This opinion will be unpublished and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
Wendell Dwayne O’Neal, petitioner,
Filed October 17, 2006
Ramsey County District Court
File No. T5-05-19470
Wendell Dwayne O’Neal,
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
John J. Choi, St. Paul City Attorney, Jessica S. McConaughey, Assistant City Attorney, 500 City Hall & Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Stoneburner, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from the district court’s denial of a postconviction petition challenging a conviction for petty-misdemeanor trespass, appellant argues that his administrative guilty plea was invalid because he did not appear before the district court and because he was threatened with a disorderly-conduct charge if he did not plead guilty. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant Wendell Dwayne O’Neal argues that the district court erred in
denying his petition for postconviction relief.
A person convicted of a crime may seek postconviction relief in order
“to vacate and set aside the judgment . . . or grant a new trial . . . or make
other disposition as may be appropriate.”
Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 1 (Supp. 2005). On factual matters, “[r]eview of a
postconviction proceeding is limited to determining ‘whether there is
sufficient evidence to sustain the postconviction court’s findings, and a
postconviction court’s decision will not be disturbed absent an abuse of
discretion.’” Zenanko v. State, 688 N.W.2d 861, 864 (
Appellant argues that he should have
been permitted to withdraw his guilty plea because it was
invalid. Once a guilty plea has been
entered, a defendant does not have an absolute right to withdraw it. Kim v.
State, 434 N.W.2d 263, 266 (
Appellant contends that his guilty plea is
invalid because he was not present when his attorney entered it and because it
was coerced through the threat of imposition of a disorderly-conduct charge. Appellant does not dispute that he authorized
his attorney to act on his behalf. A
valid guilty plea must be accurate, voluntary, and intelligent. Perkins
v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 688 (
Appellant’s plea was accurate. Appellant was charged with trespassing, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.605 (2004), after a police officer responded to a complaint that appellant refused to leave a hotel. A hotel employee told the officer that appellant had been in the lobby for more than two hours and that when asked to leave, appellant became upset and yelled profanities at the staff. The officer was informed that appellant left in taxi cabs, but would then return to the hotel lobby. Appellant concedes that he was in the hotel lobby, did not have identification to register for a room, did not have funds to pay for a room, and that an employee had called a taxi cab for him. Appellant’s description indicatesthat he was guilty of at least petty misdemeanor trespass. See Minn. Stat. § 609.605, subd. 1(b)(3) (“A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if the person intentionally: trespasses on the premises of another and, without claim of right, refuses to depart from the premises on demand of the lawful possessor[.]”)
Appellant’s plea was voluntary. Although appellant contends that his plea was coerced through the threat of imposition of a disorderly-conduct charge, he provides no facts to support that assertion. See King v. State, 562 N.W.2d 791, 794 (Minn. 1997) (stating that a defendant has the burden of establishing facts warranting the reopening of his case); Hodgson v. State, 540 N.W.2d 515, 517 (Minn. 1995) (stating that allegations in a postconviction petition must be “more than argumentative assertions without factual support”); State v. Modern Recycling, Inc., 558 N.W.2d 770, 772 (Minn. App. 1997) (stating that the assignment of error based on “mere assertion” and not supported by argument is waived unless prejudicial error is obvious on mere inspection).
was intelligent. Appellant knew the nature
of the charges; he was charged with trespass after he did not have identification
to register for a hotel room or have funds to pay for a room, and a hotel
employee called a taxi cab for him and he refused to leave the hotel
lobby. Appellant understood the rights
he was waiving because he acknowledges that he waived his right to a jury
trial. And appellant received the
assistance of counsel. See Berkow v. State, 573 N.W.2d 91, 95
(Minn. App. 1997) (stating that a district court may presume that a defendant who has
consulted with counsel is aware of his constitutional rights), aff’d, 583 N.W.2d 562 (
appellant moved to withdraw his guilty plea, the district court scheduled a
postconviction hearing, but appellant failed to appear. Appellant’s failure to appear left the district
court to render a decision based solely on appellant’s petition which contained
no factual basis upon which to withdraw his plea. See Williams v. State, 692 N.W.2d
893, 896 (
Appellant moved this court to remand to the district court. Because we have affirmed the district court, appellant’s motion is denied.
Affirmed; motion denied.