A Conway man who pleaded guilty in April to shooting another man in the leg three times in December 2015 is asking to recall his guilty plea.
Ricky Darnell Patton, 35, pleaded guilty April 22 to one count of first-degree battery before Circuit Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson Jr. and was sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Last month, Patton filed a motion to withdraw his plea because he felt defense attorney Lorie Mason “ineffectively assisted” him.
According to his motion to withdraw a plea, Patton said that while he was aware he agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, he was under the assumption he would only have to serve five years in ADC.
Instead of only serving one-third of his sentence, Patton said he has since learned he must serve 100 percent of the 15-year sentence.
The 35-year-old claims he was misled because he believes Mason failed “to investigate a more favorable defense” and now wishes to withdraw his guilty plea.
Deputy prosecutor Cortney Kennedy said there is no valid basis for Patton’s request.
Regarding statements made about the amount of time he would have to serve in prison, Kennedy said in a response to Patton’s motion that first-degree battery charges are considered a Level 8 offense and that his attorney worked diligently to have his sentence run concurrently with a federal sentence also imposed against him. An offender who commits a Level 8 offense is eligible for parole after serving one-half of the time imposed minus good time of up to one-half … [for] one-fourth of time imposed if offender earns maximum good time.”
While she does not believe Patton will be required to serve the entire sentence, she also made it clear Mason has no power in the amount of time Patton will have to spend in prison and that the determination is strictly up to the Arkansas Parole Board.
“Although Mrs. Mason cannot control parole eligibility, she did perform with due diligence in attempting to have the petitioner transferred to federal custody, in order to serve his state State sentence concurrent with his federal case,” the motion filed Thursday morning in Faulkner County Circuit Court reads in part.
The motion also states Mason filed an order stating Patton should be released to federal custody. However, the motion states it is up to the federal government “to pick up and accept custody” of an inmate.
This particular case against Patton stemmed from a Dec. 21, 2016, incident where he shot another man in his legs three times.
In April 2018, Patton was charged in a separate shooting incident. Patton has since been federally indicted on the 2018 case and is set to stand trial Oct. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. The trial is set to begin at 9:15 a.m.
As of press time Thursday, no ruling had been made regarding Patton’s recent request to withdraw his guilty plea.