This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






Paul J. Monley,


State of Minnesota,


Filed May 29, 2001


Stoneburner, Judge


Pennington County District Court

File No. K398388



John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Scott Swanson, Assistant State Public Defender, Suite 600, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


Michael A. Hatch, Minnesota Attorney General, Robert A. Stanich, Assistant Attorney General, Sarah Nelson (certified student attorney), Suite 500, 525 Park Street, St. Paul, MN 55103; and


David M. Olin, Pennington County Attorney, 101 North Main Avenue, Box 396, Thief River Falls, MN 56701 (for respondent)



            Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Schumacher, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D  O P I N I O N




Appellant Paul Monley pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree intentional murder in exchange for dismissal of a charge of first-degree manslaughter, and was sentenced to 366 months in prison.  Monley petitioned for postconviction relief, arguing that he should be allowed to withdraw his plea because of an inadequate factual basis, or, in the alternative, that he should be resentenced because an Indiana adult conviction for a crime committed when he was a juvenile was improperly used to compute his criminal history score.  After a hearing, the district court denied the petition.  Because the record shows an adequate factual basis for Monley’s plea and the state met its burden of proving that Monley would have been certified as an adult under Minnesota law for committing the Indiana offense, we affirm.



On June 12, 1998, appellant Paul Monley, Chris Scholin (the victim), and several women went to Pine Lake where they drank alcoholic beverages.  They returned from the lake around 10:00 P.M., and the group decided to have a barbecue in the trailer court where they lived in Thief River Falls.  Monley went to his trailer where he argued with his girlfriend, who had not been at the lake.  His girlfriend left their trailer and went to the barbecue site. 

When Monley joined the group the argument with his girlfriend rekindled and Scholin became involved to defend Monley’s girlfriend.  The argument escalated into a fistfight between Scholin and Monley.  Monley left the area.  Monley returned a few minutes later with a towel draped over his arm.  Scholin ran towards Monley yelling obscenities, including a racial slur.  The two fought.  Monley had two large knives under the towel.  He stabbed Scholin two or three times.  Witnesses heard Monley say, “I stabbed him,” and tell his girlfriend, “It’s all your fault.”  Monley hid the knives on top of a trailer and left the area.  He was later arrested in East Grand Forks.  Scholin died the next day.

Monley was charged with one count of second-degree intentional murder, Minn. Stat. § 609.19, subd.1 (1) (1998), and one count of first-degree heat-of-passion manslaughter, Minn. Stat. § 609.20(1) (1998).  At the plea hearing, the district court asked Monley if he understood that he was pleading guilty to murder in the second degree, “that is, on June 12, 1998, * * * you did wrongfully, intentionally and unlawfully cause the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person * * * .”  Monley said he understood.  The district court then asked if Monley was satisfied that his attorney had all the information concerning the case, and Monley replied “no.”  The district court refused to accept the plea and told the prosecutor to bring forward the paperwork to impanel a grand jury.  After a recess, Monley indicated that he wanted to proceed with the plea and acknowledged that his attorney had all the information concerning the case and his attorney had fully advised him and represented his interests.  The district court questioned Monley in detail about his knowledge and waiver of his rights in connection with the plea, including his knowledge of the presumptive sentence of 366 months. 

Monley’s factual account of events on June 12, 1998 differed from the state’s allegations.  Monley stated that after he returned to his trailer from his trip to the lake, he gathered the meat to barbecue and two or three knives.  He then went to his neighbor’s trailer to invite him to the barbecue.  As he was walking from his neighbor’s trailer to his friends’ trailer, Scholin approached him.  They fought, and Monley returned to his neighbor’s house for a minute or two.  Monley said that when he returned to the street Scholin ran towards him with a broken bottle:  “And so he ran up on me and I pulled out the knives and * * * he was swinging a bottle and I’m swinging the knives.  And I stabbed him * * * [o]nce.”

