United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
WITHDRAW GUILTY PLEA 
G. Edmunds United States District Judge
Sylvester Boston Jr. ("Boston Jr.") made his first
appearance in this case on July 11, 2014. On July 10, 2017,
after three years of delay by the defendants, Boston Jr.
finally pled guilty to Count One of the Third Superseding
Indictment (one day before trial). Now, over four months
later, Boston Jr. requests that he be allowed to withdraw
from his guilty plea. Boston Jr. raises a host of claims
regarding one of his two attorneys: that the attorney was
ineffective; provided him with bad advice; and
“aggressively forced” him to plead guilty. (Dkt.
321.) Because Boston Jr. is wrong as a matter of both fact
and law and because he offers no “fair and just
reason” for withdrawal, his pro se motion is
to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(d)(2)(B), a
defendant may withdraw a guilty plea prior to sentencing if
he “can show a fair and just reason for requesting
withdrawal.” Id. A defendant has no right to
withdraw his guilty plea. United States v. Martin,
668 F.3d 787, 794 (6th Cir. 2012). The purpose of the rule is
“to allow a hastily entered plea made with unsure heart
and confused mind to be undone, not to allow a defendant to
make a tactical decision to enter a plea, wait several weeks,
and then obtain a withdrawal if he believes he made a bad
choice in pleading guilty.” United States
v. Alexander, 948 F.2d 1002, 1004 (6th Cir. 1991)
(quotation and citation omitted); United States v.
Bashara, 27 F.3d 1174, 1181 (6th Cir. 1994); United
States v. Dixon, 479 F.3d 431, 436 (6th Cir. 2007).
“Withdrawal of a plea is appropriate where there is a
real confusion or misunderstanding of the terms of the
agreement.” United States v. Ellis, 470 F.3d
275, 281 (6th Cir. 2006).
Sixth Circuit has set out seven non-exhaustive factors to
consider in deciding a motion to withdraw a guilty plea:
1) the amount of time that elapsed between the plea and the
motion to withdraw it;
2) the presence (or absence) of a valid reason for the
failure to move for withdrawal earlier in the proceedings;
3) whether the defendant has asserted or maintained his
4) the circumstances underlying the entry of the guilty plea;
5) the defendant's nature and background;
6) the degree to which the defendant has had prior experience
with the criminal justice system; and
7) potential prejudice to the government if the motion to
withdraw is granted.
Bashara, 27 F.3d at 1181; United States v.
Pluta, 144 F.3d 968, 973 (6th Cir. 1998).
to withdraw a guilty plea are (and should be) rarely
granted-that is the standard in the Sixth Circuit. United
States v. Blander, __ Fed. App'x __, 2017 WL
4964441, at *7 (6th Cir. Nov. 1, 2017). The Sixth Circuit has
cautioned: “[w]hen a defendant has entered a knowing
and voluntary plea of guilty at a hearing at which he
acknowledged committing the crime, the occasion for setting
aside a guilty plea should seldom arise.”
Ellis, 470 F.3d at 280 (emphasis added). “The
‘withdrawal of a guilty plea is inherently in
derogation of the ...