BRUCE PASLEY v. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKYAnnotate this Case
RENDERED: AUGUST 12, 2005; 2:00 P.M.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
Commonwealth Of Kentucky
Court of Appeals
APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE STEPHEN P. RYAN, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 02-CR-001203
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
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McANULTY AND TAYLOR, JUDGES; EMBERTON, SENIOR JUDGE.1
Bruce Pasley appeals the order of Jefferson
Circuit Court denying his motion pursuant to RCr 11.42 for
correction of sentence.
He argues on appeal that his counsel’s
assistance was ineffective because he failed to sufficiently
investigate Pasley’s case, that the trial judge abused its
Senior Judge Thomas D. Emberton sitting as Special Judge by assignment of
the Chief Justice pursuant to Section 110(5)(b) of the Kentucky Constitution
and KRS 21.580.
discretion by accepting a guilty plea to charges Pasley could
not have committed, and the court should have conducted an
In May 2002, Pasley was indicted by a Jefferson County
Grand Jury for second-degree escape, theft by unlawful taking
over $300.00, first-degree burglary, first-degree wanton
endangerment (two counts), first-degree fleeing or evading the
police, intimidating a witness, second-degree burglary, fourthdegree assault (two counts), and third-degree terroristic
The charges followed an incident on May 14, 2002
between Pasley, Trina Pasley, his estranged wife, and her two
Pasley allegedly entered Ms. Pasley’s home,
violating his Home Incarceration Program (HIP) and disobeying a
court order of no contact where he threatened his two stepdaughters and Trina with two kitchen knives.
neighbor’s to call 911.
Trina fled to a
When police arrived, Pasley was sitting
in his truck and left the scene.
The police chased Pasley,
however, called off the pursuit in the interest of public
Pasley was arrested two days later.
Pasley, pursuant to counsel initially entered a plea
of not guilty on June 3, 2002.
On August 28, 2002, after plea
negotiations with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Pasley changed
his plea to guilty pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400
U.S. 25, 91 S. Ct. 160, 27 L. Ed. 2d 162 (1970).
the offer, Pasley pled guilty to second-degree escape,
intimidating a witness, first-degree fleeing and evading the
police, third-degree terroristic threatening, and two counts of
first-degree wanton endangerment.
Pasley also agreed to plead
guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal trespass, which
were amended from counts of first-degree and second-degree
The charges of theft by unlawful taking and both
counts of first-degree assault were dismissed.
The Commonwealth recommended a sentence of three years
on each felony charge and twelve months on each misdemeanor, to
run concurrently for a term of imprisonment totaling three
The Commonwealth also agreed to dismiss a first-degree
persistent felony offender charge against appellant which arose
from a separate indictment.
On November 1, 2002, the circuit
court sentenced Pasley in accordance with the plea agreement.
On September 26, 2003, Pasley filed a pro se motion
pursuant to RCr 11.42 requesting the circuit court to correct
his sentence alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and
requesting an evidentiary hearing be set.
Pasley asserts that
defense counsel’s failure to fully and properly investigate the
facts of the charged offenses resulted in defense counsel
misleading him into pleading guilty.
The Commonwealth argues that Pasley entered the guilty
plea intelligently, knowingly and voluntarily, therefore
effectively waiving all defenses to the original charges.
Without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the circuit court
entered an order denying the motion on November 10, 2003.
Pasley now appeals.
Pasley argues that there is an issue not refuted by
the record as to whether counsel investigated the facts of his
case before advising him to plead guilty.
Pasley contends that
had his attorney conducted a sufficient investigation of the
charges before advising Pasley to plead guilty, he would have
discovered the alleged mistakes in his indictment and the
subsequent plea agreement.
Thus, he believes ineffectiveness
was shown because if counsel had investigated the facts more
thoroughly, he would not have advised him to accept the
Commonwealth’s plea agreement.
Pasley further maintains that
due to his counsel’s failure to recognize the alleged mistakes,
his plea was not entered knowingly, intelligently, and
The Commonwealth asserts that Pasley waived his
argument as to ineffective assistance of counsel and sufficiency
of evidence by pleading guilty freely and voluntarily.
Commonwealth adds that if we consider his claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel, we will find that the attorney’s advice
to Pasley to accept the plea agreement was proper because he was
facing a significantly longer sentence if he went to trial.
