District Judge Alvin Hellerstein
Davis, Nales and Alston were indicted on charges arising from eight gunpoint robberies of bodegas in the Bronx in 2011. Nales and Alston have been sentenced. Davis pleaded guilty, under agreement, to conspiring to commit two robberies and brandishing a gun in connection therewith. He faced a mandatory minimum seven-year sentence, and a Guidelines range of 125 to 135 months in prison. The court accepted Davis’ guilty plea as voluntary. On Oct. 10, 2012, Davis moved to withdraw his plea under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, claiming it was not voluntary but rather induced by the government’s threat to file a superseding indictment exposing him to a 182-year prison sentence. He did not claim innocence or allege counsel’s ineffectiveness. The court denied withdrawal. Davis neither provided a “fair and just reason” justifying withdrawal nor raised a “significant question” as to his plea’s voluntariness. Nales’s claim of Davis’ innocence as to a single robbery left Davis exposed to seven other robbery counts, plus conspiracy and weapons-brandishing charges. The threat of a long sentence is insufficient to transform Davis’ otherwise voluntary plea into an involuntary plea.