State v. Henderson, 16277

CourtCourt of Appeals of Idaho
Citation113 Idaho 411,744 P.2d 795
Docket NumberNo. 16277,16277
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Tim McCoy HENDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date13 July 1987

William M. Appleton, Coeur d'Alene for defendant-appellant.

Jim Jones, Atty. Gen., Steven J. Schuster, Deputy Atty. Gen., for plaintiff-respondent.


Tim Henderson was charged with the crime of grand theft following his attempt to purchase $500,000 worth of silver from the Sunshine Mining Company (Sunshine) with forged cashier's checks. At his arraignment he pled not guilty. A subsequent plea bargain resulted in the state's dismissal of a related charge of attempted escape in exchange for Henderson's plea of guilty to grand theft. The plea was accepted, the trial setting vacated, and a presentence report ordered. Six days later, Henderson filed pro se motions for appointment of new counsel and for withdrawal of the guilty plea. The district court denied both motions. Henderson was later sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed seven years. He appeals, urging that the district court abused its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw the guilty plea. We reverse.

Henderson has the burden of showing an abuse of discretion. He begins with two related arguments. The first point of contention rests on Henderson's intent at the time he presented the cashier's checks to Sunshine. He argues that prior to acceptance of his guilty plea, the court failed to adequately inform him of the intent element requisite to the crime of theft. Next, because Henderson had inadequate knowledge of the intent requirement, he argues that he could not intelligently and voluntarily plead guilty to the crime.

Before accepting a guilty plea, the court must satisfy itself that the plea is offered voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. I.C.R. 11(c); Fowler v. State, 109 Idaho 1002, 712 P.2d 703 (Ct.App.1985). A voluntary plea cannot be made without disclosure to the accused of the intent element of a specific intent crime. Sparrow v. State, 102 Idaho 60, 625 P.2d 414 (1981); Fowler v. State, supra; State v. Vasquez, 107 Idaho 1052, 695 P.2d 437 (Ct.App.1985).

We must examine the record of the proceedings at which the guilty plea was taken and the record of prior proceedings to determine whether the accused was adequately informed of the specific intent element. Here, Henderson was arraigned on June 25, 1985. The prosecutor's information was read to Henderson; it charges that Henderson "wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, pursuant to a scheme to defraud, obtained property of the Sunshine Mining Company ... by falsely representing that certain checks ... were legitimate Cashier's Checks when in fact said Cashier's Checks were false and forged." Henderson was then asked if he understood "those words" to which he replied "Yes." He entered a plea of not guilty.

Four months later Henderson decided to change his plea. Noting that it had been "quite some time" since Henderson had been arraigned, the court reviewed some of the rights that would be waived by a guilty plea. Among other things, the court told Henderson: "You are admitting the truth of the matters set forth in the Information, including intent, and you would be admitting that you are guilty of the crime charged." The court advised Henderson of the maximum possible penalty and then asked: "Do you understand those things?" No answer to this question was received. Henderson asked to speak to his attorney for a minute. His attorney then replied: "I believe we are prepared to proceed." The court asked several other questions of Henderson, both before and after taking his plea of guilty. Appropriate answers were given and the judge found that the guilty plea was knowingly, willingly and voluntarily made. Thus, as far as the record shows, the only explanation given to Henderson about the elements of the crime came from reading the information and from the above statements by the court.

Henderson was charged with grand theft under I.C. § 18-2403. Grand theft is a specific intent crime. It may be committed in several ways but generally does not need to be pled in a particular way. See I.C. § 18-2409. The parts of I.C. § 18-2403 which might apply in this case and which show the requisite intent are:

(1) A person steals property and commits theft when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.

(2) Theft includes a wrongful taking, obtaining or withholding of another's property, with the intent prescribed in subsection (1) of this section, committed in any of the following ways:

(a) By deception obtains or exerts control over property of the owner;

(b) By conduct heretofore defined or known as larceny; common law larceny by trick; embezzlement; extortion; obtaining property, money or labor under false pretenses; or receiving stolen goods;


* * *

(d) By false promise:

1. A person obtains property by false promise when pursuant to a scheme to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation, express or implied, that he or a third person will in the future engage in particular conduct, and when he does not intend to engage in such conduct or, as the case may be, does not believe that the third person intends to engage in such conduct.

As we have shown, the information itself did not specifically mention an intent to deprive or an intent to defraud. It did not allege that Henderson knew or had reason to know that the cashier's checks were false and forged and would not be paid when presented. Nothing in the record shows that, when the guilty plea was entered, Henderson had been told that if the case went to trial the state would have to prove the specific intent and knowledge required for a conviction under this statute. What Henderson's trial counsel may have told Henderson about elements of proof or possible defenses is not shown. 1

Six days after pleading guilty Henderson prepared and filed two pro se motions. One asked for appointment of new counsel and the second asked for permission to withdraw the plea. A few days later the court conducted a hearing on both motions. Henderson explained that his attorney had visited him in jail:

[A]nd all he could talk about was me entering a plea of guilty to this. And I'd just gotten out of the hospital with a bleeding ulcer, and shortly after found out that I've got problems with gallbladder, and I'm going to have to have it removed. And I just wasn't thinking right, and I wound up coming in here pleading guilty to something that I'm not guilty of--intentionally not guilty of. Let's put it that way.

THE COURT: I don't understand that phrase.

MR. HENDERSON: Well, yes, I did come up with the checks to buy silver from Sunshine made out to Silver--

THE COURT: I'm not asking you to explain your conduct, but I didn't understand your phrase that you're intentionally not guilty of something. And I don't want you to incriminate yourself.

MR. HENDERSON: All right, okay.

THE COURT: If you can explain that phrase to me without explaining the details of the crime, I'd be interested.

MR. HENDERSON: I did not come up here intentionally to take anybody of anything.


MR. HENDERSON: Anyway, that's what brought this on, and the reason I was asking for a change of attorneys.


To continue reading

Request your trial
39 cases
  • State v. Hanslovan, 33127.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • June 25, 2008
    ...standard does not require that the defendant establish a constitutional defect in the guilty plea. Id.; State v. Henderson, 113 Idaho 411, 413, 744 P.2d 795, 797 (Ct.App.1987). Once the defendant has met this burden, the state may avoid withdrawal of the plea by demonstrating the existence ......
  • State v. Mayer, 29030.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • January 16, 2004
    ...kill. The two other cases upon which Mayer relies, Noel v. State, 113 Idaho 92, 741 P.2d 728 (Ct.App.1987), and State v. Henderson, 113 Idaho 411, 744 P.2d 795 (Ct.App.1987), are likewise distinguishable. In Noel, the defendant pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit murder after ha......
  • State v. Miller, 25134.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • June 16, 2000
    ...the state may avoid a withdrawal of the plea by demonstrating the existence of prejudice to the state. State v. Henderson, 113 Idaho 411, 414, 744 P.2d 795, 798 (Ct.App.1987). The defendant's failure to present and support a plausible reason to withdraw his or her guilty plea will dictate a......
  • State v. Williston, 42115.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • July 7, 2015 demonstrating the existence of prejudice to the state. State v. Dopp, 124 Idaho 481, 485, 861 P.2d 51, 55 (1993) ; State v. Henderson, 113 Idaho 411, 414, 744 P.2d 795, 798 (Ct.App.1987). However, the defendant's failure to present and support a plausible reason will dictate against gran......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT