This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).








State of Minnesota,





Danielle Boyd,




Filed June 26, 2007


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Mille Lacs County District Court

File No. CR05872


Jan Kolb, Mille Lacs County Attorney, Mark J. Herzing, Assistant County Attorney, Courthouse Square, 525 Second Street Southeast, Milaca, MN 56353 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Jodie L. Carlson, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Peterson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Danielle Boyd appeals from her conviction of second-degree felony murder and first-degree assault.  Because the district court did not abuse its discretion or apply the wrong legal standard in denying appellant’s presentencing motion to withdraw her guilty plea, we affirm.


We review the district court’s decision whether to permit withdrawal of a guilty plea for an abuse of discretion.  Barragan v. State, 583 N.W.2d 571, 572 (Minn. 1998).

A criminal defendant has no absolute right to withdraw a plea of guilty once it has been entered.  Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 577 (Minn. 1998).  A showing of “manifest injustice” will support a withdrawal at any time, before or after sentencing.  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05.   “Manifest injustice occurs if a guilty plea is not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent.”  Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 688 (Minn. 1997).   Otherwise, to withdraw a plea before sentencing, a defendant has the burden of showing that “fair and just” reasons for withdrawal of the guilty plea exist, with consideration of “any prejudice that granting of the motion would cause the prosecution by reason of actions taken in reliance upon the defendant’s plea.”  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 2. 

Appellant argues that she met the fair-and-just standard, but the court denied her motion by applying only the manifest-injustice standard.  The district court made an express determination that there had been no showing of a manifest injustice.   Although the court did not use the words “fair and just,” the record and the court’s decision reflect that it considered the validity of the guilty plea and appellant’s reasons to withdraw the plea and that it found no reason to allow withdrawal of the plea.  Because it was appellant’s burden to show that there was a “fair and just” reason to withdraw the plea, and she failed to do so, the court correctly denied the motion.

Appellant argues that the court did not consider her two reasons to withdraw the plea: that she did not understand she could receive consecutive sentences and that she was dissatisfied with counsel’s representation.  

The record reflects that appellant understood that she could receive consecutive sentences.  The district court gave appellant the opportunity to elaborate on her claimed misunderstanding of consecutive sentencing, but she did not take it.  The court initially accepted the plea only after appellant’s complete oral examination by the court and counsel and after appellant reviewed and signed the plea petition.  Both specifically detailed the dismissal of 12 counts, plea to 2 counts, their guideline sentences, and the total consecutive sentence of 251 months.  At the hearing on appellant’s motion to withdraw the plea, the same judge who conducted the plea hearing accurately stated that appellant’s guilty plea covered all of her rights, including “consecutive sentencing in detail.”  Therefore, appellant did not meet her burden to show that there was a “misunderstanding” or that it constituted a fair and just reason to withdraw the plea.

There is also no basis for appellant’s argument that the court failed to consider whether her request for new counsel was a fair and just reason to withdraw the plea.  Appellant’s moving papers alleged that she was “not being represented fairly” and requested “a different public defender from another county.”

The court gave appellant the opportunity to elaborate on her statement that she was unfairly represented, but she did not take it.  The record contains no allegation or showing of a specific deficiency in her counsel’s representation or any need for a public defender from another county.  See State v. Williams, 373 N.W.2d 851, 853 (Minn. App. 1985) (denying motion when appellant demonstrated virtually no support for alleged inadequate representation).  On the contrary, the record of the plea indicates that appellant was satisfied with her representation, and the court, in its acceptance of the plea, was satisfied that she was fairly represented.  Appellant did not meet her burden of showing that there were exceptional circumstances justifying new counsel or that unfair representation was a fair or just reason to withdraw her plea.

The court must also give “due consideration” to “any prejudice the granting of the motion would cause the prosecution by reason of actions taken in reliance upon the defendant’s plea.”  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 2.  The state articulated that, in reliance on the plea, it had (1) advised the victims and their families who needed closure and (2) proceeded without attempting to get a first-degree murder indictment through a grand jury.  The court did not expressly rely on any particular prejudice but read the victims’ letters at the hearing and concluded that finality was necessary.   It is within the court’s discretion and it is “not unjustified” to consider the interests of the victims on a motion to withdraw a plea.  See Kim v. State, 434 N.W.2d 263, 267 (Minn. 1989). 

The court’s denial of the motion to withdraw the guilty plea was well within its discretion.