(Super. Ct. No. CM031684)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mauro ,j.
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
Defendant George David Rankin pleaded no contest to possession for sale of methamphetamine and possession for sale of marijuana. He contends on appeal that the trial court erred by not holding a third Marsden*fn1 hearing when he sought to withdraw his plea. We conclude the trial court did not err in declining to hold a third Marsden hearing after previously investigating defendant's similar complaints about his attorney in two prior hearings. We will affirm the judgment.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Two police officers observed defendant shortly before 1:00 a.m. driving a pickup truck that appeared to have been in a recent traffic collision. According to one of the officers, the truck "was barely running, there was smoke coming from it, [and] there was [sic] shrubs hanging from the front of it." On closer examination, the officer also noticed "huge gashes in the hood," "transmission and radiator fluid leaking onto the ground," and other dents on the truck. Defendant told the officer he had not been in an accident and that "the damage to the vehicle was probably done before he borrowed it from the owner."
Another officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the cab of the truck, and a search of a backpack found on the passenger floorboard uncovered several baggies of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as "indicia of sales." Defendant denied that the backpack belonged to him. However, the registered owner of the truck, who was called to the scene, denied any knowledge of the backpack. The owner also stated he had loaned the vehicle to defendant about an hour earlier and there had been no damage to it at that time. Another witness said defendant had a backpack when he borrowed the truck.
Defendant was charged with possession for sale of methamphetamine and marijuana, with enhancements for two prior prison terms.
Prior to the preliminary examination, defendant's trial attorney filed a motion to suppress evidence. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the trial court denied the motion, ruling that defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the backpack and that, in any event, "the totality of the circumstances supports the reasonableness of the search."
At the next hearing, defendant made a motion to relieve his court-appointed attorney. During an in camera hearing, defendant complained that he did not feel his attorney was prepared for the preliminary hearing and that, as a result, the suppression motion was denied. In addition, defendant raised a number of other complaints: he had not received a copy of the discovery; audio and video tapes of the incident had not been viewed; they did not have a "private investigator"; and his attorney did not call "the other witness citizen" to testify at the preliminary hearing on the issue of consent to search the truck. Defendant informed the court that he wanted to file several motions, including a motion for a private investigator, a discovery motion, and a Pitchess*fn2 motion. After the defense attorney responded to each of defendant's complaints, defendant stated that his only disagreement was regarding the decision whether to file a Pitchess motion. The trial court denied defendant's request for new counsel.
At a subsequent hearing, defendant pleaded no contest to possession for sale of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11378) and possession for sale of marijuana (Health & Saf. Code, § 11359), and admitted having served a prior prison term. (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b).) Prior to entering his plea, defendant told the trial court that he had received some threatening letters while in jail but that this had not affected his decision to enter his plea.
Defendant's sentencing hearing was continued several times, in part to allow him to make a motion to withdraw his plea.
In the meantime, defendant requested another Marsden hearing. During the second Marsden hearing, defendant revisited his complaints about his attorney's alleged lack of preparation for the preliminary examination and his failure to file a Pitchess motion, and also objected to the fact that he had not been provided an opportunity to view the evidence until "recently." In addition, defendant complained that his attorney had not investigated his disabilities or his receipt of threatening letters while in jail. Defendant also objected to his attorney "openly discuss[ing] [his] case" in the presence of another inmate when they were last in court, stating that his attorney "went back and forth" to the point ...