State v. Arguelles

In State v. Arguelles, 2003 UT 1, 63 P.3d 731, the Court reviewed Arguelles's plea colloquies for evidence to determine whether he was competent when he pled guilty. The Court noted that Arguelles was coherent during each hearing, that he responded to questions appropriately, that he repeatedly affirmed his choice to plead guilty, and that he participated fully in the hearings and indicated that he understood them. The Court also noted that the trial judge and the magistrate had ample opportunity to observe Arguelles's demeanor, which did not indicate mental defects, and that neither standby counsel (because Arguelles had refused counsel) nor the State had expressed any concern over his behavior. In light of this evidence, the Court held that there was no "substantial question of possible doubt" as to Arguelles's competence when he pled guilty.