Commonwealth argues that neither an evidentiary hearing nor
appointment of counsel was warranted.
The Commonwealth errs in asserting that Pasley cannot
raise the issue of attorney effectiveness in a post-conviction
It is well settled that a defendant may challenge the
effectiveness of counsel despite entering a guilty plea.
Centers v. Commonwealth, 799 S.W.2d 51 (Ky.App. 1990).
to prove ineffective assistance of counsel, the defendant must
show, (1) counsel made errors so serious that counsel’s
performance fell outside the wide range of professionally
competent assistance as the counsel was not performing as
counsel guaranteed by the first amendment and (2) that the
deficient performance prejudiced the defense by so seriously
affecting the process that there is a reasonable probability
that the defendant would not have pled guilty, and the outcome
would have been different.
Id. at 55, citing Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S. Ct. 2052. 80 L. Ed. 2d 674
Thus, we review Pasley’s claim that he was improperly
advised to plead guilty to the allegedly mistaken charges.
The issue upon review of the denial of a RCr 11.42
motion without a hearing is whether the motion on its face
states grounds that are not conclusively refuted by the record
and which if true would invalidate the conviction.
Commonwealth, 23 S.W.3d 619, 622 (Ky. 2000); Lewis v.
Commonwealth, 411 S.W.2d 321 (Ky. 1967).
We believe the record
refutes Pasley’s claim that the burglary, escape, wanton
endangerment and terroristic threatening charges were allegedly
mistakenly made and he was wrongly advised to plead guilty.
Thus, we conclude a hearing was not necessary in this case.
The first alleged mistake relates to the burglary and
criminal trespass charges.
Pasley argues because his name was
on the lease he could not have committed burglary or criminal
First-degree criminal trespass is committed when a
person “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling.”
The record supports that a judge had issued a no
contact order between Trina and Bruce, therefore Pasley entered
Trina’s residence with the requisite knowledge that his presence
was unlawful, consequently committing criminal trespass.
The only evidence to the contrary is the lease
supplied by Pasley containing his and Trina Palsey’s names.
While this may suggest a right to be on the premises, it does
not guarantee an absolute right as a court order can suspend the
legal rights granted in the contract.
Pasley provides no
substantiation of his allegations that his counsel never
investigated the charges.
Moreover the record provides enough
evidence for an attorney to effectively conclude that the charge
was correctly made.
The second alleged mistake relates to the seconddegree escape charge.
The record contains a May 7, 2002 agreed
order to participate in HIP and a Jefferson County Department of
Corrections Home Incarceration Department form notifying Pasley
of the definition of escape and the resulting consequences and
charges, both signed by Pasley.
He offers no evidence contrary
to the officers’ finding that Pasley was not in compliance with
HIP conditions and standards.
The third alleged mistake relates to the wanton
endangerment and terroristic threatening charges.
the two offenses cannot be charged in the same indictment
because one is a lesser offense of the other.
A person can be
charged with wanton endangerment and terroristic threatening
resulting from the same incident when there are multiple
The record supports that there were three victims
justifying two counts of wanton endangerment and one count of
Pasley does not offer any evidence to
refute the claims that he is responsible for the injuries or the
Therefore, the attorney’s advice to plead guilty to
these charges was not deficient.
Gall v. Commonwealth, 702
S.W.2d 37, 39 (Ky. 1985), cert. denied, 478 U.S. 1010, 106 S.
Ct. 3311, 92 L. Ed. 2d 203 (1985) (quoting Strickland, 466 U.S.
at 687, 104 S. Ct. at 2064).
RCr 11.42 motions must state specifically the grounds
on which the conviction is being challenged as well as state the
facts relied on in support of such grounds.
Commonwealth, 854 S.W.2d 742 (Ky. 1993).
Without a minimum of
factual basis in the verified RCr 11.42 motion, the motion
should be summarily overruled.
Id. At 748.
We conclude that the record in this case adequately
refutes Pasley’s speculative assertions.
Where the movant’s
allegations are refuted on the face of the record as a whole, no
evidentiary hearing or appointment of counsel is required.
Hopewell v. Commonwealth, 687 S.W.2d 153, 154 (Ky.App. 1985).
For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the order of the Jefferson
BRIEF FOR APPELLANT:
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE:
Bruce Pasley, Pro se
Central City, Kentucky
Gregory D. Stumbo
Attorney General of Kentucky
Assistant Attorney General