Friday, April 28, 2017

KYSC - Zapata - Withdrawal of Guilty Plea

Steven Zapata v. Com., Kentucky Supreme Court, 
To-be-published (4/27/2017): 

Steven Zapata was charged with murder.  He pled guilty under North Carolina v. Alford and accepted a 24-year sentence. He then moved to withdraw his plea. Appointed hybrid co-counsel expressed discomfort and stood by unable to assist Mr. Zapata at the hearing on his motion to withdraw his plea. The trial court refused to allow him to withdraw his plea. On appeal, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that the trial court erred by resolving an involuntary plea issue without an evidentiary hearing and without appointing conflict-free counsel.  

Susan Balliet represented Mr. Zapata on appeal.