After pleading guilty to avoid trial, a Lawton man is asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to withdraw his plea.
Leandre Johnson, 21, of Lawton, pleaded guilty on May 26 to felony counts of felony discharging a firearm into a dwelling and possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, records indicate. His trial was to have started June 4.
The plea was made with the intent of accepting the State’s recommendation of 13 years to serve with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, according to the motion to withdraw the guilty plea. Following the agreement, Johnson’s counsel, Clayborn Shepperson from Oklahoma Indigent Defense Systems, learned the plea would have to be blind due to passing the plea cut-off date.
District Attorney Kyle Cabelka told Shepperson that District Judge Jay Walker would likely still sentence Johnson to the recommended sentence, according to the filing.
Instead, Johnson received a 20-year prison term with 10 years to serve and 10 suspended along with a $10,000 fine for the discharge of a weapon count and a 10-year term with five years to serve and five years suspended and another $5,000 fine for the weapons charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
Shepperson stated the court didn’t follow the requirements for ascertaining whether the plea was through an agreement. Instead, the court acknowledged the paperwork but ruled the plea came after the cut-off, the filing states. It’s argued the plea was entered approximately 10 days prior to trial, “a regular benchmark” where trial issues are expected to be resolved.
In the filing’s conclusion, Shepperson argued the court didn’t follow required procedures and requested Johnson be allowed to withdraw his plea on May 31.
The case has been sent to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a determination.