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Bordeaux v. State

Supreme Court of South Carolina

October 29, 2014

Antonio D. Bordeaux, Respondent,
v.
State of South Carolina, Petitioner

Heard September 23, 2014.

Appeal from Beaufort County. Appellate Case No. 2012-212349. Michael G. Nettles, Circuit Court Judge.

Assistant Attorney General James Rutledge Johnson, of Columbia, for Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for Respondent.

JUSTICE PLEICONES. TOAL, C.J., BEATTY, KITTREDGE and HEARN, JJ., concur.

Page 144

[410 S.C. 497] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

PLEICONES, JUSTICE:

We granted certiorari in this post-conviction relief (PCR) action to review the Court of Appeals' decision, which remanded for a determination of the lawfulness of Antonio Bordeaux's sentence. Bordeaux v. State, Op. No. 2012-UP-284 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 9, 2012). The State argues the Court of Appeals erred because the unambiguous plea colloquy and imposition of sentence control over the ambiguous written sentence. We agree. It is clear Bordeaux pleaded guilty to first degree burglary, was sentenced within the legal limits for that crime, and in consonance with his negotiated plea agreement. We therefore affirm in part and reverse in part.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Bordeaux's plea agreement was capped at a sentence of twenty-five years. He pled guilty to two counts of armed robbery and two counts of burglary. He was sentenced to twenty-four years' imprisonment on the armed robbery charges, and to twenty-five years' imprisonment, suspended upon the service of twenty years with three years' probation on the burglary counts.

Bordeaux's plea proceeding was conducted simultaneously with that of his co-defendant, Wesley Washington. Like Bordeaux, [410 S.C. 498] Washington had been indicted on two counts of first degree burglary, but pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree burglary. The transcript demonstrates that the plea colloquy with the trial judge alternated between Bordeaux and Washington. During Bordeaux's plea colloquy, he acknowledged on at least seven occasions that he was pleading guilty to two counts of first degree burglary. At sentencing, Bordeaux was again reminded, and acknowledged, that he was being sentenced pursuant to his plea negotiations for two counts of first degree burglary, each of which carried a minimum fifteen-year sentence, and a maximum of life imprisonment. The trial judge announced Bordeaux's sentence for first degree burglary as:

" a term of twenty-five years, provided that upon the service of twenty years the balance is suspended and you be placed on probation for a period of three years." (Emphasis added).

The sentencing sheets, however, indicated Bordeaux pleaded guilty to " Burglary 2nd Degree," included the CDR Code for second degree burglary, and referenced S.C. Code Ann. ยง 16-11-312 (2014), the second degree burglary statute. Despite these references, the sentencing sheets also indicated Bordeaux pleaded guilty " as ...


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