Monley testified that he had discussed self-defense and the defense of intoxication with his attorney and was waiving his right to either self-defense or intoxication as an extenuating circumstance.  The district court then asked the state if Monley’s statements were in conformity with its evidence.  The state acknowledged some disagreements.  The state explained that witnesses would testify that Monley left after the first confrontation and returned with something draped over his arm covering the knives, and that Scholin dropped the broken bottle before reaching Monley and had nothing in his hands at the time of the stabbing.  The state autopsy report, among the materials provided to the court, showed Scholin was stabbed three times, including once in the heart and once in the liver.   The district court confirmed that the prosecutor was prepared to go to a grand jury seeking an indictment for first degree murder and questioned Monley about his knowledge of the possibility of a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder.  Monley acknowledged that the possibility of a conviction for first-degree murder and a sentence of life in prison was one of the considerations he had in entering his plea.

The court reviewed all discovery before accepting the guilty plea the next day by a written order.  On August 31, 1998, the district court sentenced Monley to 366 months (30 years, 6 months) imprisonment, the presumptive sentence given a criminal history score of three. 

Monley petitioned for postconviction relief arguing that his guilty plea was not accurate or voluntary because the record does not establish that he had the requisite intent and, in the alternative, that he should not have received 1.5 criminal history points for an Indiana conviction committed while he was a juvenile.  After a hearing, the district court denied relief:

Intent to stab equates with “intent to do the act” required under the definition of intent in Minn.Stat. § 609.02, Subd. 9(4).  Since it is established in the guilty plea that Mr. Monley intended to do the act, there is a factual basis for Mr. Monley’s plea of guilty to second degree murder.


* * *

Because the prior conviction was in adult court, Minn. Sent. Guidelines, II.B.4.d is not applicable.  The equivalent offense in Minnesota is: Minn. Stat. § 609.245, Subd. 1. 


Monley appeals.




A defendant may withdraw a guilty plea after sentencing “upon a timely motion and proof to the satisfaction of the court that withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.”  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 1.  Appellate review of postconviction proceedings is limited to determining whether the postconviction court’s findings are supported by the evidence.  Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 685 (Minn. 1997).  A court may allow a defendant to withdraw a guilty plea if the defendant proves withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.  Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 577 (Minn. 1998).  A reviewing court will reverse the district court’s decision not to permit withdrawal of a guilty plea only if the district court abused its discretion.  Barragan v. State, 583 N.W.2d 571, 572 (Minn. 1998).           

1.  Guilty Plea

Monley argues that his guilty plea was inaccurate and without a factual basis, because the record does not establish that he had the requisite intent to commit second-degree intentional murder.  A constitutionally valid guilty plea must be accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, and if it is not, the plea constitutes a manifest injustice.  Perkins, 559 N.W.2d at 688.  “A proper factual basis must be established for a plea to be accurate.”  State v. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d 712, 716 (Minn. 1994) (citation omitted).  An accurate plea protects the defendant from pleading guilty to an offense more serious than that of which he could be convicted if he were to go to trial.  Id.  (citing State v. Trott, 338 N.W.2d 248, 251 (Minn. 1983)).

It is the responsibility of the district court to ensure that a sufficient factual basis for a guilty plea is on the record.  Id.; Vernlund v. State, 589 N.W.2d 307, 310 (Minn. App. 1999).  The factual-basis requirement is satisfied if the record contains a showing that credible evidence is available that would support a guilty verdict for a crime at least as serious as that to which the defendant pleaded guilty.  State v. Genereux, 272 N.W.2d 33, 34 (Minn. 1978).  A factual basis can be established by a showing of the state’s proposed evidence.  See, e.g., Holscher v. State, 282 N.W.2d 866, 867 (Minn. 1979); Kochevar v. State, 281 N.W.2d 680, 686 (Minn. 1979); State v. Goulette, 258 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1977); State v. Fisher, 292 Minn. 453, 453-54, 193 N.W.2d 819, 820 (1972).

            The state’s proposed evidence would have shown that Monley acted in a manner consistent with an intent to stab Scholin.  The autopsy shows Scholin suffered three stab wounds, including stab wounds to the heart and liver.  Afterwards, witnesses heard Monley say that he stabbed Scholin.  Monley hid the knives on top of a trailer and fled.  Further, Monley admits he was carrying knives, that he intentionally stabbed Scholin, and that he was waiving any claim of self-defense.

