Summary of Decision December 19, 2013
Justice Voigt delivered the opinion of the Court. Affirmed.
Case Name: LASHAWN SIDNEY KING v. THE STATE OF WYOMING
Docket Number: S-12-0187
Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County the Honorable Catherine E. Wilking, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Elisabeth M.W. Trefonas, Assistant Public Defender; Patricia L. Bennett, Assistant Public Defender. Argument by Ms. Bennett.
Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey S. Pope Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Pope.
Date of Decision: December 19, 2013
Facts: The appellant, LaShawn Sidney King, was convicted of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated assault and battery after he attacked the victim and hit her several times in the face and body with a sledgehammer. In this appeal, the appellant argues his convictions should be reversed because the district court improperly admitted evidence of the appellant’s previous violent behavior against the victim, a transcript was provided to the jury of a telephone conversation between the appellant and the victim, and trial counsel was ineffective for waiving the appellant’s right to a speedy trial. (In his brief, the appellant also argued that his two convictions of aggravated assault and battery should have merged for the purposes of sentencing. However, at oral argument, the appellant conceded that the issue was moot after this Court’s decision in Sweets v. State, 2013 WY 98, 307 P.3d 860 (Wyo. 2013).)
Issues: 1) Did the district court abuse its discretion when it determined that testimony regarding previous violence in the appellant’s relationship with the victim was admissible under W.R.E. 404(b)? 2) Did the district court abuse its discretion when it allowed the jury to review a transcript of a telephone recording between the appellant and the victim while the recording was being played at trial? 3) Was trial counsel ineffective because he requested a continuance and filed a waiver of speedy trial signed by the appellant, contrary to the appellant’s desire not to waive his right to a speedy trial?
Holdings/Conclusion: The district court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that testimony of previous violent acts committed by the appellant against the victim was admissible under W.R.E. 404(b). Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed the jury to review a transcript of a recorded telephone conversation between the appellant and the victim while the jury was actively listening to the recording. Finally, the appellant did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel when his counsel requested and was granted a continuance of the trial date so counsel could consult with an expert witness. Affirmed.
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.
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Thursday, December 19, 2013
Summary of Decision December 19, 2013