Wright pleaded guilty to grand theft for his part
in a group shoplifting scheme that took place in Mitchell. He
was sentenced to five years in the state penitentiary. The
court suspended the sentence and placed Wright on supervised
probation for four years. When Wright was found to have
violated the terms of his probation, he was forced to serve
his five-year sentence with four years suspended and credit
for time already served. Thereafter, Wright filed a petition
for writ of habeas corpus, alleging that his rights to due
process and effective assistance of counsel were violated.
The habeas court held a trial, denied Wright's petition,
and filed an order for issuance of certificate of probable
cause. Wright appeals, asserting that the habeas court erred
in quashing his writ of habeas corpus. We dismiss for lack of
and Procedural History
On April 11, 2016, Wright, Camille Cournoyer, John Abdo, Sr.,
and Jennifer Traversie traveled from Sioux Falls to Mitchell
to carry out an extensive shoplifting plan. While in
Mitchell, Cournoyer and Traversie stole items from
Campbell's Supply, JCPenney, Coborn's, Goodwill, and
Shopko. While at JCPenney, Wright purchased some items so
that the group could use the JCPenney shopping bag to conceal
other items stolen by either Cournoyer or Traversie. Wright
also stole a duffel bag from Shopko and used the bag to
conceal other stolen items. The stolen items were recovered
after police executed a traffic stop on the group's
vehicle after they left Shopko.
A Davison County grand jury jointly indicted Wright and the
other members of the group on April 27, 2016. Count 2 of the
indictment charged Wright with grand theft of more than $2,
500, but less than or equal to $5, 000 in violation of SDCL
22-30A-1 and SDCL 22-30A-17. Wright initially pleaded not
guilty but later changed his plea to guilty pursuant to a
plea agreement. In exchange for Wright's guilty plea, the
State refrained from filing a part II (habitual) information
and from charging Wright for failure to appear. The plea
agreement was placed in the record, and the circuit court
reviewed with Wright the essential elements that the State
was required to prove and the maximum possible penalties for
the offense. Wright indicated he understood all elements of
the plea agreement.
The circuit court also confirmed with Wright that he
understood that by pleading guilty, he was waiving his
"right to remain silent, [his] right to a jury trial,
and [his] right to confront and cross-examine
witnesses[.]" The court held the following colloquy with
Wright regarding the facts of his case:
[The Court]: To the charge of grand theft as
set out in the Indictment, how do you plead?
[Wright]: I'm guilty.
[The Court]: And on April 11, 2016, you were
in Davison ...