from Russell Circuit Court (CC-02-759.60)
Bedell appeals the circuit court's summary dismissal of
his Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition for postconviction
relief. The petition challenged his July 22, 2003, conviction
for first-degree sexual abuse, a violation of §
13A-6-66(a)(3), Ala. Code 1975, and his sentence upon
application of the Habitual Felony Offender Act ("the
HFOA") to 16 years' imprisonment.
Court affirmed Bedell's conviction and sentence on direct
appeal in an unpublished memorandum issued on August 20,
2004. See Bedell v. State (No. CR-02-2288), 920
So.2d 608 (Ala.Crim.App.2004) (table).
filed an in forma pauperis application, which was granted.
The instant petition, Bedell's first, was deemed filed on
October 29, 2017. He filed the standard Rule 32 form found in
the appendix to Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., and designated the
grounds forming the basis for his petition by placing a
checkmark in the spaces provided on the form, indicating that
his petition sought relief under the provisions of Rule
32.1(b), i.e., that the trial court was without jurisdiction
to render judgment or to impose sentence; and under Rule
32.1(c), i.e., that the sentence imposed exceeds the maximum
authorized by law or is otherwise not authorized by law.
supplement to the petition, Bedell raised the following
claim, which is quoted here verbatim:
"Bedell asserts that his sentence under the HFOA is
illegal because his Georgia Prior [conviction] is not a
conviction and it could not be used to enhance his sentence
under the HFOA.
"On September 12, 2002, the Russell County Grand jury
returned an indictment charging Bedell with one count of
Sexual Abuse in the First Degree in violation of Section
13A-6-66, Code of Alabama 1975. He appeared before the court
and pleaded not guilty.
"His trial was held on May 6, 2003, and the jury
returned its verdict finding him guilty of Sexual Abuse in
the First Degree as charged in the indictment.
"On July 22, 2003, Bedell was sentenced to 16 years in
"As stated above, Bedell was indicted under Section
13A-6-66, Code of Alabama 1975. It provided in pertinent
"'(b) sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C
"Section 13A-5-6(a)(3), Ala. Code 1975, provides that a
person convicted of a class C felony shall be punished by
'Not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1
"Here Bedell states that he could only be sentenced to
no more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day in
prison. However, his sentence was enhanced under the HFOA
with a prior from the State of Georgia.
"In Columbus Georgia, Bedell was sentenced to 3 years
probation for Theft. He was 17 years old at that time. He
was sentenced under Georgia First Offender law and he
completed his 3 years probation. Therefore, his Georgia prior
is not a conviction and could not be used to enhance his
sentence under the HFOA.
"See Ginn v. State, 894 So.2d 793 (Ala Crim.
"Bedell's sentence is illegal and unauthorized under
"'Matters concerning unauthorized sentences are
jurisdictional.' Hunt vs. State, 659 So.2d 998,
999 (Ala Crim. App. 1994).
"It is here that Bedell moves this court to set his Rule
32 Petition for a hearing and to order the State to file an