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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant was charged with felony possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine. On Dec. 7, 2001, the appellant informed the trial court that he rejected a plea agreement and wanted to fire his lawyer, Ted Redington. On Dec. 11, 2001, appellant, accompanied by Redington, returned to court and entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea bargain substantially similar to the one he had previously rejected. The trial court, in accordance with the terms of the plea bargain, deferred an adjudication of appellant’s guilt, placed him on community supervision for three years, and fined him $3,000. On February 23, 2003, the state filed a motion to proceed with an adjudication of guilt. In its motion, the state alleged that appellant had violated several of the conditions of his community supervision. On April 3, 2003, appellant filed a pre-conviction application for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to Article 11.08 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, and a motion to recuse the trial court judge from hearing that application or from hearing the state’s motion to proceed with an adjudication of guilt. The appellant alleged that his Dec. 7, 2001, guilty plea had been entered “involuntarily.” On April 28, 2003, an assigned judge held an evidentiary hearing on appellant’s motion to recuse and denied it. On June 4, 2003, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing on both the state’s motion to proceed with an adjudication of guilt and appellant’s application for writ of habeas corpus. The trial court granted the state’s request to postpone the writ portion of the hearing and granted the state’s motion to proceed with an adjudication of guilt. The trial court adjudicated appellant guilty of the primary offense and assessed punishment at incarceration for 200 days and a $3,000 fine. On June 13, 2003, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing on appellant’s application for writ of habeas corpus. At the close of evidence, the appellant argued that he had proved that on Dec. 11, 2001, “he [had] reasonably felt that he was coerced and that his only avenue to get out of jail was to waive his right to trial by jury and . . . accept the plea bargain.” The appellant argued further that he had proved that, in pleading guilty, he had “acquiesc[ed] to what he [had] perceived to be actions by this court, by his own attorney, as well as the prosecution to coerce him into accepting that plea agreement.” The appellant asked the trial court to set aside both the order placing him on deferred adjudication and the subsequent judgment of conviction. On June 19, 2003, the trial court issued an order denying appellant’s request for habeas corpus relief. Also on June 19, 2003, the trial court issued findings of fact in which it found that, on Dec. 7, 2001, appellant had in fact reneged on a plea bargain, as Redington had claimed. The trial court also admitted in its findings of fact that it had “sanctioned” appellant, by revoking his bond, for his decisions to renege on the plea bargain and replace his counsel. The court of appeals granted appellant relief on his habeas claim and did not reach his recusal claim. The state filed a petition for discretionary review. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. In its first ground, the state argues that the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction to review the trial court’s ruling on appellant’s application for writ of habeas corpus, because the trial court itself, at the time it heard the application, lacked jurisdiction to hear it. The trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear the application, the State’s argument continues, because the trial court had already adjudicated appellant guilty by the time it heard his application. In Ex Parte Johnson, 12 S.W.3d 472 (Tex.Crim.App. 2000), the court held, in effect, that the jurisdiction of a court to consider an application for writ of habeas corpus is determined at the time the application is filed. The court adheres to that holding and holds that the trial court in this case did not lose jurisdiction to hear appellant’s pre-conviction application once that court adjudicated him guilty. In its second ground for review, the state argues that the court of appeals erred in reversing the trial court’s ruling on appellant’s application for writ of habeas corpus because the court of appeals used an incorrect, de novo standard of review rather than the correct, abuse-of-discretion standard of review. Given the record evidence in this case, especially Redington’s testimony, the trial court could have reasonably concluded that appellant had accepted the state’s offer of a plea bargain and had pled guilty on Dec. 11, 2001, not because the trial court had punished him by revoking his bond and putting him in jail to await trial, but because he had reasonably concluded that it was in his best interest to accept the plea bargain and take deferred adjudication community supervision and a modest fine. The court notes that the record contains no evidence that appellant, at the time he pled guilty, was so gripped by fear of incarceration that, even with the assistance of counsel, he could not rationally weigh the advantages of pleading guilty against the disadvantages of going to trial. Also, the court notes that the trial court could believe or disbelieve any of the witnesses and could properly take into account the fact that appellant made no claim of an involuntary plea until after the state filed its motion to proceed to an adjudication of guilt. OPINION:Holcomb, J.; Keller, P.J., Johnson, Keasler, Hervey and Cochran, J.J., joined. Meyers, J., did not participate. Womack, J., concurred in the result. CONCURRENCE:Keller, P.J. “I join the Court’s opinion but write separately to comment on certain published opinions relied upon by the State, and by the Court of Appeals’s dissent, in arguing that the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction to address the merits of applicant’s pre-conviction habeas application. These cases are Ex parte Branch, Martinez v. State, Saucedo v. State, and Hubbard v. State, which all address not jurisdiction, but the doctrine of mootness. . . . “Saucedo and Hubbard are more like the present case. . . . Even if we were to adopt the holdings of these lower court decisions, this case would be distinguishable because the claim here (an attack on the voluntariness of the plea in a plea bargain context) would, for various reasons, be barred from consideration in an appeal from the adjudication of guilt. The only other avenue for raising appellant’s claim would be a post-conviction application for a writ of habeas corpus. If the choice is simply between habeas proceedings now and habeas proceedings later, the availability of those later proceedings cannot really be said to render the timely-filed pre-conviction habeas proceedings moot.”

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