from the District Court of McHenry County, Northeast Judicial
District, the Honorable Donovan J. Foughty, Judge.
E. Frey (argued), State's Attorney, Towner, ND, and Paul
R. Emerson (appeared), Assistant Attorney General, Bismarck,
ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
C. Kraus-Parr, Grand Forks, ND, for defendant and appellant.
Chad Vincent Legare appeals from a criminal judgment entered
after his guilty plea to attempted murder. We affirm.
Prior to his guilty plea, Legare moved for an order allowing
him to present an affirmative defense of justification or
excuse. The court denied the motion, stating it would not
allow a special jury instruction regarding defense of others
when no evidence or anticipated evidence showed there was
imminent danger to the woman Legare argued he was defending.
Legare pleaded guilty to attempted murder under an Alford
Legare argues his Sixth Amendment right to present a defense
was violated and the court erred by not allowing him to
present his defense of justification or excuse. Legare
requests the conviction be vacated and the order denying his
motion in limine reversed.
Legare argues the Menna-Blackledge doctrine applies
and he is not precluded from bringing his appeal. The State
argues the Menna-Blackledge doctrine does not apply
and Legare has no right to appeal from judgment entered upon
an unconditional Alford plea. Assuming, without deciding
whether the doctrine applies, Legare's claim does not
fall within the exception of the Menna-Blackledge
doctrine, and he has not preserved his right to appeal the
district court's denial of his motion in limine seeking
permission to argue and instruct the jury on defense of
In Class v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 798 (2018), the
United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the
Menna-Blackledge doctrine, stating the
"doctrine's basic teaching that 'a plea of
guilty to a charge does not waive a claim that-judged on its
face-the charge is one which the State may not
constitutionally prosecute.'" (citing United
States v. Broce, 488 U.S. 563, 575 (1989) (quoting
Menna v. New York, 423 U.S. 61, 63, n.2 (1975)).
Essentially, "an unconditional guilty plea waives all
nonjurisdictional claims with the possible exception of the
Class, 138 S.Ct. 798 at 816 (Alito, Kennedy and
The Supreme Court explained a defendant does not relinquish
his right to appeal all constitutional determinations by
pleading guilty, stating, "As an initial matter, a valid
guilty plea 'forgoes not only a fair trial, but also
other accompanying constitutional guarantees.'"
United States v. Ruiz, 536 U.S. 622, 628-629 (2002).
"While those 'simultaneously' relinquished
rights include the privilege against compulsory
self-incrimination, the jury trial right, and the right to
confront accusers, McCarthy v. United States, 394
U.S. 459, 466, [ ], (1969), they do not include 'a waiver
of the privileges which exist beyond the confines of the
trial.' Mitchell v. United States, 526 U.S. 314,
324, [ ], (1999)." Class, 138 S.Ct. 798 at 805.
Class' argument on appeal was the statute under which he
was convicted violated the Constitution. "Here,
Class' statutory right directly to appeal his conviction
'cannot in any way be characterized as part of the
trial.'" Class, 138 S.Ct. 798 at 805
(citing Lafler v. Cooper, 566 U.S. 156, 165 (2012)).
The Court noted Class' claims do not focus on
case-related constitutional defects that "'occurred
prior to the entry of the guilty plea.'"
Class, 138 S.Ct. 798 at 804-805 (citing
Blackledge v. Perry,417 U.S. 21, 30 (1974).
"They could not, for example, 'have been
"cured" through a new indictment by a properly
selected grand jury.'" Id. (citing
Tollett v. Henderson,411 U.S. 258, 267 (1973)).
"Because the defendant has admitted the charges against
him, a guilty plea makes the latter kind of constitutional
claim 'irrelevant to the constitutional validity of the
conviction.'" Haring v. Prosise, 462 U.S.
306, 321 (1983). "But the cases to which we have
referred make clear that a defendant's guilty plea does
not make irrelevant the kind of constitutional claim ...