Thursday, October 09, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 121

Summary of Decision issued October 9, 2008

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

Case Name: Reece v. State

Citation: 2008 WY 121

Docket Number: S-07-0296

Appeal from the District Court of Niobrara County, the Honorable John C. Brooks, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Kerin, Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee: Bruce A. Salzburg, Wyoming Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Graham M. Smith, Assistant Attorney General.

Facts/Discussion: Appellant Reece challenged his probation revocation, stating that the terms of his probation failed to specify the required and the prohibited conduct and that the district court did not make adequate findings to justify the revocation.

Due Process: Revocation of probation is largely governed by W.R.Cr.P. 39 under which the State is required to establish the violation of the conditions of probation alleged in the petition by a preponderance of the evidence. The Court discussed their recent decision in Edrington noting that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked Edrington’s probation pursuant to Rule 39 and reinstated his full sentence. The main message from Edrington is that violating a main condition of one’s probation is enough for revocation. Conditions of probation can be written and must be read in a commonsense way. Reece was fully aware that his successful completion of the WYSTAR program was a valid and essential requirement of his continued probation.
Findings of Fact:
The Court found clear support in the record that the revocation was based upon Reece’s failure to complete the WYSTAR program which was an explicit condition of his probation. The district court considered Reece’s admission that he did not complete the program and the Petition for Revocation of Probation. The Court concluded it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to revoke Reece’s probation.

Holding: After finding that Reece willfully violated the rules of his probation by failing to complete his inpatient treatment program, it was not a violation of his due process rights, not was it an abuse of discretion for the district court to conclude that his probation should be revoked. The factual basis for revocation was more than sufficient.


J. Hill delivered the decision.


[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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