Hearing Over Ineffective Counsel In Theft Case Set For Thursday

Posted 2 years ago

By Fred Gough

A 28-year-old Hutchinson man already serving time in prison and awaiting sentencing in two other cases now wants to withdraw the pleas in those cases.

Matthew Sundgren who entered a plea to auto burglary in one case, and felony theft in another is seeking to withdraw the pleas claiming ineffective counsel. He made the initial request while Sarah Sweet-McKinnon was his attorney and she was then taken off his case.

His new attorney, Alice Osburn, had filed a generic motion on the request, but the state wanted a more detailed motion as to why. They told the judge that with more detail, they could decide if they wanted to call McKinnon to the stand to testify. Judge Joe McCarville agreed and gave Osburn until Friday to file the motion and she did. But, it only stated that Sundgren believes he either misled, coerced, mistreated, or unfairly taken advantage of and also questioned whether the plea was fairly and understandingly made by Sundgren.

The motion goes on to say he believes he’s innocent of the charges and claims he was coerced into entering the plea and misled on how it would effect his post release status.

The state was granted another hearing to bring McKinnon to the stand to testify as to how she got the defendant to enter the plea. That apparently will happen next Thursday.

In one of the cases, Sundgren entered a plea to felony theft with two or more priors for stealing from Dillard’s back on November 26, 2011.

In the second case, he entered a plea to misdemeanor theft for taking a 2004 Ford Explorer without permission. That was on November 25, 2011.

Sundgren is serving a prison sentence for unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine in a case from Riley County, going back to 2005.


  • Eric Henry

    Isn’t that the lady who wants to be the next DA? Dosen’t sound like she is qualified.