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United States v. McKnight

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa

March 27, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
AUSTIN KHAI ALEXANDER MCKNIGHT, Defendant.

          ORDER

          C. J. Williams United States District Judge

         On March 27, 2019, the above-named defendant appeared before the Court and, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, pleaded guilty to Counts One and Two of the Indictment. After cautioning and examining defendant under oath concerning each of the subjects mentioned in Rule 11, the Court determined that defendant's decision to plead guilty was knowledgeable and voluntary, and each offense charged was supported by an independent basis in fact containing each of the essential elements of the offense. The Court therefore ACCEPTS defendant's guilty pleas and defendant is adjudged GUILTY of the offenses to which defendant pled guilty.

         At the commencement of the Rule 11 proceeding, the Court placed defendant under oath and explained that if defendant answered any question falsely, the government could prosecute defendant for perjury or for making a false statement. The Court also advised defendant that in any such prosecution, the government could use against defendant any statements made under oath.

         Once defendant was placed under oath, the Court asked defendant a number of questions to ensure defendant had the requisite mental capacity to enter a plea. The Court elicited defendant's full name, age, and extent of education. The Court also inquired into defendant's history of mental illness and use of illegal and/or prescription drugs and alcohol. From this inquiry, the Court determined defendant was not suffering from any mental disability that would impair defendant's ability to make a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary guilty plea.

         Defendant acknowledged receipt of a copy of the Indictment and further acknowledged that defendant had fully discussed the Indictment with defendant's counsel. Defendant acknowledged that defendant had fully conferred with defendant's counsel prior to deciding to plead guilty and that defendant was satisfied with counsel's services.

         The Court advised defendant of all of the rights defendant would be giving up if defendant decided to plead guilty, including:

1. The right to assistance of counsel at every stage of the case;
2. The right to a speedy, public trial;
3. The right to have the case tried by a jury selected from a cross-section of the community;
4. That defendant would be presumed innocent, and would be found not guilty, unless the government could prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt;
5. That defendant would have the right to see and hear all of the government's witnesses, and defendant's attorney would have the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses called by the government;
6. That defendant would have the right to subpoena witnesses to testify at the trial and that if defendant could not afford to pay the costs of bringing these witnesses to court, then the government would pay those costs;
7. That defendant would have the privilege against self-incrimination; i.e., defendant could choose to testify at trial, but need not do so; if defendant chose not to testify, then the Court would instruct the jury that the jury could not draw any ...

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