United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO WITHDRAW GUILTY PLEA AND PLEA AGREEMENT
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Cravelyn Squilla Davis's
(Davis) motion to withdraw his guilty plea and plea
agreement. Davis is represented by counsel. The Court
exercises its discretion not to hold an evidentiary hearing
on this motion. See United States v. Moore, 931 F.2d
245, 248 (4th Cir. 1991) (“Nor does a defendant
automatically get an evidentiary hearing as a matter of right
whenever he seeks to withdraw his guilty plea.). Having
carefully considered the Motion, the response, the record,
and the applicable law, it is the judgment of the Court
Davis's motion to withdraw his guilty plea and plea
agreement will be denied.
5, 2018, the government filed a two-count indictment against
Davis charging him with: 1) violations of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A) (collectively Drug
Charges); and 2) violations of 18 U.S.C. §§
1956(a)(1)(A)(i), 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), and 1956(a)(1)(B)(ii). On
March II, 2019, Davis entered into a plea agreement with the
government agreeing to plead guilty to the Drug Charges. On
March 13, 2019, the Court held a Rule 11 hearing with a
complete guilty plea colloquy (Rule 11 Colloquy). After
receiving the Pre-Sentence Report (PSR Report) in late June
2019, Davis filed his on August 22, 2019.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
is no absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea.”
United States v. Ubakanma, 215 F.3d 421, 424 (4th
Cir. 2000). To prevail, a defendant “has the burden of
showing a fair and just reason for withdrawal.”
Id.; see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(d)(2)(B)
(“A defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo
contendere . . . after the court accepts the plea, but before
it imposes sentence3 if . . . the defendant can show a fair
and just reason for requesting the withdrawal.”).
“Accordingly, a properly conducted Rule 11 guilty plea
colloquy leaves a defendant with a very limited basis upon
which to have his plea withdrawn.” United States v.
Bowman, 348 F.3d 408, 414 (4th Cir. 2003).
must weigh six factors in determining whether a defendant
meets his high burden:
(1) whether the defendant has offered credible evidence that
his pleas was not knowing or not voluntary, (2) whether the
defendant has credibly asserted his legal innocence, (3)
whether there has been a delay between the entering of the
plea and the filing of the motion, (4) whether defendant has
had close assistance of competent counsel, (5) whether
withdrawal will cause prejudice to the government, and (6)
whether it will inconvenience the court and waste judicial
United States v. Moore, 931 F.2d 245, 248 (4th Cir.
1991). Under Moore, not all factors are given
“equal weight, ” with the “first, second,
and fourth” factor being given more weight. United
States v. Sparks, 67 F.3d 1145, 1154 (4th Cir.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Court advised Davis of each of his rights during the Rule 11
Colloquy and Davis made a knowing and voluntary acceptance of
guilt, thus constituting “an admission of all material
facts alleged in the charge.” Bowman, 348 F.3d
at 414 (internal quotations omitted). Davis has failed to
meet the subsequent high burden of showing that a withdrawal
is merited in light of the colloquy. The Court will address
each of the Moore factors below.
Knowing and Voluntary
as the transcript of his Rule 11 Colloquy makes clear, agreed
he understood the plea agreement and had an opportunity to
review the agreement with his attorney. Plea Tr. 37-38.
Further, he acknowledged at the hearing he understood the
“nature of the charge . . . made against” him, as
described by the government. Plea Tr. at 32-34. Most
importantly, when asked if he committed the offense ...