Former Gilmer pastor, sex offender loses 6 life sentences appeal

Former Gilmer pastor, sex offender loses 6 life sentences appeal
Upshur County Jail

POSTED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 9:25am

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 1:28pm

A former Gilmer pastor who was found guilty on several child sex charges had his appeal denied Tuesday by the Sixth Appellate District Court in Texarkana. Hugo Fluellen is currently serving six life sentences without parole.

Judge Lauren Parish handed down the sentence on October 15, 2013, after Fluellen was convicted of the crimes in Upshur County's 115th District Court.

In his appeal, the sex offender claimed the trial court failed to: 

  1. Determine his competency 
  2. Inform him of enhanced penaltie during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial
  3. Inquire about his citizenship
  4. Advise him about the sex offender registration requirements

Fluellen argued the "cumulative effect of [those] errors resulted in unknowing and involuntary pleas." The convict had pleaded guilty to all the charges following jury selection.

The appeals court denied his request, due to the absence of any suggestion of incompetency.

During the Upshur County trial, the jury was presented with evidence that showed Fluellen began molesting a child in the second grade and had even fathered a child with the victim.

The former pastor's wife was also arrested for sexual assault of a child because she knew about the crime, said District Attorney Billy Byrd.

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