Marquez again loses offer to withdraw plea in San Bernardino terror attack – San Bernardino Sun
A federal appeals court on Monday, December 20 rejected Enrique Marquez Jr.’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea for supplying the weapons used in the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and lied about the document that he signed when buying the guns. .
The three-judge panel of the 9th United States Court of Appeals ruled that the plea agreement Marquez signed prohibited him from withdrawing the plea unless he claimed to have made the plea involuntarily. Marquez, in his appeal, did not say he pleaded against his will, the judges said.
Government prosecutors noted in opposition to Marquez’s claim that when he pleaded in 2017 to provide material support for terrorism and make false statements, U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal found that Marquez was doing it of his own free will.
Marquez filed his request to withdraw his plea in January 2019. During a two-day hearing a year later, Marquez’s attorney, John N. Aquilina, argued that Marquez suffered from depression and a sense of hopelessness that led him to plead guilty because he felt bad for the victims, not because he was guilty of the crimes.
But Bernal ruled that Marquez had failed to prove his mental illness and that he was actually finding ways to enjoy his life behind bars, including singing and writing letters to friends.
When Marquez purchased the guns in 2011 and 2012, he signed federal gun purchase documents on which he said he was acquiring them for himself. But Marquez was actually buying them for his friend and neighbor from Riverside, Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, residents of Redlands, on December 2, 2015, killed 14 people and injured 23 others in an attack on colleagues from the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Division of Farook at the Regional Center of inside.
The shooters died in a shootout with police hours after the siege. Prosecutors have not alleged that Marquez knew about the plot in advance.
After Farook’s death, the government attempted to seize the $ 275,000 life insurance money that was due to be paid to his mother, Rafia Sultana Shareef, also known as Rafia Farook. This court case has been put on hold until Marquez’s appeal can be resolved.