Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. SICENAVAGE

August 1, 1980

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Leonard James SICENAVAGE



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III

On October 27, 1977, defendant pleaded guilty before Honorable E. Mac Troutman to indictment No. 77-401 charging bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (b), (c) & (d). After receiving a presentence report, the judge set December 12, 1977 for sentencing. At that time, defendant also pleaded guilty to an indictment transferred from the Eastern District of Virginia under F.R.Crim.P. 20 and designated in this court as No. 77-522, also charging bank robbery. 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (b), (c) & (d). Defendant was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment on each indictment, the sentences to run concurrently. He has now filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. I held a hearing on May 29, 1980. I will deny the motion.

I will treat defendant's contentions seriatim, and the following discussion will constitute my findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 1. Ineffective assistance of counsel and unlawfully induced and involuntary guilty plea

 Defendant alleges that before the plea, his counsel promised him that he would receive a maximum sentence of ten years. To corroborate this allegation, defendant testified that his lawyer told him that he knew the judge personally and indeed had been invited to the wedding of the judge's daughter. If a promise of ten years maximum was given, defendant would be entitled to have his conviction set aside and to plead anew. United States v. Marzgliano, 588 F.2d 395 (3d Cir. 1978).

 However, I remain unconvinced that any such promise was made. Defendant's attorney, Mark S. Refowich, Esq., categorically denied the promise of a ten year sentence, any social connection with the judge, any acquaintance with Judge Troutman's daughter or receipt of any invitation to her wedding; and denied that he made any representation to that effect. I credit the testimony of Refowich.

 I am fortified in my conclusion by the F.R.Crim.P. 11 guilty plea proceedings. Judge Troutman was informed that in return for a guilty plea to the Virginia indictment and indictment No. 77-401, the defendant would not be indicted on four other bank robberies in which he admittedly had been involved. Although the prosecution would recommend substantial jail sentences on those two indictments, the U.S. government did agree to recommend that any sentence on the Virginia indictment be concurrent with that on No. 77-401. Judge Troutman's colloquy with the defendant was a model of meticulous adherence to the rigid Rule 11 demands of the Third Circuit. United States v. Carter, 619 F.2d 293 (3d Cir. 1980); United States v. Hawthorne, 502 F.2d 1183 (1974).

 Thus:

 
THE COURT: Now, Mr. Sicenavage, as explained, do you understand the terms of the plea bargain?
 
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
 
(Tr. at 11.) *fn1"
 
THE COURT: No one has promised you any favor, reward, reduction in sentence, or other inducement for the entry of such plea, other than that which has been stated today in open court, is that correct?
 
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
 
(Tr. at 12-13).
 
THE COURT: And so that the record is clear, other than that stated today in open court there has been no promise, representation, agreement, or understanding made with you by any person other ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.