United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Lufkin Division
FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION ON GUILTY PLEA
BEFORE THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. GIBLIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
order of the District Court, this matter was referred to the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for administration
of a guilty plea and allocution under Rules 11 and 32 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Magistrate judges have
the statutory authority to conduct a felony guilty plea
proceeding as an “additional duty” pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(3). United States v.
Bolivar-Munoz, 313 F.3d 253, 255 (5th Cir.
2002), cert. denied, 123 S.Ct. 1642 (2003). On
February 27, 2019, this cause came before the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge for entry of a guilty plea by
the defendant, Melinda Kay Rutledge, on
Count One of the charging
Information filed in this cause.
One of the Information charges that from on or about January
1, 2017, the exact date being unknown to the Grand Jury, and
continuing until on or about October 9, 2018, in the Eastern
District of Texas and elsewhere, Melinda Kay Rutledge,
defendant did intentionally and knowingly conspire, combine,
confederate and agree together, with each other and with
other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to posses
with intent to distribute a controlled substance, to wit:
Schedule II controlled substance, namely 5 grams or more of
methamphetamine (actual), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1), all in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.
Melinda Kay Rutledge, entered a plea of guilty to Count One
of the Information into the record at the hearing.
conducting the proceeding in the form and manner prescribed
by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 the Court finds:
Defendant, after consultation with counsel of record, has
knowingly, freely and voluntarily consented to the
administration of the guilty plea in this cause by a United
States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Texas
subject to a final approval and imposition of sentence by the
Defendant and the Government have entered into a plea
agreement and a plea agreement addendum which were addressed
in open court and entered into the record.
Defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an
informed plea, that Defendant is aware of the nature of the
charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the plea
of guilty is a knowing, voluntary and freely made plea. Upon
addressing the Defendant personally in open court, the Court
determines that Defendant's plea is voluntary and did not
result from force, threats or promises. See Fed. R.
Crim. P. 11(b)(2).
Defendant's knowing, voluntary and freely made plea is
supported by an independent factual basis establishing each
of the essential elements of the offense and Defendant
realizes that her conduct falls within the definition of the
crimes charged under 21 U.S.C. § 846.
factual support for Defendant's guilty plea, the
Government presented a factual basis. See Factual Basis
and Stipulation. In support, the Government and
Defendant stipulated that if this case were to proceed to
trial the Government would prove beyond a reasonable doubt,
through the sworn testimony of witnesses, including expert
witnesses, as well as through admissible exhibits, each and
every essential element of the crime charged in Count One of
the Information. The Government would also prove that the
defendant is one and the same person charged in the
Information and that the events described in Information
occurred in the Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere. The
Court incorporates the proffer of evidence described in
detail in the factual basis and stipulation in support of the
Melinda Kay Rutledge, agreed with and stipulated to the
evidence presented in the factual basis. Counsel for
Defendant and the Government attested to Defendant's
competency and capability to enter an informed plea of
guilty. The Defendant agreed with the evidence presented by
the Government and personally testified that she was entering
her guilty plea knowingly, freely and voluntarily.
IS THEREFORE the recommendation of the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge that the District Court accept
the guilty plea of Defendant which the undersigned determines
to be supported by an independent factual basis establishing
each of the essential elements of the offense charged in
Count One of the charging
Information on file in this criminal
proceeding. The Court also recommends that the District Court
accept the plea agreement and plea agreement addendum
pursuant to the Local Rules for the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 11(c). ...