683 P.2d 504 (Nev. 1984), 15084, Warden, Nevada State Prison v. Lyons

Docket Nº:15084.
Citation:683 P.2d 504, 100 Nev. 430
Party Name:WARDEN, NEVADA STATE PRISON, Appellant, v. Harold Travis LYONS, Respondent.
Case Date:July 03, 1984
Court:Supreme Court of Nevada

Page 504

683 P.2d 504 (Nev. 1984)

100 Nev. 430



Harold Travis LYONS, Respondent.

No. 15084.

Supreme Court of Nevada.

July 3, 1984.

Rehearing Denied Aug. 27, 1984.

D. Brian McKay, Atty. Gen., Carson City, Steven B. Wolfson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Las Vegas, for appellant.

John J. Momot, Las Vegas, for respondent.



The warden appeals from an order granting a post-conviction petition for writ of habeas corpus. The order declared void [100 Nev. 431] ab initio pleas of nolo contendere entered by respondent in two Washoe County criminal prosecutions. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the order granting the petition and reinstate the pleas.

On December 1, 1980, respondent pleaded nolo contendere to one count each of slot cheating and attempted possession of a cheating device, in a case involving events which transpired at the MGM Grand casino. Before sentencing, he was arrested for cheating offenses at the Sahara-Reno. Respondent left the state and was not located and returned until January of 1982. In subsequent proceedings he was sentenced in the MGM matter consistent with the original plea bargain, and was allowed to plead nolo contendere to another cheating offense in the Sahara case. He was sentenced to ten years and five years, concurrent, in the former matter, and to a concurrent five years in the latter.

In June of 1982, respondent filed the instant petition for habeas relief, challenging the validity of his pleas in the MGM case. 1 The petition contended that respondent had pleaded without the effective assistance

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of counsel, and that his pleas had been "coerced" by the "use" of illegally seized evidence and by the filing of an habitual criminal allegation the Friday before trial. In supplemental points and authorities, respondent raised the additional claim that both his MGM and his Sahara-Reno pleas were invalid under Hanley v. State, 97 Nev. 130, 624 P.2d 1387 (1981). The district court concluded that respondent's pleas were "not properly taken" and granted the habeas petition, declaring the pleas void ab initio "for the reasons and on the grounds set forth" in the petition and supplemental points and authorities.

The warden now argues that there was no factual or legal basis for the grant of habeas relief. We agree.

Respondent argued below that...

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