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S.R.A. v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

March 8, 2019

S.R.A.
v.
State of Alabama

          Appeal from Etowah Circuit Court (CV-18-49)

          COLE, JUDGE

         S.R.A. appeals the circuit court's summary dismissal of a petition he styled as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         On February 9, 2012, S.R.A. was convicted of first-degree rape, see §§ 13A-6-61(a)(3), Ala. Code 1975, second-degree rape, see § 13A-6-62, Ala. Code 1975, and incest, see § 13A-13-3, Ala. Code 1975. (Supp. C. 10-12.) The trial court sentenced S.R.A. to 25 years' imprisonment for his first-degree-rape conviction, 20 years' imprisonment for his second-degree-rape conviction, and 10 years' imprisonment for his incest conviction, the sentences to be served concurrently. (Supp. C. 10-12.)

         On appeal from his convictions and sentences, this Court, in its unpublished memorandum, summarized the facts underlying S.R.A.'s convictions as follows:

"S.R.A. married A.A.'s mother when A.A. was 4 years old and eventually adopted her when she was a senior in high school. When A.A. was 11 years old, S.R.A. began having sexual intercourse with her. After S.R.A. began having sexual intercourse with A.A., the abuse continued 'pretty much every day.' A.A. stated that S.R.A. would routinely 'just beg [her]' to have sex. (R. 154). A.A. was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, including her mother.
"Finally, on December 31, 2009, A.A. told a friend, Russell Shelly, about the abuse. She also told Russell's mother, Joyce Shelly, who was a retired state trooper. Joyce Shelly advised A.A. to set up a tape recorder in her bedroom to record S.R.A. asking her to have sex with him. At trial A.A. testified that she knew S.R.A. was 'going to ask for sex' on a particular day because 'he always did when it was just us' and they were home alone. (R. 182). A.A. recorded S.R.A. asking her to have sex later that same month, and filed a complaint against S.R.A. with the police department. A.A. Took the recording to Officer Clay Johnson. Officer Johnson then took A.A. to the district attorney's office where they assisted her in recording telephone conversations with S.R.A. regarding their sexual relationship. At trial, the circuit court allowed in both the recording of S.R.A. propositioning A.A. for sex in her bedroom as well as the telephone recordings.
"S.R.A. also testified at trial. He claimed he never engaged in sexual activity with A.A. while she was a minor. He alleged that their sexual relationship began when she was 20 years old and it was limited to A.A. 'performing masturbation' on S.R.A. (R. 275.)"

S.R.A. v. State (No. CR-11-1479, Dec. 7, 2012), 155 So.3d 1128 (Ala.Crim.App.2012) (table). This Court affirmed S.R.A.'s convictions and sentences. Id.

         On September 13, 2013, S.R.A. filed a Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition for postconviction relief in the Etowah Circuit Court. In his Rule 32 petition, S.R.A. raised several claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The circuit court summarily dismissed S.R.A.'s Rule 32 petition, and S.R.A. appealed. On appeal, this Court, by unpublished memorandum, affirmed the circuit court's judgment. See S.R.A. v. State (CR-15-0910, Aug. 5, 2016), 231 So.3d 1190 (Ala.Crim.App.2016) (table).

         On March 16, 2018, S.R.A. filed what he styled as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Etowah Circuit Court.[1] (C. 9-11.) In his "habeas" petition, S.R.A. alleged that the circuit court "overlooked or omitted the fact that[, under] § 13A-5-6(c), he was supposed to impose, by ORDER, an additional penalty of not less than 10 years of post release supervision to be served upon [his] release from incarceration." (C. 9.) According to S.R.A., "had the sentencing Judge been made aware of, by the State, or by Defense Counsel of this additional penalty ... his actual sentence of incarceration would have been less[, ]" and "impos[ing] this penalty now [would be] an additional penalty that was not meant by the Sentencing Court, and would bring about prejudice to [him]." (C. 10.) Thus, S.R.A. requested that the circuit court "re-sentence [him] to a 15 year sentence on [his first-degree-rape conviction], a 15 year sentence on [his second-degree-rape conviction], and a 10 year sentence (unchanged) on [his incest conviction], all sentences to run concurrent[ly], and an additional penalty of 10 years post release supervision." (C. 10.) In S.R.A.'s view, resentencing him in this way "would still equate to the 25 year sentence ordered by the sentencing court." (C. 10.)

         On August 31, 2018, the State answered S.R.A.'s habeas petition, arguing that it "does not state grounds which would support the issuance of such a writ, pursuant to Ala. Code § 15-21-24 (1975)." (C. 17.)

         On September 4, 2018, the circuit court summarily dismissed S.R.A.'s petition, agreeing with the State and holding that S.R.A.'s "petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed for failure to state a ...


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