Thursday, February 09, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 18

Summary of Decision February 9, 2012

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

Case NameRoger Lee Snow v. The State of Wyoming

Citation:  2012 WY 18

Docket Number: S-11-0031

Appeal from the District Court of Sheridan County, the Honorable John G. Fenn, Judge.

Representing Appellant (Defendant): Gregory J. Blenkinsop, Senior Assistant Public Defender and Elisabeth M. W. Trefonas, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, WY.  Argument by Ms. Trefonas.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Stewart M. Young, Faculty Director, Prosecution Assistance Program; Joshua Beau Taylor, Student Director; and Bret Engstrom, Student Intern.  Argument by Mr. Engstrom.

Date of Decision: February 9, 2012

Facts: After being convicted of felony burglary and a related misdemeanor, appellant Roger Lee Snow (Snow) appeals his conviction, contending that the district court erred when it denied his request for a new attorney and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. 

Issues:  Snow presents the following two issues: 1) Whether the district court failed to properly inquire as to whether [Snow] wanted and had grounds to terminate appointed counsel and whether [Snow] was given an improper choice between having appointed or retained counsel; and 2)  Whether [Snow’s] trial counsel was ineffective, when he failed to present a lesser-included offense instruction to the jury, and when that lesser-included offense was supported by evidence and would have been accepted by the district court.

Holdings: After consideration of both issues on appeal, the Court concluded that Snow did not demonstrate that the district court failed to properly address his desire for substitute counsel, and accordingly did not abuse its discretion. Furthermore, by not requesting a lesser-included offense instruction, counsel was not ineffective.  Affirmed.

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the court.

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