Ricks v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In 2012, while represented by counsel, Ashleigh Ricks pleaded guilty to felony murder. That same day, the trial court entered a conviction and sentence of life imprisonment. Later that month, during the same term of court, Ricks filed two pro se motions, as well as a letter to the trial court, arguing that her plea was involuntary and that her plea counsel was ineffective; one motion asked “to appeal” the trial court’s sentencing order and the other asked the trial court to “reduce her charge to involuntary manslaughter and sentence her accordin[g]ly.” What would follow was a "complicated" procedural history. Ultimately, the case before the Georgia Supreme Court was an appeal of a trial court's order on several motions that were either nullities, untimely or some combination of both. The Supreme Court determined the trial court should have dismissed them. But because the trial court decided the motions on the merits instead, the Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s order and remanded with instructions to dismiss.