United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
M. LAWSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Reginald Adam Robertson pleaded guilty to carjacking,
robbery, assault, and firearms offenses. After he was
sentenced to prison and his state court appeals yielded no
relief, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254. Robertson argues that the trial court
erred by accepting his guilty pleas without making an
adequate inquiry into the breakdown in his relationship
between him and his court-appointed attorney. Because
Roberston has not shown that the state courts disposed of his
claims in violation of federal law, the Court will deny his
was charged with numerous felonies arising out of five
different carjackings that had taken place in Detroit,
Michigan. His attorney negotiated a plea agreement with the
prosecutor in which three of the cases would be dismissed and
Robertson would plead guilty in the remaining two cases to
two counts of carjacking, two counts of armed robbery, one
count of felonious assault, and two counts of possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony (felony firearm).
The parties also agreed that Robertson would be sentenced to
four concurrent sentences of 9 to 20 years for carjacking and
initially rejected the plea offer and expressed a desire to
go to trial. After a recess in the plea hearing, the parties
announced that Robertson decided to plead guilty. Robertson
was sworn in and informed the judge he had signed the plea
forms. However, when the judge asked him whether he was
satisfied with his attorney, he replied “No, not
really.” Hrg. Tr. at 17, ECF No. 10-8, PageID.310. When
the judge asked Robertson to explain, the following exchange
MR. ROBERTSON: I'm going to tell you the truth, like I
wrote you in the letter, I'm not going to lie, I took the
plea. But there's been a breakdown between me and Mr.
Parker since I met him as my lawyer. He just started working
on my case. There's no point for me to go to trial and
THE COURT: Well, we've had many pretrials in these
matters, and Mr. Parker was present when he argued the
motions in this case.
MR. ROBERTSON: I know.
THE COURT: And you know, he's one of the most experienced
attorneys in this county in criminal defense. So, you know,
you don't have to go forward with this, we have trials
MR. ROBERTSON: That's what I want to do?
THE COURT: You don't want to plead?
MR. ROBERTSON: I'll plead.
THE COURT: So you want to go forward?
MR. ROBERTSON: Yes, Ma'am.
Id. at 17-18, PageID.310-11.