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UNITED STATES v. STAYTON

March 28, 1968

UNITED STATES of America
v.
John STAYTON and Rita Stayton



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BODY

 John Stayton and Rita Stayton, husband and wife, were indicted for conspiring to utter and pass counterfeit ten dollar ($10) bills at the Allegro Bar in Philadelphia in a three-count indictment.

 On July 7, 1967 John Stayton pleaded not guilty to the said three counts. Then later, on September 18, 1967, he entered a plea of guilty to Count #1 with the understanding that the United States Attorney would move to dismiss Count #3 at the time of sentence as he was not named in Count #2.

 Sentence was delayed pending the trial of Rita Stayton who had pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, the said John Stayton remained in confinement at the Detention Center on various local charges. Thereafter, on January 25, 1968 the case of the said Rita Stayton was called for trial and after hearing all of the Government's testimony, followed by a motion to dismiss which was refused, she changed her plea from not guilty to guilty.

 On February 16, 1968 a motion was filed by John Stayton to withdraw his guilty plea averring that "Defendant pleaded guilty for reasons other than an admission of his guilt: said reasons can best be expressed by defendant."

 On March 11, 1968 a hearing was held when the petitioner presented his reasons for filing his motion for a withdrawal of his plea. The reasons summed up are that he was of the opinion that if he was sentenced in this Federal Court, that a deal would be made whereby the outstanding and pending charges, viz:

 
(a) Armed robbery and other charges in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania;
 
(b) Bad check and false pretense charges in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania;
 
(c) Carrying a concealed deadly weapon in Greenwich, Connecticut;
 
(d) Stolen motor vehicle, Dyer Act, in Delaware;
 
(e) False pretense in state offense in Delaware;

 would be merged or forgotten if he received federal confinement. On these matters he had no promises from his attorney, the Public Defender, or the United States Attorney, but he believed that he would receive no confinement on the other offenses and that he preferred federal confinement as against state confinement.

 He presented no concrete evidence, oral or written, of any commitment or promise, nor did his attorney, the Public Defender, say or allege to the Court anything to the contrary.

 It is obvious to me that John Stayton waited until the trial of his spouse was terminated to file this petition through the Public Defender. He then had the benefit and knowledge of the testimony of all of the Government witnesses. This, of course, can only be assumed and is based entirely on the fact that he ...


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