Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 43

Summary of Decision March 21, 2012

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

Case Name: Chad Faron Mebane v. The State of Wyoming 

Docket Number: S-11-0196

Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County, Honorable Jere A. Ryckman, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant):  Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Appellant Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel; Wyoming Public Defender Program

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General

Date of Decision: March 21, 2012

Facts: The Appellant, Chad Faron Mebane, appealed from his convictions of possession of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor, and two counts of delivery of methamphetamine.  Mebane asserted that the trial court erred by failing to advise him before he testified that he had a right not to testify and, as a result, his choice to testify was not made intelligently. 

Issues: Mebane raised the following issue on appeal: Did the trial court’s failure to inform Mr. Mebane of his constitutional right to remain silent and not testify result in an uninformed waiver of that right and result in Mr. Mebane incriminating himself at trial?

The State rephrased the issue as: Did the district court commit plain error by failing to advise Mebane of his right to remain silent immediately before he testified on his own behalf at trial?

Holdings: The Court found that Mebane was adequately advised by the trial court at arraignment of his right to remain silent and held that he voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waived his right to remain silent. Having concluded that no error occurred in this case, the Court found no need to proceed with the remainder of the plain error analysis.  The judgment and sentence of the district court was affirmed.

District Judge Sanderson delivered the opinion for the court.

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