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Missouri: Habeas Corpus Granted to Prisoner Denied Jail Credit

A Missouri Court of Appeals granted a prisoner’s writ of habeas corpus and ordered him “immediately released from custody.”

Before the state appellate court was the habeas petition of Andrew Kory. Kory was imprisoned on July 2, 2014 and charged with the rape of a minor. Those charges were dismissed on August 11, 2015, but that same day Kory was charged with felony rape, felony statutory rape and felony endangering the welfare of a child, based on the same incident.

Kory entered a guilty plea on December 16, 2015 to a lesser Class A misdemeanor of sexual abuse. That plea contemplated a one-year sentence, and at the time of the plea Kory had been confined 532 days.

Following the plea agreement, he arrived at the Daviess/DeKalb Regional Jail and received a commitment order that varied from the commitment order he was provided at the plea hearing. The revised commitment order contained a hand-written note stating the court was denying Kory credit for time served on the original charges filed in 2014. Thus, his one-year jail sentence was to run from August 11, 2015 to August 11, 2016.

Upon the filing of a habeas petition in the appellate court on December 22, 2015, that court issued an order to show cause. It agreed that Kory had showed good cause to bypass filing his petition in the lower court, which would have been futile because that court had issued the order he was challenging.

The Court of Appeals then found Missouri law requires credit for “time in custody” related to the offense at conviction. The 532 days Kory spent in jail was related to the crime for which he was eventually convicted, and the sentencing court was “without legal authority” to deprive him of credit for time served prior to sentencing. The appellate court therefore granted the habeas petition and ordered Kory’s immediate release. See: Kory v. Gray, 478 S.W.3d 574 (Mo. Ct. App. 2016). 

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Related legal case

Kory v. Gray