This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Stephen Thomas Schouenborg,
Filed December 7, 1999
Itasca County District Court
File No. K7-97-1934
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Margaret H. Chutich, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park St., Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
John J. Muhar, Itasca County Attorney, 123 Fourth St. N.E., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Ann Brom McCaughan, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414-3230 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Forsberg, Judge,[*] and Mulally, Judge.[**]
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant Stephen Schouenborg challenges the trial court’s denial of his request to withdraw his guilty plea to second-degree murder. Because we find no error in the trial court’s conclusions that Schouenborg did not meet either of the two standards set forth in Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05 for withdrawal of a guilty plea, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Two standards for withdrawal of a guilty plea are set forth in rule 15.05. Under the first, an accused has the right to withdraw a guilty plea after sentencing to correct a "manifest injustice":
The court shall allow a defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty 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. Manifest injustice occurs if the plea "is not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent." Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 688 (Minn. 1997).
Under the second standard, a court has discretion to allow withdrawal of a plea before sentencing,
if it is fair and just to do so, giving due consideration to the reasons advanced by the defendant in support of the motion and 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.
Schouenborg argues that he is entitled to withdraw his guilty plea to correct a manifest injustice because the plea was not knowing or voluntary. Alternatively, he argues that, because his plea was not voluntary, the trial court should have allowed him to withdraw it under the "fair and just" standard.
We conclude that the trial court did not err in denying Schouenborg’s motion to withdraw his plea under either standard set forth in rule 15.05. The record reflects that the trial court made a deliberate and thorough inquiry into Schouenborg’s overall mental abilities as well as his learning disability. The court granted Schouenborg’s motion for an examination of his mental competency under Minn. R. Crim. P. 20. After reviewing the results of the rule 20 examination, including reviewing the hearing record and testimony, the court determined that Schouenborg was mentally competent. The court also had the opportunity to observe Schouenborg during his plea hearing, including Schouenborg’s pertinent responses concerning the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea and his disavowal of any improper pressure or inducement to plead guilty. The plea hearing record was adequate to support Schouenborg’s plea. Thus, the circumstances surrounding Schouenborg’s plea demonstrate that his plea was knowingly and voluntarily made and do not require withdrawal of the plea to correct a manifest injustice.
Schouenborg also argues that given his learning disability, the trial court should have allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea because it would have been fair and just to do so. Although the supreme court has not expressed clear parameters defining a "fair and just" standard, it has said that the "fair and just" language of the rule does not include an "absolute right" to withdraw a guilty plea. See Kim v. State, 434 N.W.2d. 263, 266 (Minn. 1989). Moreover, the defendant has the burden to prove that his plea should be withdrawn under the "fair and just" standard, and the trial court has discretion to determine what facts and circumstances warrant withdrawal of a guilty plea under this standard. State v. Kaiser, 469 N.W.2d 316, 319-20 (Minn. 1991). The supreme court has cautioned that we must guard against a standard that "would undermine the integrity of the plea-taking process." Kim, 434 N.W.2d at 366 (citation omitted). Based on the district court’s thorough examination and review of Schouenborg’s overall mental abilities and his demonstrated mental capacity at his plea hearing, he has not met his burden of proving that his plea should be withdrawn under the "fair and just" standard. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea under this standard.
Finally, Schouenborg filed a separate pro se brief raising various claims. We have fully considered these claims and conclude that they are without merit.
Affirmed.[*] Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
[**] Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.