US v. Leonaldo Harri
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 8:13-cr-00202-PWG-1. Copies to all parties and the district court. .. [16-4195]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff - Appellee,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Greenbelt. Paul W. Grimm, District Judge. (8:13cr-00202-PWG-1)
March 30, 2017
April 5, 2017
Before WILKINSON, TRAXLER, and SHEDD, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Mirriam Z. Seddiq, MIRRIAM Z. SEDDIQ, LLC, Upper Marlboro,
Maryland, for Appellant.
Rod J. Rosenstein, United States
Attorney, Nicolas A. Mitchell, Bryan E. Foreman, Assistant United
States Attorneys, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Leonaldo Harris was charged with conspiracy to distribute and
marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(b)(1)(A) (2012).
Harris pled guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement, but he
subsequently moved to withdraw his plea.
He argued that an
affidavit revealed new information about his case that called into
question the district court’s previous denial of his motions to
The district court denied his motion to withdraw his
We review the denial of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea
for abuse of discretion.
United States v. Nicholson, 676 F.3d
376, 383 (4th Cir. 2012) (defining abuse of discretion).
defendant has no absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea,” id. at
383-84 (internal quotation marks omitted); thus, the defendant has
the burden of showing a fair and just reason for withdrawal, see
United States v. Vonn, 535 U.S. 55, 72 (2012).
“[A] fair and just
reason . . . is one that essentially challenges . . . the fairness
of the [Fed. R. Crim. P.] 11 proceeding.”
Puckett, 61 F.3d 1092, 1099 (4th Cir. 1995).
United States v.
whether a defendant has met his burden, courts consider multiple
(1) whether the defendant has offered credible evidence
that his plea was not knowing or not voluntary;
(2) whether the defendant has credibly asserted his
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legal innocence; (3) whether there has been a delay
between the entering of the plea and the filing of the
motion to withdraw the plea; (4) whether the defendant
(5) whether withdrawal will cause prejudice to the
inconvenience the court and waste judicial resources.
Nicholson, 676 F.3d at 384 (citing United States v. Moore, 931
F.2d 245, 248 (4th Cir. 1991)).
“The most important consideration in resolving a motion to
withdraw a guilty plea is an evaluation of the Rule 11 colloquy at
quotation marks omitted).
Accordingly, where the district court
defendant must overcome “a strong presumption that [his guilty]
omitted); United States v. Lambey, 974 F.2d 1389, 1394 (4th Cir.
1992) (en banc) (same). Additionally, we have stated that although
all of the Moore factors should be considered, the first, second,
determination of whether to allow withdrawal of the plea.
States v. Sparks, 67 F.3d 1145, 1154 (4th Cir. 1995).
We have reviewed the record on appeal, and we conclude that
the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Harris’
motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
The record shows that the
district court held a hearing and properly weighed all of the Moore
factors before deciding to deny the motion.
The district court
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conducted a thorough and comprehensive Rule 11 hearing prior to
accepting Harris’ guilty plea.
The record further shows that
counsel vigorously pursued several pretrial motions on Harris’
behalf, and negotiated a favorable sentence for Harris.
agree with the district court that the affidavit Harris presented
with his motion did not credibly call into question the court’s
earlier rulings made on the motions to suppress.
Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s denial of the
motion to withdraw the plea and the district court’s judgment.
dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions
are adequately presented in the materials before this court and
argument would not aid the decisional process.
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