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State v. Woodring

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 1, 2019

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Andrew Martin Woodring, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1. Before sentence is pronounced, a defendant may withdraw a plea upon a showing of good cause.

         2. A district court should evaluate three factors when determining whether a defendant has shown good cause: whether (1) the defendant was represented by competent counsel, (2) the defendant was misled, coerced, mistreated, or unfairly taken advantage of, and (3) the plea was fairly and understandingly made.

         3. All three good-cause factors do not have to apply in a defendant's favor in every case, and the district court may duly consider other factors in its discretionary decision on the existence or nonexistence of good cause.

         4. When a defendant explicitly states in court that entering a plea is a voluntary act that was not the subject of coercion, the presence of pressure exerted by attorneys does not inherently constitute undue coercion.

         5. A mere change of mind does not justify disturbing a plea agreement without any evidence the plea was made unwillingly or without an understanding of the consequences.

          Appeal from Saline District Court; Rene S. Young, judge.

          Kristen B. Patty, of Wichita, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellant.

          Ellen Hurst Mitchell, county attorney, argued the cause, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, was with her on the brief for appellee.

          ROSEN, J.

         Andrew Woodring entered a plea of no contest to felony murder. He takes a direct appeal to this court from the order denying his motion to withdraw his plea.

         Woodring was a participant in a vehicular shooting that resulted in the death of a young woman. The State charged him with one count of premeditated first-degree murder, or, in the alternative, felony murder; one count of attempted first-degree premeditated murder; one count of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle; one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery; and one count of interference with law enforcement.

         Woodring, who was 17 years old at the time of the shooting, was charged as an adult. It was alleged he provided and drove the car used in the shooting and that he also contacted the shooter and suggested that he bring a gun with him on the drive. On April 18, 2016, he entered into an agreement to plead no contest to felony murder in exchange for the State's agreement to dismiss other charges.

         On June 6, 2016, Woodring filed a pro se motion to withdraw his plea. The court gave his counsel leave to withdraw and appointed new counsel to represent him at a subsequent hearing on his motion to withdraw his plea. After hearing testimony from Woodring, the court denied his motion to withdraw and sentenced him to a term of life imprisonment with a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years before ...


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