Archive | Motion to withdraw guilty plea

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State v. Warner

State v. Warner, 2015 MT 230 (Aug. 11, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court should have granted Warner’s motion to withdraw his nolo contendere plea, having allowed the state to deviate from its sentencing recommendation after Warner breached the plea agreement by being arrested for a subsequent offense.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: After being warned to update his address in the sex offender registry, and failing to do so for nine days, Warner was arrested and charged for failure to give notice of a change of home residence as a registered sex offender, a felony.

Warner signed a written plea agreement stating that the parties would make sentencing recommendations but that they would not bind the court.…

State v. Schowengerdt

State v. Schowengerdt, 2015 MT 133 (May 19, 2015) (Rice, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court adequately inquired into Schowengerdt’s complaint of ineffective assistance of counsel, and (2) whether Schowengert received ineffective assistance of counsel.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) the Court does not reach this issue as it remands for inquiry into Schowengerdt’s complaints.


Facts: Schowengerdt was charged with one count of deliberate homicide for the stabbing death of his wife. The morning after the murder, Schowengerdt provided a full confession.

Schowengerdt was assigned counsel from OPD, Steven Scott. Scott filed a notice that Schowengerdt intended to plead not guilty and assert the affirmative defense of justifiable use of force. However, a few months later, Schowengerdt agreed to plead guilty to deliberate homicide without the benefit of a plea agreement.…