Louis County District Court File No. 69DU-CR-13-4396
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Sean
Michael McGuire, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul,
Minnesota (for appellant)
Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Mark S.
Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney, Jonathan D. Holets,
Assistant County Attorney, Duluth, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Schellhas, Presiding Judge; Larkin,
Judge; and Slieter, Judge.
defendant enters a guilty plea in consideration of the
state's threat of a sentence unauthorized by law, the
plea is coerced and therefore involuntary and invalid.
challenges the postconviction court's summary denial of
his petition to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that his
plea was involuntary because the state coerced his plea by
threatening a sentence unauthorized by law. We reverse and
State of Minnesota charged appellant Malcolm Johnson with
second-degree controlled-substance crime after law
enforcement stopped Johnson in his vehicle and found 6.2
grams of heroin in October 2013. The state notified Johnson
in October 2013 of its intent to seek an aggravated sentence
for Johnson as a career offender under Minn. Stat. §
609.1095, subd. 4 (2012). In October 2016, after multiple
pretrial hearings, the state notified Johnson of its intent
to seek an aggravated sentence for Johnson as a dangerous
offender under Minn. Stat. § 609.1095, subds. 2, 3
(2012). Johnson subsequently entered a guilty plea to
second-degree controlled-substance crime under a plea
agreement that provided for a 100-month sentence. The court
sentenced Johnson in accordance with the plea agreement.
filed a timely postconviction petition seeking to withdraw
his guilty plea on the grounds that his plea was involuntary
because the state threatened him with a sentence unauthorized
by law and his counsel provided ineffective assistance. The
postconviction court summarily denied Johnson's petition
without an evidentiary hearing.
Johnson's guilty plea involuntary and therefore invalid
because the state coerced the plea by threatening to ...