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Plummer v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

May 3, 2018

Garfield Plummer, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Bruce R. Anderson, Jr., Judge.

          Garfield Plummer, pro se, Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jason W. Rodriguez, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Bilbrey, J.

         Appellant, Garfield Plummer, appeals the denial of his motion to correct illegal sentence pursuant to rule 3.800(a), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Appellant seeks relief for two consecutively-imposed mandatory minimum sentences. The State initially conceded error but then filed supplemental authority which we analyze below. We find the initial concession of error to be correct, and therefore reverse and remand for resentencing.

         Appellant entered an open plea to the information which charged him with actual possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and armed robbery of two different victims, all during one criminal episode. The information did not allege that Appellant discharged the firearm. See Bienaime v. State, 213 So.3d 927, 929 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) (requiring the State "to allege grounds for enhancement in the charging document" in order to pursue "an enhanced mandatory sentence" under the 10-20-Life statutes). The court accepted Appellant's open plea and applied section 775.087(2), Florida Statutes (2010), part of the 10-20-Life law which imposes mandatory minimum sentences.

         For possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the trial court sentenced Appellant to five years' imprisonment, with three years' mandatory minimum. For the armed robberies, the court imposed two terms of ten years' imprisonment, with ten years' mandatory minimum. The court imposed the robbery sentences concurrently to each other, but consecutively imposed the sentence for the firearm possession. Thus, the three-year mandatory minimum sentence was consecutive to the ten-year mandatory minimum sentences.

         Because Appellant did not take a direct appeal, his convictions became final on September 24, 2010. As explained in Lanham v. State, 60 So.3d 532 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011), at the time Appellant was sentenced, the decisional law in this court was that consecutive mandatory minimum sentences were impermissible when a defendant displayed a firearm but did not discharge it while robbing multiple victims. See also Perry v. State, 973 So.2d 1289 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008); Irizarry v. State, 946 So.2d 555 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006) (prohibiting consecutive mandatory minimum sentences for the same criminal episode where the firearm was not discharged).[1]

         In January 2012, Appellant filed a motion under rule 3.850, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. One of his claims was that counsel had acted ineffectively by failing to challenge the consecutive mandatory minimum sentences. While the motion was pending in the trial court, this court receded from Lanham in Walton v. State, 106 So.3d 522 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) (en banc) (Walton I). In Walton I, we concluded that section 775.087(2) required the imposition of consecutive mandatory minimum sentences, even without the discharge of a firearm. Consequently, the trial court denied Appellant's rule 3.850 motion, and we affirmed the denial on appeal. See Plummer v. State, 150 So.3d 1139 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014).

         Thereafter, in Williams v. State, 186 So.3d 989 (Fla. 2016), the supreme court explained that where offenses arise in the same criminal episode and the firearm is possessed but not discharged, mandatory minimum sentences should not be consecutively imposed. Williams did allow trial courts to exercise discretion in imposing either concurrent or consecutive sentences where, unlike here, a firearm was discharged.

         After its decision in Williams, the Florida Supreme Court quashed this court's Walton I decision in Walton v. State, 208 So.3d 60 (Fla. 2016) (Walton II). In Walton II, the court noted its opinion in Williams, where it stated that a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence under section 775.087(2) "'is impermissible if the offenses arose from the same criminal episode and a firearm was merely possessed but not discharged.'" Walton II, 208 So.3d at 64 (quoting Williams, 186 So.3d at 993). See also Gartman v. State, 197 So.3d 1181 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (reversing, based on Williams, consecutive mandatory minimum sentences for armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon where no discharge of the firearm occurred).

         Within days of the issuance of Williams, Appellant filed his rule 3.800(a) motion asserting that the consecutive mandatory minimum sentences he received were illegal. In June 2017, the trial court determined that Williams controlled the issue. The trial court then conducted a retroactivity analysis, concluded Williams did not apply retroactively, and denied Appellant's rule 3.800(a) the motion. The court did not consider Walton II in its analysis.[2]

         Appellant then brought this appeal. After first conceding error, the State then filed Osei v. State, 226 So.3d 1077 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017), as supplemental authority. In Osei, we concluded that Williams did not apply retroactively to cases that were final when Williams was decided. Accordingly, we affirmed the denial of the postconviction relief under ...


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