This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Hennepin County District Court
File No. J7-04-063122
Attorney General, 1800
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Minge, Judge; and Ross, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from the denial of a motion to dismiss, appellant M.M.F. argues that (1) the criminal-sexual-conduct charge should have been dismissed because it was a “pending” case within the meaning of the February 2004 plea agreement; and (2) his guilty plea to the aggravated robbery charges was induced and was neither knowing nor voluntary because he believed that under the terms of the February 2004 plea agreement, he would not be prosecuted for the “pending” criminal-sexual-conduct charge. We affirm.
On February 6, 2004, appellant M.M.F. pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery. As part of the February 6 plea agreement, the state agreed not to prosecute any “pending cases.” In September 2004, appellant was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping in connection with an incident that occurred in October 2003. Appellant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that prosecution of the charges was barred under the terms of the February 6 plea agreement.
hearing on appellant’s motion to dismiss was conducted on December 8,
2004. At the hearing, Sergeant Voss
testified that in mid-January 2004, he began investigating a string of street
robberies that had been committed by a group of individuals. Voss testified that at about the same time,
he also began investigating a rape case that was connected to one of the
robberies. According to Voss, appellant
became a suspect in the rape case on January 12, 2004, when the victim
identified appellant as the man who raped her.
Voss testified that between January 12 and February 6, 2004, he did not
inform anybody at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office that appellant was a
in a criminal sexual conduct case. Voss further testified that the first time he informed the county attorney’s office that appellant was a rape suspect was July 6, 2004.
On December 22, 2004, the district court issued an order denying appellant’s motion to dismiss. The district court found that the rape case was not referred to the county attorney’s office until long after the February 6, 2004 plea agreement, and, therefore, prosecution of the criminal sexual conduct charges was not barred under the terms of the plea agreement. Appellant subsequently pleaded guilty to the criminal-sexual-conduct charges and was adjudicated delinquent as an extended-jurisdiction juvenile as to the offense of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
argues that the district court erred in denying his motion to dismiss because
the criminal-sexual-conduct charge was a “pending” case
within the meaning of the February 6, 2004 plea agreement. Determining what the parties agreed
to in a plea agreement is an issue of fact for the district court to
resolve. State v. Rhodes, 675 N.W.2d 323, 326 (
contends that appellant waived his claim by pleading guilty to first-degree
criminal sexual conduct. Generally, a
guilty plea by a counseled defendant waives all
nonjurisdictional defects. State v.
Ford, 397 N.W.2d 875, 878 (
At the guilty plea hearing of February 6, 2004, the following exchange took place:
Ms. Tonelli: The only question we had prior to coming in this afternoon were [sic] whether or not there are any other pending cases --
Ms Jehl: Oh.
Ms Tonelli: -- and Ms. Jehl has represented to me, and for my client’s benefit, that while there were some other referrals made to the County Attorney’s Office, that she disclosed to us those matters will not be charged. Is that correct?
Ms. Jehl: That’s correct, Your Honor.
The Court: Is that correct?
Ms. Jehl: That’s correct.
Appellant argues that because Sergeant Voss spoke with the rape victim on January 12, 2004, and obtained a tentative identification of appellant, appellant was already a suspect in the case at the time he entered into the February 6, 2004 plea agreement. Appellant argues further that because Sergeant Voss testified that the rape case was a “pending case,” the criminal-sexual-conduct charge is covered by the plea agreement by which appellant could not be prosecuted for any pending cases.
We understand appellant’s
argument. Appellant was a suspect, and
the charge was “pending” in the mind of the investigator who had determined
appellant might be involved and who now was pursuing the investigation, which might, and in fact did, lead to a later
charge. Having said that, the plea
bargain, as expressed in the record in open court, was dated February 6, 2004,
and is unambiguous in defining pending as “referrals made to the County
Attorney’s Office.” The bargain is “ . .
. other referrals made to the
We note that prosecutors and defense attorneys need to take time to clarify the essential details of a plea agreement. The district court here could have acted sua sponte to require the two lawyers to be precise about “those matters.” But appellant was not treated unfairly. It simply would have been far better for “those matters” to have been itemized and linked to a specific crime so there could never be a doubt as for which potential charges appellant had immunity from, and for which potential charges he did not.
Appellant argues that he should be allowed to withdraw
his February 6, 2004 guilty plea because it was improperly made and neither
knowingly nor understandingly made. Generally, a court may allow a child to withdraw a guilty plea at
any time, upon a showing that withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest
injustice. In re
Welfare of J.J.R., 648 N.W.2d 739, 742 (
Here, the record reflects that appellant failed to bring
a post-adjudication motion to withdraw his guilty plea to the aggravated-robbery
charges. The first time appellant raised
his request to withdraw the February 6 guilty plea is in this appeal. This court does not generally consider matters
not argued and considered in district court.
Roby v. State,
547 N.W.2d 354, 357 (