Thursday, October 10, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 125

Summary of Decision October 10, 2013

Justice Davis delivered the opinion for the court. Reversed and remanded for entry of an amended sentence.


Docket Number: S-12-0270


Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County the Honorable David B. Park, Judge

Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Alden.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Theodore R. Racines, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Christyne Martens, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Martens.

Date of Decision: October 10, 2013

Facts: Appellant Jerele Cothren returns to this Court to challenge an amended judgment and sentence issued by the District Court for the Seventh Judicial District following remand for resentencing.

Issues: Cothren raises four issues, which we restate as follows: 1. Did the district court abuse its discretion in refusing to allow Cothren to withdraw his guilty plea? 2. Did the district court err when it declined to retroactively reject the plea agreement it had accepted two years earlier, and to sentence Cothren anew while holding the State to its agreement to dismiss thirteen of fourteen charges? 3. Did the district court err by attempting to cure the illegality of Cothren’s sentence without adjusting its length on the basis of his efforts to reform himself while in prison? 4. Did the district court improperly grant Cothren credit for time served or otherwise impose an illegal sentence?

Holdings/Conclusion: We find no error in the district court’s rulings on Cothren’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea or relating to other aspects of resentencing. Unfortunately, we find that the amended sentence requires an interruption in service of the period of incarceration in this case, and that this sentence must be made to run concurrently with the first Natrona County sentence. We therefore reverse and remand for entry of an amended judgment and sentence which accomplishes that end. The district court should determine the amount of time spent in custody of the Department of Corrections to the date of resentencing and include that calculation in its judgment and sentence, but should not attempt to make any determination of good time earned or lost. We find that the sentence imposed on remand is still illegal for reasons discussed below, and reverse and remand for entry of an amended sentence.

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

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