CRIMINAL (PLEA BARGAIN): HENSLEY V. COM. (COA 3/2/2007)

HENSLEY V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  Plea bargains
2005-CA-001684
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING; VANMETER
DATE RENDERED: 3/2/2007

CA affirmed TC’s denial of Defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment based upon plea agreement. The Sheriff’s testimony constituted substantial evidence that the terms of the plea bargain obligated Hensley to return all of the stolen guns. As all of the guns were not returned, TC did not err by finding that Hensley was not entitled to enforcement of the plea bargain. Courts have recognized that accepted plea bargains are binding contracts between the government and defendants. E.g., Putty v. Commonwealth, 30 S.W.3d 156, 159 (Ky. 2000); Commonwealth v. Reyes, 764 S.W.2d 62, 64-65 (Ky. 1989). “[O]nce accepted by the accused, [the plea agreement] is binding on the Commonwealth subject to the approval of the court.” Putty, 30 S.W.3d at 159. A defendant who materially fails to perform the agreement, however, is not entitled to enforce performance by the Commonwealth. O’Neil v. Commonwealth, 114 S.W.3d 860, 863-64 (Ky.App. 2003).

Digested by Scott Byrd

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