Friday, May 10, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 57

Summary of Decision May 10, 2013

Justice Davis delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-12-0085


Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County, the Honorable Nena James, Judge

Representing Appellant: Elisabeth M.W. Trefonas, Assistant Public Defender

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Theodore R. Racines, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jeffrey Pope, Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: May 10, 2013

Facts: Appellant John Chapman was initially charged with attempted first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder after he allegedly shot a man he believed to have assaulted his fiancée. He was later charged with aggravated assault with a request for habitual criminal enhancement to life in prison based on the same event.

Chapman pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second degree murder in an oral plea agreement which provided for dismissal of the conspiracy and aggravated assault charges. He was sentenced to a term of twenty-five to fifty years in accordance with the plea agreement. The district court ordered restitution but waived reimbursement of public defender fees.

Chapman later moved to withdraw his plea, claiming that his attorney conspired with the court, misled him about the term he would serve, and otherwise coerced him into pleading guilty. After an evidentiary hearing, the court denied the motion. Chapman timely appealed the decision denying the motion to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming that the court abused its discretion in denying it. He also claimed in this appeal that the district court abused its discretion in awarding restitution.

Issues: 1. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it denied Chapman’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea?

2. Did the district court have authority to award restitution and waive reimbursement of public defender fees?

Holdings: The district court acted reasonably and within its discretion in denying Chapman’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Chapman did not timely appeal the restitution provisions of his judgment and sentence, and he thereby waived his right to challenge anything other than the district court’s authority to make the award. The court had authority to award restitution and waive public defender fees as it did under W.R.Cr.P. 32.1. Affirmed.

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

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