Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, March 16, 2015

Edmond: Vacating conviction where plea agreement based on unindicted crime

In U.S. v. Edmond, No. 13-14381 (March 16, 2015), the Court, on plain error review, reversed a conviction obtained pursuant to a plea agreement. The indictment charged Edmond with access device fraud and with aggravated identity theft. Edmond entered into a plea agreement. The plea agreement, however, incorrectly described the Count as to which Edmond agreed to plead guilty (it referred to a conspiracy offense, when the indictment referenced a possession offense), and misstated the statutory maximum penalty. The error that Edmond pled guilty to a crime for which he was not indicted was not discovered until after oral argument on appeal. The Court held that there was “plain error.” The district court violated Edmond’s constitutional rights by accepting a guilty plea for a crime not charged in the indictment. Because Edmond was now serving a sentence for this erroneous conviction, the error clearly affected the outcome of the proceedings.