Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 87

Summary of Decision issued July 29, 2008

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Daniel v. State

Citation: 2008 WY 87

Docket Number: S-07-0191

Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, the Honorable Peter G. Arnold, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Kerin, Appellate Counsel; Kirk Allan Morgan, Assistant Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee: Bruce A. Salzburg, Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jenny Lynn Craig, Assistant Attorney General.

Facts/Discussion: Daniel was convicted of misdemeanor battery. He was later charged with felony aggravated assault and battery arising from the same incident after the State discovered that the victim’s injuries were more severe than it had originally believed.
The double jeopardy clause prohibits prosecution of a defendant for a greater offense when he has been previously convicted of the lesser included offense. Although the State conceded that Daniel’s second conviction was a lesser included offense of aggravated assault and battery they argued it was permissible because of a long-recognized exception to the double jeopardy rule. An exception may exist because the additional facts necessary to sustain the charge have not occurred or have not been discovered despite the exercise of due diligence. The Court reviewed the record and noted there was no evidence that the police or the State had any knowledge that the victim’s condition had deteriorated significantly after the officers left the hospital.
The Court disagreed with Daniel’s claim that his misdemeanor prosecution for battery firmly established the fact that he caused bodily injury to the victim and that the doctrine of collateral estoppel prevented the State from charging him with aggravated assault and battery. There was nothing about his first conviction for simple battery that was inconsistent with his subsequent conviction for aggravated assault and battery.

Holding: Based on the district court’s finding that the State exercised due diligence, the Court also agreed with its legal conclusion that the felony prosecution was not barred by principles of double jeopardy. The finding of bodily injury in the first prosecution does not preclude a finding of serious bodily injury in the second prosecution. Collateral estoppel doctrine does not preclude Daniel’s subsequent prosecution for aggravated assault and battery.


J. Burke delivered the decision.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/5kyhon .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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