State v. Wahle, No. 18441

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; MILLER
Citation521 N.W.2d 134
Docket NumberNo. 18441
Decision Date26 May 1994
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Craig Joseph WAHLE, Defendant and Appellant. . Considered on Briefs

Page 134

521 N.W.2d 134
STATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee,
Craig Joseph WAHLE, Defendant and Appellant.
No. 18441.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs May 26, 1994.
Decided Sept. 7, 1994.

Mark Barnett, Atty. Gen., Ann C. Meyer, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre, for plaintiff and appellee.

Gary W. Conklin of Galland Legal Clinic, Sioux Falls, for defendant and appellant.


Craig J. Wahle (Wahle) pled guilty to one count of second degree rape and the allegations of a Part II Habitual Offender Information. He subsequently sought to withdraw his pleas. In this decision, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Wahle's motion to withdraw his pleas. Accordingly, we affirm.


State filed an indictment charging Wahle with two counts of second degree rape (SDCL 22-22-1(2)) and one count of first degree burglary (SDCL 22-32-1(3)). Along with the indictment, state filed a Part II Habitual Offender Information alleging that, in December, 1980, Wahle was previously convicted of felony, first degree rape. Wahle was arraigned on all of these charges and entered not guilty pleas.

A change of plea hearing was subsequently conducted on the first count of the indictment charging second degree rape. The trial court explained the rape charge and the maximum possible penalty for the offense. Wahle indicated he understood both. The trial court then explained the ramifications of the Habitual Offender Information and the maximum sentence enhancement if Wahle was convicted of both the principal offense and the habitual offender charge. Specifically, the trial court told Wahle that the maximum possible punishment he could receive was life in the state penitentiary without parole. Wahle stated that he understood.

After discussing the charges and the maximum penalties, the trial court went on to readvise Wahle of his constitutional rights and further advised that a guilty plea would waive those rights. Wahle stated that he understood his rights and the ramifications of a guilty plea. At that point, the following exchange occurred:

THE COURT: As to the charge set forth in Count One--that is, that on or about the 3rd day of February, 1993, in this County and State, you committed the offense of rape in the second degree; what is your plea?

[Wahle]: Guilty, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Plea bargain, Mr. Schroeder [i.e., Wahle's counsel]?

MR. SCHROEDER: Your Honor, in exchange for the guilty plea to this, as well as the Habitual Offender, the State will dismiss Counts Two and Three and the sentence will be less than life, with the discretion of the Court, something less than three hundred years--zero to three hundred years, the Court's discretion.

Page 136

THE COURT: Do you understand that plea bargain, Mr. Wahle?

[WAHLE]: Yes, I do.

THE COURT: Outside of that plea bargain, have any promises been made to you, to get you to enter a plea of guilty to this charge?

[WAHLE]: No, sir.

THE COURT: Anyone use any force, threats or coercion to get you to plea[d] guilty?

[WAHLE]: No, sir.

THE COURT: The Court finds the plea of the Defendant is a free and voluntary act.

After the above exchange, the trial court canvassed Wahle as to the factual basis for his plea and accepted the plea. Wahle then pled guilty to the habitual offender charge and the trial court found a factual basis for that plea and accepted it. Sentencing was deferred pending completion of a presentence investigation.

Wahle subsequently moved to withdraw his guilty pleas. Wahle and his counsel appeared before the trial court during a hearing on the motion and explained the basis for the motion as follows:

MR. SCHROEDER: Judge, this is basically an oral motion; I didn't file any paperwork on it. I informed both you and the State.

I had a discussion with Mr. Wahle at the jail and basically I think it's his position now that he would like to withdraw his guilty plea to the plea bargain with a cap of 300 years. And I think he's relying on the case of State vs. Lonus (sp); case where they promised him that there wouldn't be a life sentence and then he received 350 years and the Supreme Court said that that was tantamount to a life sentence in violation of the plea bargain. And I think that's kind of the position that he feels he's in is that even though the State agreed to drop it from a life sentence, when he looked at the tables for 300 years, he would go well beyond his life expectancy. And he may want to add some to that, but...

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9 cases
  • State v. Goodwin, 22574.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 2 Junio 2004
    ...plea is a matter solely within the discretion of the trial court and is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. State v. Wahle, 521 N.W.2d 134, 136-37 (S.D.1994). We have said that the trial court's discretion to allow withdrawal of a guilty plea prior to "sentencing should be exerc......
  • Lien v. Class, 19953
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 12 Febrero 1998
    ...his mistaken impression,' a defendant must be held to have entered his plea without full knowledge of the consequences and involuntarily. 521 N.W.2d 134 (S.D.1994) (quoting United States v. Crusco, 536 F.2d 21, 24-25 (3rd Cir.1976) (citations omitted) (emphasis original)). Lien's reliance u......
  • State v. Outka
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 26 Febrero 2014
    ...and is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard.” State v. Goodwin, 2004 S.D. 75, ¶ 4, 681 N.W.2d 847, 849 (citing State v. Wahle, 521 N.W.2d 134, 136–37 (S.D.1994)). [¶ 7.] While “the trial court's discretion to allow withdrawal of a guilty plea prior to ‘sentencing should be exercis......
  • State v. Bailey
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • 14 Marzo 1996
    ...plea is sought to be withdrawn and if the request to withdraw is obviously frivolous, the trial court need not grant it." State v. Wahle, 521 N.W.2d 134, 137 (S.D.1994) (quoting Grosh, 387 N.W.2d at ¶13 Bailey bears the burden of proving sufficient grounds to withdraw his guilty plea. See U......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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