Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Shrader v. State

Supreme Court of West Virginia

February 2, 2018

Thomas C. Shrader, Petitioner Below, Petitioner
v.
State of West Virginia, Respondent Below, Respondent

         McDowell County 15-C-93

          MEMORANDUM DECISION

         Petitioner Thomas C. Shrader, pro se, appeals the February 3, 2017, order of the Circuit Court of McDowell County dismissing his second petition for a writ of coram nobis. Respondent State of West Virginia ("the State"), by counsel Shannon Frederick Kiser, filed a summary response in support of the circuit court's order. Petitioner filed a reply.

         The Court has considered the parties' briefs and the record on appeal. The facts and legal arguments are adequately presented, and the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Upon consideration of the standard of review, the briefs, and the record presented, the Court finds no substantial question of law and no prejudicial error. For these reasons, a memorandum decision affirming the circuit court's order is appropriate under Rule 21 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

         In 1975, petitioner was charged with murder in two cases arising from the same incident wherein he allegedly shot multiple persons. Each of the two indictments returned against petitioner charged him with "murder" and alleged that he "feloniously, willfully, maliciously, deliberately[, ] and unlawfully did slay, kill[, ] and murder" the victim. In so charging petitioner, the indictments substantially followed the relevant statutory language that:

[i]n an indictment for murder and manslaughter, it shall not be necessary to set forth the manner in which, or the means by which, the death of the deceased was caused, but it shall be sufficient in every such indictment to charge that the defendant did feloniously, willfully, maliciously, deliberately[, ] and unlawfully slay, kill[, ] and murder the deceased.

W.Va. Code § 61-2-1.

         On January 20, 1976, petitioner and the State entered into a plea agreement. Petitioner agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder with regard to each killing. With regard to a third victim, petitioner pled guilty to unlawful wounding as a lesser included offense of malicious wounding. The State agreed to reduce the malicious wounding charge to unlawful wounding and to make recommendations of mercy with regard to each murder charge and of concurrent sentencing with regard to all three charges. The State informed the circuit court that the three offenses arose out of the "same facts and circumstances, " during which petitioner killed two people and wounded a third person who was struck "by a bullet[, ] but not too serious[ly]."

         Each indictment was read to petitioner, who then entered his guilty plea. As to the murder indictments, petitioner pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. With regard to those guilty pleas, the circuit court warned petitioner as follows:

THE COURT: Do you understand that this [c]ourt will sentence you to life imprisonment in the penitentiary on the indictment charging you with the murder of Howard William Adams, Jr., the [c]ourt would impose a life sentence with a recommendation of mercy on that indictment. Do you understand that the [c]ourt will then also impose a life sentence with the recommendation of mercy [o]n the indictment charging you with the murder of Geneva Miller? Do you understand that?
[PETITONER]: Yes, sir, Your Honor.

         The court twice inquired of petitioner whether he understood the consequences of his pleas. Both times, petitioner answered, "Yes, sir." Petitioner expressed satisfaction with his trial attorneys' performance, and the circuit court found that petitioner knowingly waived his constitutional rights and intelligently and voluntarily entered his guilty pleas.

         The circuit court accepted petitioner's guilty pleas to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of unlawful wounding. The circuit court sentenced petitioner to a life term of incarceration with the possibility of parole with regard to each murder conviction and sentenced him to a twelve-month term of incarceration with regard to the unlawful wounding conviction. In accordance with the plea agreement, the circuit court ran petitioner's sentences concurrently with each other.

         Petitioner initiated habeas corpus proceedings in both 1976 and 1984. In the first proceeding, the circuit court appointed petitioner habeas counsel and held a hearing in June of 1976. Following the hearing, the circuit court denied habeas relief. In the second proceeding, petitioner was again appointed counsel and afforded an omnibus hearing after which relief was denied.

         On December 23, 1993, petitioner was released on parole which he completed in 1999. In June of 2010, petitioner was charged by a federal grand jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Ultimately, petitioner was found guilty of constructive possession of firearms. Because of petitioner's record of three violent felonies, [1] his sentence was enhanced pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act to 235 months ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.