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Xavier R. GARCIA, Appellant-Defendant v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
Statement of the Case
 Xavier Garcia (“Garcia”) appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Garcia's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
 We affirm.
Whether the trial court abused its discretion by denying Garcia's motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
 In June 2021, the State charged Garcia with Level 6 felony strangulation, Class A misdemeanor domestic battery, and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief under cause number 01C01-2106-F6-95 (“Cause F6-95”). In December 2021, while Garcia was out on bond, the State charged Garcia with Level 5 felony obstruction of justice under cause number 01C01-2112-F5-35 (“Cause F5-35”).
 On February 17, 2022, Garcia signed a combined written plea agreement for Cause F6-95 and Cause F5-35. Specifically, Garcia agreed to plead guilty to Level 6 felony strangulation in Cause F6-95 and to obstruction of justice under Cause F5-35 in exchange for the State's dismissal of the remaining charges in those causes and the dismissal of all charges in two other causes.1 As part of Garcia's plea agreement, he and the State also agreed that he would receive a 540-day sentence for his Level 6 felony conviction and a four (4) year sentence for his Level 5 felony conviction. That same day, the trial court held a guilty plea hearing and took Garcia's guilty plea under advisement.2
 On the day of Garcia's sentencing hearing in March 2022, Garcia filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Garcia argued that he had been under “mental stress” when he had pled guilty and that he had “not [been] capable of making a decision that was of his own volition.” (App. Vol. 2 at 166).
 The trial court addressed Garcia's motion at the beginning of the sentencing hearing. During the hearing, Garcia questioned whether he had been “mentally stable enough to accept a plea with [him] facing all these other charges[.]” (Tr. Vol. 2 at 6). Garcia stated that he had an eighth-grade education and had previously had psychological evaluations during a prior incarceration. When cross-examined by the State, Garcia indicated that his prior psychological exam had occurred in 2005, and he stated that he did not have a copy of the report, did not know what conclusions had been made about his mental state, and had not received any follow-up treatment. Garcia also acknowledged that, when he had entered his plea agreement in the four causes, he was facing another pending cause and that “part of the discussions w[as] that it might be helpful to wrap these [four] cases up to allow [Garcia] and [his] attorney to focus on” the other pending case. (Tr. Vol. 2 at 8).
 Before the trial court denied Garcia's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, the court engaged in a detailed explanation of how it managed guilty plea hearings, including providing an advisement of rights, inquiring into a defendant's mental and emotional health, and ensuring that a defendant understood his constitutional rights and was entering a plea by his own free choice and volition. The trial court specifically noted it recalled that Garcia was “coherent” on the day of his plea and that if he had not been, then the trial court would not have allowed him to plead guilty. (Tr. Vol. 2 at 12). The trial court denied Garcia's motion to withdraw, accepted his guilty plea, and sentenced him, according to the plea agreement, to an aggregate term of five and one-half (51/212) years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
 Garcia now appeals.
 Garcia argues that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Indiana Code § 35-35-1-4 governs motions to withdraw guilty pleas. After a defendant pleads guilty, but before a sentence is imposed, a trial court “may allow” the defendant to withdraw his plea of guilty “for any fair and just reason” unless the State has been “substantially prejudiced by reliance on the defendant's plea.” I.C. § 35-35-1-4(b). The court “shall allow” a defendant to withdraw a guilty plea whenever the defendant proves that withdrawal of the plea is “necessary to correct a manifest injustice.” Id.
 “[A] trial court's ruling on a motion to withdraw a guilty plea arrives in this Court with a presumption in favor of the ruling[,]” and a defendant seeking to overturn such a ruling faces a “high hurdle[.]” Coomer v. State, 652 N.E.2d 60, 62 (Ind. 1995). We review the denial of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea for an abuse of discretion. Ind. Code § 35-35-1-4(b). “In determining whether a trial court has abused its discretion in denying a motion to withdraw a guilty plea, we examine the statements made by the defendant at his guilty plea hearing to decide whether his plea was offered ‘freely and knowingly.’ ” Brightman v. State, 758 N.E.2d 41, 44 (Ind. 2001) (quoting Coomer, 652 N.E.2d at 62).
 The State argues that Garcia has waived his challenge to the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea because he “fail[ed] to provide a transcript of his guilty plea hearing for review.” (State's Br. 6-7). We agree.
 An appellant “has the responsibility to present a sufficient record that supports his claim in order for this court to conduct an intelligent review of the issues.” Titone v. State, 882 N.E.2d 219, 221 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008). See also McGuire v. State, 617 N.E.2d 548, 550 (Ind. Ct. App. 1993) (“It is the appellant's burden to present the reviewing court with a record complete enough to sustain his argument.”). Indiana Appellate Rule 9(F)(5) provides that an appellant is required to include “[a] designation of all portions of the Transcript necessary to present fairly and decide the issues on appeal.” Additionally, “[i]f the appellant intends to urge on appeal that a finding of fact or conclusion thereon is unsupported by the evidence or is contrary to the evidence, the Notice of Appeal shall request a Transcript of all the evidence.” App. R. 9(F)(5). Appellate Rule 9(F)(5) further provides that in criminal appeals, such as we have here, “the Notice of Appeal must request the Transcript of the entire trial or evidentiary hearing, unless the party intends to limit the appeal to an issue requiring no Transcript.” “The Indiana Supreme Court has ‘held that without submitting a complete record of the issues for which an appellant claims error, the appellant waives the right to appellate review.’ ” Titone, 882 N.E.2d at 221 (quoting Miller v. State, 753 N.E.2d 1284, 1287 (Ind. 2001), reh'g denied).
 Here, Garcia challenges the trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he was under mental stress during the guilty plea hearing that rendered him unable to freely enter his guilty plea. Review of this issue requires our Court to examine the defendant's statements during his guilty plea hearing to decide whether his plea was freely and knowingly made. See Brightman, 758 N.E.2d at 44. Garcia, however, did not request that a copy of his guilty plea hearing be transcribed; thus, it is not part of the record on appeal. Because Garcia has not met his appellate burden of presenting this Court with a record sufficient to allow us to review his challenge, we conclude that he has waived appellate review of this issue. See Titone, 882 N.E.2d at 221 (dismissing the defendant's appeal after concluding that the defendant had waived appellate review of sufficiency issue by failing to provide a complete transcript that was necessary for review of the issue on appeal).
 Waiver notwithstanding, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Garcia's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. On appeal, Garcia does not argue that there was a manifest injustice that required the trial court to grant his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Instead, he contends that his asserted claim—that his mental stress and mental health history affected his ability to freely enter his guilty plea—constituted a fair and just reason for the trial court to grant his motion. Garcia, however, has failed to overcome the “high hurdle” of seeking to overcome the trial court's denial of his motion. See Coomer, 652 N.E.2d at 62. Before the trial court and on appeal, Garcia provided no support to show that any stress or mental history prevented him from freely and knowingly entering his guilty plea. Thus, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Garcia's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. See id. (explaining that “a trial court's ruling on a motion to withdraw a guilty plea arrives in this Court with a presumption in favor of the ruling”).
1. The two other causes consisted of a charge for Level 5 felony obstruction of justice in Cause 01C01-2201-F5-3 and charges of Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia in Cause 01C01-2105-CM-182.
2. The transcript of Garcia's guilty plea hearing is not part of the record on appeal because he did not request in his notice of appeal for a copy of his guilty plea hearing to be transcribed.
Robb, J., and Weissmann, J., concur.
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Docket No: Court of Appeals Case No. 22A-CR-691
Decided: August 31, 2022
Court: Court of Appeals of Indiana.
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