Velazquez v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to computer solicitation of a child. Defendant subsequently submitted a pro se notice of appeal, arguing that he was forced to sign the plea deal out of fear and anxiety. The trial court subsequently sentenced Defendant in accordance with the plea agreement. Thereafter, Defendant’s counsel filed a notice of appeal and a motion to withdraw guilty plea. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction and, alternatively, that Defendant did not prove “manifest injustice” to withdraw his guilty plea. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the trial court no longer had jurisdiction after the appeal was filed to consider Defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The court declined to address whether Defendant had shown manifest injustice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the lower courts erred in ruling that the trial court had lost jurisdiction to consider Defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea; but (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the motion on the alternative basis that Defendant failed to prove manifest injustice.