Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 98

Summary of Decision August 14, 2013

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.
*Please see Holdings below.


Docket Number: S-12-0253


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

Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel; Wyoming Public Defender Program. Argument by Mr. Westling.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Theodore R. Racines, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson, Prosecution Assistance Program; and Emily Thomas, Student Director; Rives White, Student Intern. Argument by Messers. Racines and White.

Date of Decision: August 14, 2013

Facts: Ivan Sweets was convicted of one count of obtaining property by false pretenses and one count of wrongful disposing of that property. He was sentenced to terms of six to eight years on each count, to be served consecutively. On appeal, Sweets challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction for obtaining property by false pretenses, and he contends that the two criminal counts should have merged for purposes of sentencing.

Issues: Sweets states the issues on appeal as follows: I. Did the court err by denying [Sweets’] motion for judgment of acquittal for the reason that there was insufficient evidence to support a verdict on obtaining property by false pretenses? II. Did the court err in denying [Sweets’] motion to merge sentences in that both convictions arose from a single act and a single set of facts?

Holdings: Sweets’ conviction and sentence are affirmed. To the extent our past decisions have applied the facts or evidence test to evaluate sentencing merger, those decisions are overruled. The same elements test is now the controlling inquiry for evaluating questions of sentencing merger.

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

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