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Robins v. United States

July 10, 1969

ROBERT JOE ROBINS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE



Swygert and Fairchild, Circuit Judges, and Morgan, District Judge.*fn1

Author: Swygert

SWYGERT, Circuit Judge.

The issue in this case is whether the defendant pleaded guilty voluntarily and with an understanding of the nature of the charge in light of the provisions of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The court below denied the defendant's petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. It is an appeal from that decision which is before us.

The facts underlying the defendant's conviction are that on August 10, 1960, the defendant was indicted in one count for kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201. The indictment charged that on or about August 1, 1960, the defendant did willfully, unlawfully and knowingly transport in interstate commerce from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicago, Illinois, and release unharmed a certain Steve Cagnar. It was further charged that Cagnar had been unlawfully seized, carried away and held in order to facilitate the defendant's flight from apprehension by local authorities in St. Louis.

The defendant appeared for arraignment on August 12, 1960, accompanied by his court-appointed counsel, John Gannon. On the same day, a codefendant, Victoria Murray, appeared in court on an information charging the same violation as that set forth in the indictment of the defendant, Robert Joe Robins. At the request of the Government and with the consent of all parties before the court, Victoria Murray was arraigned first on the information. The Murray information was summarized by the Government. This summary applied to the same charges set forth in the Robins' indictment. The codefendant Murray, pleaded guilty after being warned of the consequences of her plea and questioned by the court as to her understanding of the charge and the consequences of her plea of guilty.

Thereafter, the court proceeded with the arraignment of Robins. Counsel for Robins waived formal reading of the indictment. On inquiry by the court, the defendant identified himself and acknowledged that he was represented by counsel. The following colloquy occurred:

The Court: And you are here with counsel?

Defendant Robins: Yes.

The Court: And you have talked with him?

Defendant Robins: Yes.

The Court: And you have seen a copy of the indictment and you have read it and you know its contents and you know you are charged with kidnapping, the same as your co-defendant?

Defendant Robins: Yes.

Court: What is your ...


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