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State v. Stewart

Supreme Court of Vermont

December 13, 2019

State of Vermont
v.
Andrew Stewart Jr.

          On Appeal from Superior Court, Lamoille Unit, Criminal Division

          Thomas Carlson, J. (motion to withdraw plea); Megan J. Shafritz, J. (sentencing)

          David Tartter, Deputy State's Attorney, Montpelier, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Allison N. Fulcher of Martin & Delaney Law Group, Barre, for Defendant-Appellant.

          PRESENT: Reiber, C.J., Robinson and Eaton, JJ., and Skoglund, J. (Ret.) and Howard, Supr. J. (Ret.), Specially Assigned

          REIBER, C.J.

         ¶ 1. Defendant appeals the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to withdraw a guilty plea. We reverse and remand.

         ¶ 2. Defendant pleaded guilty to assault and robbery with a deadly weapon based on allegations that during the evening of February 11, 2017, defendant held a gun to the complainant's head in the parking lot of a restaurant, demanded her money, and took her bag, wallet, and phone. The State also alleged that defendant subsequently used the complainant's credit card to make purchases. At the plea colloquy, the prosecutor stated the factual basis for the allegations, and the court questioned defendant as follows:

THE COURT: [D]oes that sound like what happened?
DEFENDANT: Honestly, sir, I was drinking a lot. And I remember bits and pieces of the night. But I'm not denying what I did; I'm not saying I didn't do it. . . . I'm not blaming alcohol for it, either.
THE COURT: So did you hold a gun to the [complainant's] head in that encounter?
DEFENDANT: No, sir. I don't remember holding a gun to nobody's head.
THE COURT: Do you remember threatening a woman in any way in the parking lot of that [restaurant] and demanding that she ...

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