The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, Chief Judge.
The defendant, Allen G. Rader, has today filed a petition to
withdraw pleas of guilty and enter pleas of not guilty. The
petition was verified before a Notary Public. Before summarizing
the petition, a statement of what occurred should be made.
On May 12, 1958, the defendants, Allen G. Rader, Johnny Arthur
Nelson, and Nancy I. Hendricks were arrested upon a
Commissioner's warrant, charging them in two counts with
violating 18 U.S.C. § 500. The defendant Rader and the others
with him waived preliminary examination and were held to await
the action of the Grand Jury.
Upon the arrest of Rader and the others they employed Honorable
J. Sam Wood, a reputable attorney of the bar of this court, and
who for 28 years was Circuit Judge of the 12th Circuit of the
State of Arkansas.
On June 16, 1958, the three defendants, accompanied by their
attorney, appeared before the court, and after being fully
advised of the nature of the charges they waived in open court
prosecution by indictment and consented that the proceedings
against them be made by information instead of indictment.
Accordingly the information was filed, and upon arraignment each
of the defendants, appearing in person and by their attorney,
entered pleas of guilty to Count 1 in the information, and Count
2 was passed for further consideration.
The attorney for the defendants and the defendants themselves
stated that there were many charges pending against them in other
Districts of the United States, and they were anxious to waive
indictment in the various districts so that an information could
be filed and the cases all transferred to the Western District of
Arkansas, Fort Smith Division, under Rule 20 for arraignment and
In Criminal Action No. 5481, the defendant Rader and his
attorney appeared in court on July 7, 1958, and waived the return
of an indictment in the Western District of Michigan, Southern
Division, and asked that the case be transferred to the Western
District of Arkansas. Accordingly, information was filed in
Michigan containing four counts, all charging a violation of
18 U.S.C. § 500, and the case was transferred to the Western
District of Arkansas under Fed.Rules Crim. Proc. Rule 20,
In Criminal Action No. 5482, the defendant Rader and his
attorney appeared on July 7, 1958, and waived the return of an
indictment in the District of Kansas, and moved to transfer the
case when the information had been filed to the Western District
of Arkansas. An information was filed containing two counts
charging violation by Rader of 18 U.S.C. § 500, and the case was
transferred under Rule 20.
In Criminal Action No. 5490, the defendant Rader on July 28,
1958, along with his attorney appeared before the court and
waived the return of an indictment in the Southern District of
Iowa, Eastern Division, and asked that upon the filing of an
information in that court, that the charges be transferred to the
Western District of Arkansas for arraignment and plea.
Accordingly, the case was transferred to the Western District of
Arkansas under Rule 20. The information in that case contained
two counts, each charging a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 500.
Following the transfer of Criminal Action No. 5481 from the
Western District of Michigan, Southern Division; Criminal Action
No. 5482 from the District of Kansas; Criminal Action No. 5486
from the Northern District of Oklahoma; and Criminal Action No.
5490 from the Southern District of Iowa, Eastern Division, the
defendant Rader on August 1, 1958, was again brought before the
court, and upon arraignment in the four cases that were
transferred and in the presence of his attorney entered pleas of
guilty to all counts in the informations filed in the transferred
Also, on that date the defendant Rader entered a plea of guilty
to Count 2 of the information in Criminal Action No. 5475, in
which the plea to Count 2 had been deferred on June 16, when he
had entered a plea of guilty to Count 1.
After hearing statements in mitigation of punishment by the
defendant Rader and his attorney, the court proceeded to sentence
the defendant Rader to five years upon Counts 1 and 2 in Criminal
Action No. 5475, and provided that the sentence on Count 2 should
run consecutively with the sentence on Count 1.
In the cases that had been transferred the court sentenced the
defendant Rader to five years on each count, but provided that
the sentence on each of the counts in the transferred cases
should run concurrently with the sentence in Criminal Action No.
5475. In other words, the defendant Rader received a total
sentence of ten years on the 16 counts to which, on the dates
above mentioned, he had entered pleas of guilty.
In his petition to withdraw the pleas of guilty the defendant
Rader alleges that he is desperately in love with Nancy I.
Hendricks, who is pregnant, and that he is the father of her
unborn child; that if he had told the whole truth about the
various money orders, other persons would have been involved and
that his life either in or out of prison would be in jeopardy;
that because of his great love for Nancy I. Hendricks and of his
fear for his life he took "certain medicine which rendered him
totally incompetent and caused him to pass out on numerous
occasions; that his cell mates, if given the opportunity, will
verify this fact under oath." The petitioner further alleges that
he has accepted Christianity, having been converted while in
jail, and that he now realizes ...