to a negotiated plea agreement, appellant Kiera Shanice
Graham pled guilty to felony murder, armed robbery, and arson
in the first degree. Less than a month after she was
sentenced for her crimes, appellant filed a motion to
withdraw her guilty plea, asserting that it was coerced by
her attorney. The trial court denied the motion, and this
appeal followed. Having determined that the appellant's
plea was voluntary, we affirm.
defendant attacks the validity of a guilty plea on direct
the State has the burden of showing that the plea was made
intelligently and voluntarily. Cazanas v. State, 270
Ga. 130, 131 (508 S.E.2d 412) (1998). The State may meet its
burden by showing on the record of the guilty plea hearing
that the defendant understood the rights being waived and
possible consequences of the plea or by pointing to extrinsic
evidence affirmatively showing that the plea was voluntary
and knowing. Loyd v. State, 288 Ga. 481 (2) (b) (705
S.E.2d 616) (2011). A defendant may withdraw a guilty plea
for any reason prior to sentencing, but can withdraw the plea
after sentencing only to correct a manifest injustice.
Maddox v. State, 278 Ga. 823 (4) (607 S.E.2d 587)
(2005); Uniform Superior Court Rule 33.12. Although
we have declined to define "manifest injustice, "
which will vary depending on the case, we have noted that
"withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice
if, for instance, a defendant is denied effective assistance
of counsel, or the guilty plea was entered involuntarily or
without an understanding of the nature of the charges."
State v. Evans, 265 Ga. 332, 336 (3) (454 S.E.2d
Bell v. State, 294 Ga. 5, 6 (749 S.E.2d 672) (2013).
plea hearing, the trial court advised appellant that she had
a right to a jury trial, a right to be represented and
assisted by her attorney if she went to trial, a right to
remain silent and to confront the witnesses against her, a
right to subpoena witnesses and have them testify on her
behalf, and a right against self-incrimination. The trial
court also advised appellant that if she chose a jury trial
she would be presumed innocent unless and until the State
proved her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; that she could
choose a jury trial simply by entering a plea of not guilty;
and that by entering a guilty plea, she would be forfeiting
her rights. Appellant said that she was not under the
influence of alcohol or drugs; that she understood her rights
and wanted to plead guilty; that no threats were made against
her to enter a guilty plea; that her plea was made freely and
voluntarily; and that she was represented well by her
attorney and had no complaints about his assistance. In
addition, appellant signed a form in which she acknowledged
that her attorney advised her of her rights, and that she was
giving up her rights voluntarily by pleading guilty.
hearing on the motion to withdraw her guilty plea, appellant
claimed that her plea was not made voluntarily; that prior to
the plea hearing, she decided she wanted to go to trial; but
that she ended up pleading guilty only because she was
coerced to do so by her attorney, who said she would be
facing the death penalty if she did not accept the
State's plea offer. Appellant's attorney testified, and
denied telling appellant she could receive the death penalty.
In this regard, the attorney pointed out that the State never
even sought the death penalty in her case, and that, if it
did, he would not have been able to represent appellant
because he was not qualified to handle death penalty cases.
See Unified Appeal Procedure, Rule II (A).
the trial court was authorized to weigh the credibility of
appellant and her attorney at the hearing on the motion to
withdraw the guilty plea, see McGuyton v. State, 298
Ga. 351, 354-355 (1) (782 S.E.2d 21) (2016), and to conclude
that appellant was not credible, see Pike v. State,
245 Ga.App. 518, 522 (1) (538 S.E.2d 172) (2000), we find no
manifest abuse of discretion in the denial of appellant's
motion to withdraw her guilty plea. See McGuyton,
298 Ga. at 353 ("A decision on a motion to withdraw a
guilty plea is a matter for the sound discretion of the trial
court and will not be disturbed absent manifest
affirmed. All the Justices concur.
 The crimes occurred on July 17, 2012.
Appellant was indicted in Thomas County on February 7, 2013,
and charged with malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery,
aggravated assault, hijacking a motor vehicle, two counts of
arson in the first degree, and cruelty to children in the
first degree. Appellant was sentenced on September 12, 2013,
to life in prison for felony murder and a concurrent term of
twenty years on one of the first degree arson counts. The
armed robbery count was merged with the felony murder count.
The malice murder, hijacking, cruelty to children and other
first degree arson charges were nol prossed. Appellant's
motion to withdraw her guilty plea was filed on October 4,
2013, and denied on February 18, 2016. Appellant filed a
notice of appeal on March 16, 2016. The appeal was docketed
for the September 2016 term in this Court and submitted for
decision on the briefs.
 On cross-examination, appellant
acknowledged, however, that she was "fully informed by
the [trial] court, [and] fully aware[, ] of the sentence