Adrian P. Smith, Appellant,
State of Florida, Appellee.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Mark Borello,
P. Smith, pro se, Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Barbara Debelius, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
was convicted of manslaughter by culpable negligence and
sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, with a 15-year
minimum-mandatory term, and designated as an Habitual Felony
Offender and Prison Releasee Reoffender. At trial, the jury
found by special interrogatory that the victim's death
was "caused by the neglect of [Appellant], a
victim was a four-month-old infant. Appellant forcibly thrust
a baby wipe down the infant's mouth and into his throat
so deeply that he asphyxiated. The emergency room physician
had to remove the foreign object from the infant's mouth
with forceps. Expert testimony established that the infant
could not have ingested the wipe on his own volition. The
foreign object had blood on it that was attributed to an
injury to the infant's mouth, a torn frenulum, that bled
on the wipe as it was forcibly shoved into the infant's
Appellant was charged with second-degree murder, the jury
returned a verdict of guilt for the lesser-included crime of
manslaughter. This court affirmed Appellant's conviction
and sentence, without opinion, in Smith v. State, 25
So.3d 1229 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010). In Appellant's first
collateral case, he claimed defense counsel was ineffective
and sought relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure
3.850. That motion was denied by the trial court, and this
court affirmed, without opinion, in Smith v. State,
129 So.3d 1072 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013).
second postconviction motion was filed under Florida Rule of
Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), where he asserted that the trial
court improperly designated him as a Prison Releasee
Reofffender, because he had not been released from prison
within three years of the date he committed the manslaughter.
The trial court denied the claim. This court affirmed in
Smith v. State, 151 So.3d 44 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014),
rev. denied, 163 So.3d 513 (Fla. 2015), where we
held that Appellant did qualify for the designation as a
Prison Releasee Reoffender, based on his return to prison for
a violation of conditional release and his subsequent second
release from prison within three years of the date of the
collateral appeal, Appellant's fourth appearance in this
court, he asserts that his Habitual Felony Offender
designation is an illegal sentence under Florida Rule of
Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), because one of his qualifying
felonies, a 1996 conviction for attempted burglary, was not
valid. Appellant relies on Heggs v. State, 759 So.2d
620, 627 (Fla. 2000), where the Florida Supreme Court held
that Chapter 95-184, Laws of Florida, violated the
single-subject rule of Article III, section 6 of the Florida
Constitution. We note that in Heggs, the supreme
court held that certain sentences imposed under the
legislation were invalid during a very limited time period,
which expired approximately two decades ago.
Appellant cannot challenge his Habitual Felony Offender
sentence in an unrelated case by attempting to attack the
1996 conviction for burglary used to habitualize him
under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800. Appellant was
required to move to vacate his 1996 conviction in a separate
proceeding, filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure
3.850, within two years of the date his conviction became
final. But a motion attacking the 1996 conviction would
clearly be untimely at this point.
stated in State v. Williams, 854 So.2d 215 (Fla. 1st
DCA 2003), and reiterate here, rule 3.800(a) does not
authorize a legal challenge to a conviction: "Because
Rule 3.800 provides only an avenue for correcting, modifying,
or reducing a sentence, " Appellant's challenge to
an underlying conviction could not be considered in the trial
court under this limitation of Florida Rule of Criminal
Procedure 3.800. Id. at 217.
although it was not the reason for the trial court's
ruling denying relief here, we affirm on this basis. See
Childers v. State,936 So.2d 585, 587 (Fla. 1st DCA
2006), rev. denied,939 So.2d 1057 (Fla. 2006)
(affirming trial court ...