Updated Mon, Nov 11, 2013 9:43 am
A Nelsonville man facing a life sentence for the rape of two juveniles claims he wasn't made aware of his appellate rights when he was convicted and now wants to appeal five years later.
Richard L. Amos, 54, is requesting the ability to file a delayed appeal of his sentence, despite the fact that normally an appeal must be filed within 30 days of a conviction.
In an affidavit hand-written by Amos, the man incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Institution said he failed to file a timely appeal because he didn't know he could and was "coerced" into his plea deal.
Amos was originally charged with rape, having a weapon under disability, and 29 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, all of which he pleaded guilty to in 2008, according to previous Messenger reporting.
After he was charged, Nelsonville police gathered information about a second victim, for which Amos also pleaded guilty.
Amos was sentenced to one term of life in prison, with the eligibility for parole after 15 years had been served. The rape charges filed against Amos required a life sentence according to sentencing guidelines.
In the appeal affidavit, filed Oct. 29, Amos said he had not received a complete discovery in the last six months, but was now comfortable with filing an appeal.
"There's no reason for the delay in filing of his appeal when he was told on the record of his right to appeal," said Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.
As for the accusation that he was coerced into the plea deal, Blackburn said he doesn't think Glen Jones of the public defender's office would coerce a client.
"Glen handles hundreds of cases a year," Blackburn said. "I can't imagine him doing something like that."
Jones could not be reached for comment.
In considering the motion, Amos said the court should be aware that Amos "did not have computer access for most of the (alleged) time frame of the case nor did the court or prosecution prove 'force or threat of force' beyond a reasonable doubt."
The prosecution's response, filed Thursday, found no reason to take up the case again.
"(Amos) has filed his motion ... five years, four months, and seven days after the allotted time frame as required by law," Assistant County
Prosecutor Meg Saunders wrote. "(Amos) has not provided this court with a legitimate explanation as to why he did not submit his appeal or motion for delated appeal after the end of the 30 day time frame."
A judge's ruling has not been filed in the matter.