Olmsted County District Court File No. 55-CR-10-3516
Cathryn Middlebrook, Interim Chief Appellate Public Defender, Sara J. Euteneuer, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Mark A. Ostrem, Olmsted County Attorney, James P. Spencer, Assistant County Attorney, Rochester, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Larkin, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Chutich, Judge.
Appellant Shawn Canada challenges the district court's denial of his petition for postconviction relief, arguing that he should be allowed to withdraw his plea because of manifest injustice. Because Canada's guilty plea to third-degree criminal sexual conduct was accurate, voluntary, and intelligent, we affirm.
In January 2010, appellant Shawn Canada invited S.E.A. to his apartment and had sex with her. Canada knew that S.E.A. was mentally impaired.
Canada pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct under Minn. Stat. § 609.344, subd. 1(d) (2008). The parties agreed that if Canada were found to be amenable to probation, he would receive a downward departure. If he were not found to be amenable to probation, Canada could still argue for a downward departure, but the state could oppose the departure.
The presentence investigation reported that Canada's presumptive sentence was 62 months' imprisonment and stated that Canada "would not be amenable to supervision in the community." Canada argued at the sentencing hearing for a downward dispositional departure, which the state opposed. The district court, finding no substantial and compelling reasons to depart, imposed the presumptive sentence of 62 months' imprisonment and ten years of conditional release.
On November 19, 2012, Canada petitioned for postconviction relief, seeking withdrawal of his guilty plea on the grounds that it was involuntarily and unknowingly entered because of his "mental capacity issues." The district court found Canada's petition to be "completely without merit" and concluded that he was not entitled to relief. This appeal followed.
Canada asserts that his plea should be withdrawn because a manifest injustice occurred. "A defendant does not have an absolute right to withdraw a valid guilty plea." State v. Theis, 742 N.W.2d 643, 646 (Minn. 2007). Under subdivision 1 of Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 15.05, the district court must grant the defendant's request to withdraw his guilty plea at any time "upon a timely motion and proof to the ...