Utah Supreme Court deliberating on when a guilty plea can be withdrawn

Undated photo of Utah Supreme Court building . | Photo by John R. Perry, Pixabay, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY —The Utah Supreme Court is considering how long a criminal defendant has to withdraw their guilty plea in a case involving a high-profile Utah musical group.

A publicity photo of The 5 Browns. | | Photo courtesy of the 5 Browns website, St. George News

Fox13Now.com. reports members of The 5 Browns, a group of sibling pianists known for their beautiful renditions of classical music, went public a decade ago and disclosed repeated sexual abuse by their father and former manager, Keith Brown. He ultimately pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges and was sentenced to serve up to life in prison.

But now, Brown is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. It is something that one of his victims, Deondra Brown, is very much opposed to.

“We’re talking about 9 ½ years ago that my father originally accepted the plea bargain,” she said in an interview with FOX 13.

In recent arguments, Brown’s attorneys argued that he did not have effective legal counsel when he accepted the plea bargain. They argued that state law also cuts off any deadlines too soon. Typically, it allowed up until sentencing.

“It’s simply unreasonable, if not impossible, for defendants to make all challenges at this point in time,” Brown’s attorney, Annie Taliaferro, argued before the state’s top court.

But the justices appeared to struggle with where the line is drawn. They peppered Brown’s attorneys about the impact of allowing him to withdraw his guilty plea, as well as the impact on all other defendants in the criminal justice system.

Read the full story here:  Fox13Now.com.

Written by BEN WINSLOW, Fox13Now.com.

Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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