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People v. Watkins

Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department

June 7, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,
v.
GREGORY WATKINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the Wayne County Court (Daniel G. Barrett, J.), rendered January 26, 2012. The judgment convicted defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of burglary in the first degree (two counts), assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree.

ROBERT A. DINIERI, CLYDE, FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

RICHARD M. HEALY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, LYONS (CHRISTOPHER BOKELMAN OF COUNSEL), FOR RESPONDENT.

PRESENT: SCUDDER, P.J., PERADOTTO, LINDLEY, VALENTINO, AND MARTOCHE, JJ.

It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously affirmed.

Memorandum: Defendant appeals from a judgment convicting him, upon his plea of guilty, of two counts of burglary in the first degree (Penal Law § 140.30 [2]), and one count each of assault in the second degree (§ 120.05 [1]) and assault in the third degree (§ 120.00 [1]). Contrary to defendant's contention, County Court did not abuse its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw the plea (see People v Wolf, 88 A.D.3d 1266, 1266-1267, lv denied 18 N.Y.3d 863; People v Tracy, 77 A.D.3d 1402, 1403, lv denied 16 N.Y.3d 746; see generally People v Dozier, 74 A.D.3d 1808, 1808, lv denied 15 N.Y.3d 804). "Permission to withdraw a guilty plea rests solely within the court's discretion..., and refusal to permit withdrawal does not constitute an abuse of that discretion unless there is some evidence of innocence, fraud, or mistake in inducing the plea" (People v Robertson, 255 A.D.2d 968, 968, lv denied 92 N.Y.2d 1053; see People v Zimmerman, 100 A.D.3d 1360, 1361, lv denied 20 N.Y.3d 1015). Defendant contended in support of his motion that he was induced to plead guilty based on the originally scheduled sentencing date, which allegedly afforded him time to post bail prior to sentencing, and that the court thereafter advanced the date of sentencing such that he was unable to post bail. Inasmuch as the date on which sentencing was to occur was not part of the plea agreement, we conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion to withdraw his plea on the grounds of duress, misrepresentation or fraud (see CPL 220.60 [3]; People v Todd, 276 A.D.2d 913, 914). We reject defendant's further contention that, when the court advanced the date for sentencing, it thereby imposed an enhanced sentence or added a condition to the plea agreement such that defendant should have been allowed to withdraw his plea (cf. People v Gordon, 53 A.D.3d 793, 794; People v Armstead, 52 A.D.3d 966, 967-968).

The record does not support defendant's further contention that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw the plea on the ground that the plea was not knowing, voluntary and intelligent in view of his having been on medication at the time of the plea. Defendant failed to submit his own affidavit or any medical evidence to substantiate that contention (see People v Ashley, 71 A.D.3d 1286, 1287, affd 16 N.Y.3d 725; Wolf, 88 A.D.3d at 1266-1267), and in any event it "is belied by the record of the plea proceeding" (People v Hayes, 39 A.D.3d 1173, 1175, lv denied 9 N.Y.3d 923), which establishes that defendant understood the nature of the proceedings (see Wolf, 88 A.D.3d at 1267). "Furthermore, to the extent that the contention of defendant that he received ineffective assistance of counsel survives his plea of guilty" (People v Ellis, 73 A.D.3d 1433, 1434, lv denied 15 N.Y.3d 851), we conclude that defendant's contention lacks merit (see People v Culver, 94 A.D.3d 1427, 1427-1428, lv denied 19 N.Y.3d 1025).


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