            Monley argues that he was not advised that he was waiving his right to assert that he was guilty of heat-of-passion manslaughter and that “[n]o one in the courtroom was aware that heat of passion manslaughter was an extenuating circumstance.”  This is simply another way of asserting the argument we have rejected, that Monley did not comprehend the elements of the offense to which he pleaded guilty.[1]

            A person is guilty of second-degree, intentional murder if he caused “the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.19, subd. 1(1) (1998).  “With intent to” means that “the actor either has a purpose to do the thing or cause the result specified or

believes that the act, if successful, will cause that result.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.02 subd. 9(4) (1998).  Intent is generally proved circumstantially by drawing inferences from the defendant’s words and actions in light of the totality of the circumstances.  State v. Cooper, 561 N.W.2d 175, 179 (Minn. 1997).  The record shows that Monley was informed of the nature and elements of the charges against him before pleading guilty, and by doing so, he waived his claim that he “had no intent.”[2]  See Sykes v. State, 578 N.W.2d 807, 814 (Minn. App. 1998), review denied (Minn. July 16, 1998); State v. Hemmings, 371 N.W.2d 44, 46 (Minn. App. 1985).

            The record shows an adequate factual basis for appellant’s plea of guilty to second-degree intentional murder.


2.  Prior Out-Of-State Conviction

Monley argues that the district court improperly applied 1.5 criminal history points for a conviction for robbery, a class B felony, committed in Indiana when he was 17 years old, because the state did not carry its burden of demonstrating that Minnesota would have certified him as an adult for that offense.

The designation of an out-of-state conviction as a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor is “governed by the offense definitions and sentences provided in Minnesota law.”  Minn. Sent. Guidelines II.B.5.  “[W]hile the main focus should be on the offense definition, the sentencing court should also consider ‘the nature’ of the offense and ‘the sentence received by the offender.’”  Hill v. State, 483 N.W.2d 57, 61 (Minn. 1992) (quoting former Minn. Sent. Guidelines cmt. II.B.505, now Minn. Sent. Guidelines cmt. II.B.504).  The purpose of this suggestion is “to insure that all defendants prosecuted in Minnesota * * * have their criminal history scores computed according to the same basic standards.”  Id.  The state has the burden of proof to show that a defendant would have been prosecuted as an adult in Minnesota under the same circumstances as the crime committed out of state when the defendant was a juvenile.  State v. Marquetti, 322 N.W.2d 316, 319 (Minn. 1982).  In most cases, the district court can make that determination without “turning the sentencing hearing into a mini-trial relating to the conduct underlying the out-of-state conviction.”  Hill, 483 N.W.2d at 61.

            Monley was convicted and sentenced as an adult for robbery, a class B felony in Indiana.  Monley had stolen a person’s “Starter” jacket while carrying a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.  Under Minnesota law, “[w]hoever, while committing a robbery, is armed with a dangerous weapon * * * is guilty of aggravated robbery.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.245, subd. 1 (1998).  To show a prima facie case for certification, the state must show the juvenile was at least sixteen at the time of the offense, and the juvenile committed an aggravated felony with particular cruelty or disregard for the life or safety of another.  See Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 3(1) (1988).  At the postconviction relief hearing, the state submitted a memorandum to the district court arguing that Monley would have been certified as an adult, because using a sawed-off shotgun showed disregard for the safety and life of others.  Prior to sentencing, the state filed a certified copy of the Indiana conviction. 

Monley relies on Marquetti, in which the court, noting that “[g]enerally, 16 year olds are not prosecuted as adults for burglaries in Minnesota,” held that the state had failed to meet its burden of proof that Marquetti would have been certified in Minnesota as an adult for a burglary committed ten years before in Cuba when he was 16 years old.  Marquetti, 322 N.W.2d at 319.  In this case, Monley, at age 17, used a sawed-off shotgun, displaying a particular disregard for the life and safety of others, to commit a theft and the state met its burden of showing that Monley would have been certified as an adult in Minnesota for such an offense.  The district did not err in computing Monley’s criminal history score.



                                                                        Dated:  May 21, 2001

[1] The transcript indicates that the district court recognized that the second count for heat-of-passion manslaughter was a lesser-included offense for which Monley could not be sentenced if convicted on both counts.

[2] Monley argues in his pro se brief that his guilty plea is inaccurate, because the evidence shows he was intoxicated and acting in self-defense.  At the guilty plea hearing, Monley specifically waived both defenses, and clearly noted that he had discussed those defenses with his attorney.