Chatmon v. Arkansas (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
Petitioner Rolandis Chatmon was in jail at the time of his applications to the Arkansas Supreme Court for a writ of coram nobis. He was incarcerated on three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of theft of property. He was sentenced as a habitual offender, with a firearm enhancement, to a term of three life sentences plus 360 months’ imprisonment. His convictions and sentences were affirmed on direct appeal. He filed a second pro se application to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis, and alternatively, for a writ of certiorari. Attached to the petition were: a letter of suspension and removal from office issued to Judge Michael Maggio, the trial judge in his aggravated robbery trial; a document reflecting that Chatmon’s case was transferred to Maggio’s court; Chatmon’s pro se motion for appointment of counsel filed in October 2012; and a letter from the Arkansas Public Defender Commission sent to Chatmon addressing complaints about his trial counsel. Chatmon contended that these documents, plus alleged comments the judge made with regard to Chatmon, reflected the trial judge's bias toward criminal defendants. Chatmon further asserted that this bias was the source of Maggio’s refusal to grant a request for a continuance so that a material witness and others could have been called. The Supreme Court had held previously that it would not exercise its discretion to permit a successive application for a writ of error coram nobis if the petitioner was abusing the writ by alleging the same grounds without additional facts sufficient to provide grounds for the writ. Furthermore, the Court found that with regard to certiorari relief, Chatmon failed to demonstrate that there was no other remedy to redress his contentions that he was unfairly denied a continuance and the appointment of other counsel. Accordingly, the petition for a writ of coram nobis and alternatively for a writ of certiorari was denied.