Articles Posted in Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction of one count of sexual assault in the first degree, holding that Appellant’s trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. The jury in this case concluded that Appellant committed sexual intrusion upon a non-consenting victim whom Appellant knew or had reason to believe was physically helpless. On appeal, Appellant argued that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to object to inadmissible evidence, failing to adequately advance her theory of the case, and failing to suppress the statements made by Appellant when under investigative detention. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that trial counsel was not ineffective in her representation of Appellant. View "Bruckner v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s felony conviction for one count of sexual exploitation of a child - possession of child pornography. On appeal, Defendant argued that the prosecutor committed misconduct in rebuttal closing argument by arguing a theory of the case not supported by the evidence. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the prosecutor did not commit misconduct where the prosecutor’s challenged statements were supported by and directly discerned from the victim’s testimony and the record gave no indication that the prosecutor intentionally misstated the evidence or argued an unreasonable inference from the victim’s testimony. View "King v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order requiring Defendant and her husband to be jointly and severally liable for the payment of $17,515 in restitution to Wyoming Medicaid for its expenditures on behalf of one of Defendant’s victims. Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of being an accessory to the second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a second minor. The district court ordered that Defendant and her husband were jointly and severally liable for the requested amount of restitution. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence contained in the presentence investigation report together with the victim impact statement made by the second victim’s mother at the sentencing hearing provided sufficient support for the district court’s award of $17,515 to Wyoming Medicaid. View "Smiley v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction for delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, holding that, even if the photographic identification procedure used by law enforcement during their investigation of the crime was impermissibly suggestive, it did not give rise to a very substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification. During the proceedings below, Appellant challenged the photo identification in a motion in limine. The motion was denied. On appeal, Appellant argued that the photo identification procedure violated his due process rights. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the identification was sufficiently reliable to satisfy the demands of due process, and therefore, the district court did not err in admitting the identification. View "Majhanovich v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that led to Defendant’s conviction for marijuana possession. Corporal Bradley Halter stopped Defendant for a traffic violation. When Defendant attempted to walk away from the traffic stop, Corporal Halter handcuffed Defendant. Because Defendant smelled of marijuana and was impaired, Corporal conducted a search of Defendant’s person, which produced methamphetamine, and, after a subsequent search, marijuana and hashish. After the denial of his motion to suppress, Defendant entered a conditional plea to the possession of marijuana. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Corporal Halter’s seizure of the methpahetamine and subsequent search was supported by both the plain feel doctrine and by standard probable cause considerations. View "Maestas v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that led to Defendant’s conviction for marijuana possession. Corporal Bradley Halter stopped Defendant for a traffic violation. When Defendant attempted to walk away from the traffic stop, Corporal Halter handcuffed Defendant. Because Defendant smelled of marijuana and was impaired, Corporal conducted a search of Defendant’s person, which produced methamphetamine, and, after a subsequent search, marijuana and hashish. After the denial of his motion to suppress, Defendant entered a conditional plea to the possession of marijuana. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Corporal Halter’s seizure of the methpahetamine and subsequent search was supported by both the plain feel doctrine and by standard probable cause considerations. View "Maestas v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order denying Appellant’s motion to suppress the marijuana Trooper Aaron Kirlin discovered in Appellant’s possession during a traffic stop on Interstate 80. Appellant pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, preserving his right to appeal the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress. On appeal, Appellant argued that Trooper Kirlin unlawfully detained him beyond the original purpose of the traffic stop in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the district court did not err in determining that Trooper Kirlin’s extended contact with Appellant was a consensual encounter that did not violate the Fourth Amendment. View "Kennison v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Defendant’s motions to continue Defendant’s trial but remanded to the district court with instructions to correct the written sentence, holding that while Defendant’s sentence was not illegal, the written sentence was inconsistent with the district court’s oral sentence. After a trial, Defendant was convicted of one felony count of interference with a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of interference with a peace officer for resisting arrest. The court orally sentenced Defendant to seven to nine years on the felony count and to one year on the misdemeanor count. The court allowed credit for 408 days already served and specified that the credit applied to both sentences. The court did not specify whether the sentences were to be served concurrently or consecutively. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Defendant’s last two motions to continue his trial; and (2) because the written sentence did not indicate whether the two sentences were to be served concurrently or consecutively and allowed 408 days credit but did not specify that the credit applied to both sentences, remand was necessary to correct the written sentence. View "Palomo v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court order denying the motion of Speedy Bail Bonds seeking to set aside the forfeiture of a $50,000 surety bond it posted on behalf of a defendant in a drug trafficking case, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. In affirming, the Supreme Court looked to whether the district court improperly relied on punitive motives for the forfeiture and examined the district court’s consideration of relevant matters such as any factors presented by the defendant which might mitigate his failure to appear at his arraignment. After examining the evidence, the Court held that the district court’s decision was reasonable based on the evidence. View "Speedy Bail Bonds v. Albany County, Wyoming" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court order denying the motion of Speedy Bail Bonds seeking to set aside the forfeiture of a $50,000 surety bond it posted on behalf of a defendant in a drug trafficking case, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. In affirming, the Supreme Court looked to whether the district court improperly relied on punitive motives for the forfeiture and examined the district court’s consideration of relevant matters such as any factors presented by the defendant which might mitigate his failure to appear at his arraignment. After examining the evidence, the Court held that the district court’s decision was reasonable based on the evidence. View "Speedy Bail Bonds v. Albany County, Wyoming" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law