MN Court Throws Out Defendant's Second Attempt to Take Back Guilty Plea

Minnesota case law summary: Withdrawing guilty plea, ineffective assistance of counsel.

Tony Terrell Robinson v. State of Minnesota. MN criminal law.

In 2008, Tony Terrell Robinson was convicted in Ramsey County, Minnesota, of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. His conviction was based on an Alford plea. He was sentenced to 91 months.

In 2010, he filed a petition for postconviction relief and asked to withdraw his plea. He argued that his defense attorney had been ineffective, because he was misled about the length of time that sex-offender registration would be required. The trial court denied his request without a hearing, and he appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. In 2012, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.

In 2013, Robinson filed another petition with the trial court. This time, he argued that the conditional release period following his sentence increased it beyond the maximum allowed by statute. The trial court denied this petition, and he filed another appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

This time, he argued that his appointed attorney for the first appeal was ineffective for failing to raise the issue. But the Court of Appeals found that the issues had, indeed, been raised and rejected in the first appeal.

Since the Court found that the issue had been raised and decided on the first appeal, it once again affirmed the trial court's decision.

No. A13-0671 (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2014).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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