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In Re Joshua Daniel Mills

September 9, 2011

IN RE JOSHUA DANIEL MILLS, ON HABEAS CORPUS.


(Super. Ct. No. WHC973)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Raye , P. J.

In re Mills

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

The Attorney General appeals from a superior court order granting a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Joshua Daniel Mills. (Pen. Code, § 1506.)*fn1 The superior court granted the petition after determining that Mills's 2002 convictions for criminal threats and exhibiting a deadly weapon in Placer Superior Court case No. 62-026161 were the product of an involuntary guilty plea. We reverse.

BACKGROUND

On August 2, 2002, Mills entered a negotiated plea of no contest pursuant to People v. West (1970) 3 Cal.3d 595 (West) to criminal threats (§ 422) and exhibiting a deadly weapon (§ 417, subd. (a)(1)) in case No. 62-026161. He also pled no contest to a felony and two misdemeanor counts in an unrelated case, and admitted violating probation in two other cases. Under the terms of the plea, Mills would get no state prison sentence and would be referred "with mental health terms and conditions, if appropriate, and the understanding that the sentencing will be set in the mental health court." The pro tem. judge did not take a factual basis for the plea and did not inform Mills of the possible sentences for his offense.

Mills appeared before the mental health court on September 9, 2002. Mills's defense counsel informed the court that no mental health assessment had been given. The court continued the case until Mills was assessed.

A probation report was prepared for sentencing. According to the report, on November 22, 2001, Mills's mother told a Lincoln Police officer that Mills got angry with his wife for leaving the residence without him; when she returned, Mills pushed her into a door. After being asked to leave, Mills used a kitchen knife to cut the telephone line and puncture a tire on his mother's vehicle. Brandishing the knife, Mills said his wife was the cause of his going to prison, and he was going to kill her and everyone else.

Mills discussed the incident after reviewing the police report. He claimed to have been using methamphetamine for the two months before the incident. Mills and his wife used methamphetamine in front of their five-year-old son, and Mills realized they would lose him if they kept using drugs. Mills got angry with his wife on the day of the incident when he found out she was using methamphetamine again. He admitted arguing with her and slashing the tire, but Mills did not remember brandishing the knife or pushing his wife.

Mills was sentenced in mental health court on September 16, 2002. The mental health court suspended imposition of sentence and placed Mills on probation, but without any mental health terms. The mental health assessment was not mentioned at sentencing.

On November 3, 2004, Mills admitted violating probation. He was sentenced to a three-year term for a felony offense in another case, and a consecutive eight-month term for the criminal threats count.

On January 22, 2008, Mills pled no contest in Placer Superior Court case No. 62-060665 to assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (§ 245, subd. (a)(1)), dissuading a witness (§ 136.1, subd. (c)(1)), and solicitation of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (§ 653f, subd. (a)) and admitted his 2002 conviction for criminal threats as a prior serious felony and strike conviction. He was sentenced to 20 years four months in state prison. Mills did not appeal.

On September 29, 2008, Mills was charged in Placer Superior Court case No. 62-84322 with assault on a custodial officer (§ 241.1) and resisting an officer (§ 69), along with two strike allegations. Mills filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on March 9, 2010, asserting his 2008 convictions were the product of an involuntary plea because he suffered from hallucinations at the time. Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark Curry denied the petition on the grounds that Mills did not allege sufficient ...


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