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ROBERTS v. STATE

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Supreme Court of Georgia.

ROBERTS v. STATE.

No. S15A1409.

Decided: January 19, 2016

Kelly Roberts, Unadilla, for Appellant. Joshua Bradley Smith, Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, Augusta, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Senior A.A.G, Paula Khristian Smith, Senior A.A.G., Rebecca Ashley Wright, D.A., Samuel S. Olens, A.G., for Appellee.

In August 2008, Kelly Roberts entered a plea of guilty to felony murder—after a Richmond County jury was struck to try him—in connection with the fatal shooting of Ian Mosley. The trial court entered a judgment of conviction and sentenced Roberts to imprisonment for life with the possibility of parole, which was the sentence provided in the plea agreement. Roberts now appeals, claiming that there was an insufficient factual basis for his guilty plea and that his plea was not intelligently made. We see no error and affirm.1

1. Roberts first appears to claim that his guilty plea was not supported by a sufficient factual basis. The record shows, however, that the prosecutor—joined by Roberts's trial lawyer—recited facts at the plea hearing that were sufficient to support Roberts's conviction for felony murder, either as a direct participant or as a party to the crime.2 See Freeman v. State, 297 Ga. 146, 150(3), 771 S.E.2d 889 (2015). The trial court's acceptance of Roberts's plea establishes that it was satisfied with the recitation presented at the plea hearing, and we see no error in that finding. See Adams v. State, 285 Ga. 744, 747(3)(a), 683 S.E.2d 586 (2009).

Roberts also claims that his plea was not intelligently made, and this claim seems to be based on his belief that the State secretly offered a favorable plea deal to Edward Reeves if he would agree to testify for the State. But Roberts has failed to establish that any such agreement with Reeves existed or, even if it did exist, that he would not have entered his guilty plea had he known about it.3 And while Roberts would have been entitled to the details of any such agreement under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), if Reeves had, in fact, testified against him at a trial, Roberts pled guilty before any such testimony could have been presented. Even assuming a Brady violation can occur without a trial, Roberts has not shown that the State was suppressing evidence of any deal with Reeves at the time Roberts pled guilty. See Franks v. State, 278 Ga. 246, 265(4), 599 S.E.2d 134 (2004) (no Brady violation where defendant fails to show that State suppressed favorable evidence).

To the extent that Roberts is claiming that his plea was not intelligently made for some other reason, the transcript of the plea hearing shows that the trial court discussed the legal consequences of the plea with Roberts and explained all of the constitutional and statutory rights that Roberts was forgoing by pleading guilty. See Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969). Roberts indicated both orally and in writing at the time of the plea that he understood the consequences of the plea, including that he would be sentenced to imprisonment for life. Roberts was not entitled to the same favorable plea agreement that he maintains Reeves was offered or even to have the trial court accept his guilty plea at all. See Sanders v. State, 280 Ga. 780, 783(2), 631 S.E.2d 344 (2006). As a result, the trial court did not err when it concluded that Roberts's guilty plea was intelligently made.

Judgment affirmed.

BLACKWELL, Justice.

All the Justices concur.

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