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United States v. Price

United States District Court, D. North Dakota

September 13, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Jimmy Dale Price, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW PLEA OF GUILTY

          Daniel L. Hovland, Chief Judge.

         Before the Court is the Defendant's pro se “Motion to Withdraw Plea of Guilty” filed on July 28, 2017. See Docket No. 618. The Government filed a response in opposition to the motion on August 10, 2017. See Docket No. 625. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         On April 14, 2016, the Defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine (500 grams or more) in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. See Docket Nos. 365 and 366. A Presentence Investigation Report was filed on July 1, 2016. See Docket No. 428. More than a year after entering his plea of guilty, the Defendant now seeks to withdraw his guilty plea because his constitutional rights were allegedly violated at the change of plea hearing. See Docket No. 619. The Defendant also references newly discovered exculpatory evidence and diminished capacity. However, he provides no explanation or discussion of the newly discovered evidence or evidence of diminished capacity. The Court finds these contentions wholly unsubstantiated.

         “A guilty plea may be withdrawn before sentencing if the defendant demonstrates a ‘fair and just reason' for the withdrawal.” United States v. Mugan, 441 F.3d 622, 630 (8th Cir. 2006) (citing Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(d)(2)(B)). A district court may also consider whether the defendant asserts innocence to the charges, the amount of time between the guilty plea and the motion to withdraw, and whether the withdrawal would prejudice the government. United States v. Teeter, 561 F.3d 768, 770 (8th Cir. 2009). However, a district court need not address the remaining considerations if the defendant fails to show a fair and just reason for withdrawing his plea. Id.

         At the change of plea hearing on April 14, 2016, the following discussions occurred between the Court and the Defendant:

THE COURT: All right. So, Mr. Price, I need to visit with you here on the record about your intention to plead guilty to this particular crime. If you have any questions, sir, or if you don't understand anything that we talk about this afternoon, you're more than welcome to interrupt me and ask questions at any time.
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: I know absolutely nothing about you, sir. All I have in my file is the Indictment and the Plea Agreement and the Plea Agreement Supplement. I know nothing of your criminal history. I know nothing about your involvement in this particular case, so I'll need to ask you a few questions about that. But with respect to your background, how old are you, sir, and where you lived most of your adult life?
THE DEFENDANT: I'm 43 years old, and the majority of my life I've lived in Texas, until roughly eight years ago.
THE COURT: Are you a high school graduate?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Any schooling beyond high school?
THE DEFENDANT: Some community college courses, different certifications through FEMA and ...

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