United States v. Roland, 8744.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Citation318 F.2d 406
Docket NumberNo. 8744.,8744.
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Ruth H. ROLAND, Appellant.
Decision Date03 June 1963

A. Andrew Giangreco, Alexandria, Va., for appellant.

Plato Cacheris, First Asst. U. S. Atty. (C. V. Spratley, Jr., U. S. Atty., on brief), for appellee.

Before SOBELOFF, Chief Judge, and HAYNSWORTH and BRYAN, Circuit Judges.

HAYNSWORTH, Circuit Judge.

Convicted upon a plea of guilty of making a false obligation in violation of Title 18 U.S.C.A. § 1005, Mrs. Roland was sentenced to a year in prison. Apparently surprised that she did not receive probation, Mrs. Roland promptly filed a motion to set aside the judgment of conviction and for leave to withdraw her plea of guilty. This motion was denied after a hearing, the denial of that motion being the subject of this appeal. We affirm.

The motion for leave to withdraw the plea of guilty was founded upon allegations that as a result of an automobile accident some six months earlier she had been under psychiatric care, and, in the opinion of counsel, was unable clearly and intelligently to understand the proceedings against her. It also alleged, as mitigating circumstances, that she embezzled the funds of the bank, by which she was employed, under threats from her husband who needed money to replace funds he had embezzled from a post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which he was the Treasurer. At the hearing, Mrs. Roland also suggested, for the first time, an FBI agent had expressed the opinion to her that she probably would be put on probation, and her counsel now contends that this advice to his client rendered ineffective his subsequent advice to and representation of her.

At the conclusion of the hearing before Judge Butzner, he found that Judge Lewis, the sentencing Judge, had considered all the matters advanced in support of the motion, and that permission to withdraw the plea was unwarranted.

At the hearing on the motion, Mrs. Roland testified that she began to embezzle funds from the bank upon the importunities of her husband, who feared exposure for embezzling funds which had come into his hands as the treasurer of a post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Her embezzlements from the bank continued, she said, under threats of physical harm by her husband. The husband committed suicide in 1960, and, thereafter, Mrs. Roland's embezzlements from the bank continued for the purpose, she testified, of paying debts of the husband, of which she was unaware prior to his death.

More than a year after the husband's death, Mrs. Roland was in an automobile accident. She was not immediately admitted to a hospital, for there were no apparent injuries, but that afternoon at her home she was found to be in a comatose state, as a result of which she was hospitalized for several days. Before she could return to her position at the bank, the falsity of entries by which her embezzlements had been concealed was discovered. She was interviewed by an agent of the FBI, to whom she admitted her defalcations. Mrs. Roland and her daughters testified that thereafter Mrs. Roland was upset and without the happy disposition she had possessed until sometime prior to the death of her husband.

At the time of sentencing, Mrs. Roland was employed as the manager of a ladies' beauty salon, having some seventeen employees under her supervision.

When Mrs. Roland first appeared before Judge Lewis, she sought to waive indictment and enter a plea of guilty. In answer to the Court's inquiry, she stated that she had no counsel and wished none, but the Court informed her, in view of the serious nature of the charges against her, she needed the advice and representation of competent counsel. The Court refused to accept the plea and appointed Mr. Giangreco, who had previously served for a number of years as an Assistant United States Attorney, to represent her.

Later, Mrs. Roland, with Mr. Giangreco, again appeared before the Court. This time, Mrs. Roland was duly arraigned in accordance with the requirements of Rule 11 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. In response to inquiry, she stated that no promises or threats had been made to her, and the Court, having fully satisfied itself that the plea of guilty was tendered understandingly and voluntarily, accepted the plea. The Court deferred sentencing, however, until the probation officer could make an investigation and prepare a presentence report for the Court's use.

Eight weeks later, the defendant, with her attorney, again appeared before the Court, at which time Mr. Giangreco made a plea for probation, Mrs. Roland had nothing to add to her attorney's statement, saying that everything had been fully covered. Thereupon, Judge Lewis sentenced the defendant to a year in prison, and the defendant then filed the motion to vacate the judgment and for permission to withdraw the plea of...

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27 cases
  • United States v. Washington, 14625.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • February 12, 1965
    ...reverse a refusal to allow the withdrawal only if it can say that manifest injustice would otherwise be done.3 Roland v. United States, 318 F.2d 406 (C.A.4, 1963); Gilinsky v. United States, 335 F.2d 914, 917 (C.A.9, 1964). The good faith, credibility and weight of a defendant's assertions ......
  • U.S. v. Roberts, 76-1668
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 21, 1977
    ...United States v. Semel, 347 F.2d 228 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 382 U.S. 840, 86 S.Ct. 90, 15 L.Ed.2d 82 (1965); United States v. Roland, 318 F.2d 406, 409 (4th Cir. 1963). 28 See, e. g., Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 224, 47 S.Ct. 582, 71 L.Ed. 1009 (1927); United States v. Bark......
  • Deese v. United States, Civ. A. No. 69-299.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • September 6, 1969
    ...that time and under those circumstances would have been "allowable as of course, or almost so". United States v. Roland (C.C.A. 4, 1963) 318 F.2d 406, 409. The petitioner did nothing to disclaim his plea; he professed no misunderstanding. His only concern had to do with his desire to be pla......
  • Schmidt v. State, 5828
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • September 2, 1983
    ...and even with " 'great liberality,' " United States v. Fina, 289 F.Supp. 288, 289 (E.D.Pa.1968), quoting from United States v. Roland, 318 F.2d 406, 409 (4th Cir.1963). These are the general principles that guide the trial court's discretion in such These general principles are further refi......
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