Howard Collier, Jr., Appellant v. The State of Texas, State

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Fort Worth.

Howard Collier, Jr., Appellant v. The State of Texas, State

NO. 02–15–00050–CR

Decided: December 23, 2015

PANEL:  LIVINGSTON, C.J.;  DAUPHINOT and GARDNER, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION 1

Appellant Howard Collier, Jr. waived his right to a jury and pled guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.  The trial court sentenced him to thirty-five years' confinement.  Appellant's court-appointed counsel has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel and a brief in support of that motion.  In the brief, counsel avers that, in his professional opinion, this appeal is frivolous.  Counsel's brief and motion meet the requirements of Anders v. California 2 by presenting a professional evaluation of the record demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds for relief.3  Although given the opportunity, neither the State nor Appellant filed a response to the Anders brief.  We note that there is no reporter's record of the guilty plea hearing, but the presentence investigation report (PSI) was filed with the trial clerk, and upon this court's order, the appellate record was supplemented with the PSI.

After an appellant's court-appointed counsel files a motion to withdraw on the ground that the appeal is frivolous and fulfills the requirements of Anders, this court is obligated to undertake an independent examination of the record to see if there is any arguable ground that may be raised on his behalf.4  Only then may we grant counsel's motion to withdraw.5

Because Appellant entered an open plea of guilty, our independent review for potential error is limited to potential jurisdictional defects, the voluntariness of his plea, error that is not independent of and supports the judgment of guilt, and error occurring after entry of the guilty plea.6

We have carefully reviewed counsel's brief and the appellate record, including the PSI. We agree with counsel that this appeal is wholly frivolous and without merit;  we find nothing in the appellate record that arguably might support this appeal.7  Accordingly, we grant counsel's motion to withdraw and affirm the trial court's judgment.

FOOTNOTES

1.   See Tex.R.App. P. 47.4.

2.   386 U.S. 738, 87 S. Ct. 1396 (1967).

3.   See Stafford v. State, 813 S.W.2d 503, 510–11 & n.3 (Tex.Crim.App.1991).

4.   See id. at 511.

5.   See Penson v. Ohio, 488 U.S. 75, 82–83, 109 S.Ct. 346, 351 (1988).

6.   See Monreal v. State, 99 S.W.3d 615, 620 (Tex.Crim.App.2003).

7.   See Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 827–28 (Tex.Crim.App.2005);  Patton v. State, No. 02–09–00156–CR, 2011 WL 476807, at *1 (Tex.App.—Fort Worth Feb. 10, 2011, pet. ref'd) (mem. op., not designated for publication).

PER CURIAM

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