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Mewborn v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

June 13, 2014

Charles Eugene Mewborn
v.
State of Alabama

Appeal from Baldwin Circuit Court. (CC-10-862.73).

REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

Charles Mewborn, Appellant, Pro se.

For Appellant: Brian Joseph Lockwood, Mobile.

For Appellee: Luther Strange, atty. gen., and John J. Davis, asst. atty. gen.

Welch, Kellum, and Burke, JJ., concur. Windom, P.J., dissents.

OPINION

JOINER, Judge.

Charles Eugene Mewborn appeals the circuit court's decision to revoke his probation. We reverse and remand.

On September 7, 2010, Mewborn pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, see § 13A-12-212, Ala. Code 1975, and was sentenced, as a habitual felony offender, to 20 years' imprisonment. The circuit court, however, suspended Mewborn's sentence and placed him on four years' supervised probation. (C. 13-14.) Additionally, the circuit court ordered Mewborn to pay a $250 fine, a $250 crime-victims-compensation assessment, a $1,000 drug-demand-reduction assessment, a $100 forensic-services-trust-fund fee, an attorney fee, and court costs.

On August 7, 2013, Mewborn was provided notice alleging that he had violated the terms and conditions of his probation by failing to pay court-ordered moneys, by testing positive for alcohol, by being arrested for public intoxication, and by being in possession of alcohol. On September 4,

Page 710

2013, after conducting a probation-revocation hearing--at which Mewborn was represented by counsel--the circuit court entered a written order revoking Mewborn's probation.

On appeal, Mewborn's appointed appellate counsel filed a no-merit brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), and a motion to withdraw from representing Mewborn on appeal. On December 18, 2013, this Court issued an order affording Mewborn an opportunity to present pro se issues to his counsel and to this Court. On January 7, 2014, Mewborn filed pro se issues with this Court. Specifically, Mewborn argued that (1) " [u]nder [§ ] 15-22-50[, Ala. Code 1975,] the court had no authority to suspend a sentence [of] more than 15 years" ; and (2) " a mere arrest is not a sufficient basis for revocation."

Reviewing the record in this case pursuant to Anders, we recognized the following issues arguable on their merits that warranted further briefing: specifically, whether the sentence the circuit court imposed--20 years' imprisonment suspended to serve 4 years' supervised probation--complies with ยง 15-22-50, Ala. Code 1975, and whether the circuit court had jurisdiction to revoke Mewborn's probation. On February 10, 2014, this Court issued an order granting Mewborn's appointed counsel's motion to withdraw, ...


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