Morris v. North DakotaAnnotate this Case
Nicholas Morris appealed a district court order denying his application for post-conviction relief. In May 2015, Morris was involved in a physical altercation which resulted in Joey Gaarsland’s death. Morris was charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and one count of murder. On appeal, Morris argued the district court erred in denying his application for post-conviction relief because: (1) accomplice to commit murder was not a cognizable offense, and (2) he was deprived of his right to effective assistance of counsel. He also argued he should have been permitted to withdraw his guilty plea. The north Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order and held accomplice to commit murder was indeed a cognizable offense, Morris was not deprived of his right to effective assistance of counsel, and he has failed to show a manifest injustice warranting the withdrawal of his guilty plea.