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United States v. Scott

April 28, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ROBERT SCOTT SR., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Kane

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court are Defendant Robert Scott, Sr.'s ("Scott") pro se motions: to withdraw his guilty plea (Doc. No. 1851) entered on September 28, 2007 (Doc. No. 1084), to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Doc. No. 1853), to set a hearing on the issue of prosecutorial misconduct along with alleged Brady and Due Process violations (Doc. No. 1859), and to reconsider the Court's order denying his motion to continue (Doc. No. 1868). The Court deems these motions ripe for disposition.*fn1 For the reasons that follow, the motions will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

In the interest of economy, the Court will incorporate the procedural and factual background already set out at length in other filings in this matter:

This action commenced against Scott over three years ago by way of superseding indictment filed on December 08, 2005. (Doc. No. 20.) Scott pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement on September 28, 2007, to two counts of the superseding indictment and also to a count of a second indictment at 1:CR-07-292. (Doc. No. 1080; 1083.) After the Court allowed significant briefing on the numerous objections to the presentence report, Scott filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea (Doc. No. 1508), which the Court rejected (Doc. No 1567). Subsequently, Scott moved to proceed pro se and dismiss his counsel. (Doc. No. 1566.) In a hearing on this motion on September 29, 2008, Scott represented to the Court that he would actually prefer to be appointed new counsel rather than proceed pro se; the Court granted this request and found Scott new counsel on that same day. (Doc. No. 1580.) Scott's sentencing was then scheduled to commence on December 29, 2008, which was continued until February 25, 2009, to allow Scott's new counsel more time to prepare. (Doc. No. 1723.) [O]nly a week [before] that hearing, Scott [again] informed the Court that he wished to proceed pro se and the Court set yet another hearing to address this request. After engaging in a colloquy with Scott about the perils of proceeding pro se, the Court again dismissed Scott's appointed attorney and continued his sentencing until the current date of April 29, 2009, to give him time to prepare. (Doc. No. 1835.) (Doc. No. 1849 at 1 n.1.)

II. WITHDRAWAL OF GUILTY PLEA

Scott requests yet again for the Court to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea, despite the Court's prior rejection of this request both orally and in a written memorandum and order filed on September 26, 2008. (See Doc. No. 1567.) Scott's motion raises many of the same contentions raised in his initial motion to withdraw his plea, adding some allegations that his counsel-then Mr. Martino-coerced him to take the guilty plea and refused to file a motion on his behalf to withdraw the plea. (Doc. No. 1851.) In support of these allegations, he has attached several letters sent to him by Mr. Martino.

After reviewing the present motion and the letters attached thereto, the Court finds no basis to revisit its earlier decision to deny Scott's request to withdraw his guilty plea. With regard to Mr. Martino's representation in advising Mr. Scott about the propriety of a guilty plea, the Court undertook an extensive colloquy with Scott on this very issue at the change of plea hearing held on September 28, 2007:

Q: Let me ask you again, do you feel that you've had a full opportunity to discuss the charges and the defenses with Mr. Martino and to discuss with him the best way to proceed?

A: Yes, ma'am.

Q: So you've discussed all your options, your trial options and your option of having a plea agreement with the Government in entering into a guilty plea?

A: Yes, ma'am.

Q: Do you feel that he's given you good counsel in these matters?

A: Yeah. Other than what I said, yeah, he gave me excellent counsel, other than what I said about the private investigator. Other than that, no, he did his best. You know, whenever I needed case law, I ...


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