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Wright v. Young

Supreme Court of South Dakota

April 17, 2019

RUSSELL D. WRIGHT, Petitioner and Appellant,
v.
DARIN YOUNG AND/OR BOB DOOLEY, WARDEN OF SOUTH DAKOTA STATE PENITENTIARY, Respondent and Appellee.

          CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON FEBRUARY 19, 2019

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT DAVISON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE PATRICK T. SMITH Judge

          TAMARA D. LEE Yankton, South Dakota Attorney for petitioner and appellant.

          MARTY J. JACKLEY Attorney General MATTHEW W. TEMPLAR Assistant Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for respondent and appellee.

          GILBERTSON, Chief Justice

         [¶1.] 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 jurisdiction.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2.] 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.

         [¶3.] 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.

         [¶4.] 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 ...

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