MR. KERNS: Judge, we have a plea agreement, we're good to go, if we're at that point.The district judge convicted Mr. Owens of aggravated robbery.
THE COURT: No. We're starting trial. It's 10:20.
MR. KERNS: Okay.
Acknowledging that a defendant does not have an absolute right to plead guilty, the COA agreed that the district judge (who shall remain nameless) abused his discretion by refusing to accept the plea without articulating "any reason, good or otherwise, for rejecting the defedant's request to plead nolo contendere." As a result, the conviction is reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on April 12, 2007]