In October of last year, Hugo Fluellen, a former Gilmer, TX pastor was sentenced to six life terms for sex crimes that occurred over a period of about nine years, according to a CBS news report. Fluellen appealed his conviction, however it was upheld by the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana on August 15 of this year.
News articles suggest that the victim had been sexually molested by Fluellen since she was in second grade, continuing until 2012. She is currently 18 years old. The former pastor allegedly sexually molested the girl after church, while on the way home from Sunday service. The girl attended the church where Fluellen pastored, and also sang in the choir.
Fluellen is 54 years old; his wife, 44-year-old Rosie Evans Fluellen, was also charged in the case, as she was allegedly a party to the crime according to other news sources. The victim had a child, which DNA evidence indicated was Fluellen’s. The victim did take the witness stand at trial, and described in detail what had been done to her by Fluellen in various locations including the church, in the church van, and in her own bedroom.
The defendant appealed his sentence, claiming that the trial court should not have accepted his pleas due to the fact that his plea was not entered voluntarily and knowingly, and that he was not properly admonished prior to the plea.
Michigan criminal appeals attorneys know what to look for when reviewing a case to determine whether there is solid grounds for appeal. While Fluellen claims that he was not properly admonished regarding his plea deal, there are many reasons a defendant may want to appeal either a conviction or sentence. You may be innocent of the crime, you may feel you have been unjustly sentenced, or there may have been errors made in the criminal justice process that could have affected the outcome, or the jury’s decision.
It is critical that anyone who considers an appeal chooses an experienced and highly skilled Michigan appellate attorney who is thoroughly familiar with the appeals process, and what is required to give the client the best chance of winning.