United States v. Davila, No. 10-15310 (11th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his conviction for conspiracy to defraud the United States by obtaining false tax refunds. On appeal, defendant argued that the magistrate judge's comments at the in camera hearing amounted to improper participation in his plea discussions, requiring that his conviction be vacated. The court agreed that the magistrate's comments amounted to judicial participation in plea discussions and the record reflected that defendant pled guilty after these comments were made. Under the court's binding precedent, defendant need not show any individualized prejudice. Accordingly, the court vacated defendant's conviction and remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a Revised version of this opinion on April 15, 2014.