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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions on one charge of domestic battery and one charge of strangulation of a household member. On appeal, Defendant argued that his convictions and sentences for both crimes violated his constitutional protections against double jeopardy because domestic battery is a lesser included offense of strangulation of a household member. The Supreme Court held that the district court did not commit plain error when it convicted and sentenced Defendant for the crimes of domestic battery and strangulation of a household member because Defendant’s two convictions arose from separate and distinct conduct, and therefore, Defendant failed to establish a double jeopardy violation. View "Drakeford v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling holding Husband in contempt and finding insufficient evidence to hold Wife in contempt. Both parties filed contempt motions alleging that the other party violated obligations imposed by both the divorce decree and a previous contempt ruling issued by the district court. In the first round of contempt motions filed by the parties, the district court found only Husband in contempt but ordered both parties to complete certain obligations. The Supreme Court held that there was no abuse of discretion in the district court’s ruling on the second contempt motions of Husband and Wife. View "Fowles v. Fowles" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree and one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree for Defendant’s sexual abuse of the daughter of his girlfriend. Defendant appealed, arguing that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in multiple ways and that the district court committed reversible error. In affirming, the Supreme Court held (1) Defendant’s trial counsel was not ineffective in her representation of Defendant; and (2) there was no reversible error on the part of the district court. View "Woods v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s permanency order with regard to Mother’s child, an order that changed the permanency plan for the child from family reunification to adoption. The court held (1) despite the troubling delays in this neglect proceeding, Mother waived her due process and other claims relating to the change in permanency from reunification to adoption when she advocated the same change in permanency; and (2) the juvenile court did not err in refusing to designate the adoptive parents in the permanency order because determination of the adoptive parents is a matter for a separate proceeding. View "DM v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the Medical Commission’s denial of Dennis Howe’s claim for permanent partial impairment (PPI) benefits for a work-related injury Howe suffered. The district court affirmed the decision of the Commission. In affirming the district court, the Supreme Court held (1) the Commission’s determination that Howe did not prove he was entitled to an increased impairment rating due to the result of chlorine exposure was supported by substantial evidence, and the Commission could have reasonably concluded as it did; and (2) the Commission’s decision was not arbitrary and capricious. View "Howe v. State, ex rel., Department of Workforce Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the termination of Mother’s parental rights with respect to two of her sons. The court held (1) the district court’s conclusions were amply supported by evidence, the accuracy of the district court’s conclusions was highly probable, and termination under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 14-2-309(a)(v) was supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (2) the district court’s closure of Mother’s termination trial was improper under Wyo. Const. art. I, 8, and because Mother did not direct the court to particularized facts showing that she was actually harmed or prejudiced by that error, the court was constrained to conclude that the error was harmless. View "LeBlanc v. State, Department of Family Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon, one count of felony property destruction, and one count of attempted second degree murder. The court held (1) Defendant received a speedy trial as required by Wyo. R. Crim. P. 43 and the federal and state Constitutions; (2) the prosecutor did not commit misconduct during closing arguments; (3) Defendant received effective assistance of trial counsel; (4) the district court properly instructed the jury that it may infer malice from Defendant’s use of a deadly weapon; and (5) the district court did not violate Defendant’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy when it imposed separate sentences for aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon and attempted second degree murder. View "Webb v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the Board of Equalization’s decision affirming the ruling of the Wyoming Department of Revenue against PacifiCorp, Inc., which sought a ruling that its purchases of certain chemicals used in the process of generating electricity in coal-fired electrical generation facilities in Wyoming qualified for either the manufacturers’ sales tax exemption or the wholesalers’ sales tax exemption. The court held (1) The Board erred when it concluded that PacifiCorp is not a manufacturer under Wyo. Stat. Ann. 39-15-105(a)(iii)A); (2) the Board did not err when it held that certain chemicals necessary to treat water and sulfur dioxide emissions during the coal combustion processes that generate electricity are not “used directly” to generate electricity and are therefore not exempt from sales tax under section 39-15-105(a)(iii)(A); and (3) the Board did not err when it held that PacifiCorp’s purchases of certain chemicals and catalysts do not constitute wholesale purchases exempt from taxation under section 39-15-105(a)(iii)(F). View "PacifiCorp, Inc. v. Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed a district court order denying Appellant’s motion for a sentence reduction. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Appellant pleaded no contest to attempted third degree sexual assault. The district court imposed the agreed upon prison sentence of six to ten years. Appellant filed a pro se motion for sentence reduction pursuant to Wyo. R. Crim. P. 35(b), asking the court to reduce the minimum term of his sentence to four years so he could enter treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. The district court denied the motion. Appellant appealed, arguing that the district court erred in denying his Rule 35(b) motion based on a finding that the motion was not timely filed. The Supreme Court rejected this claim of error, holding (1) the district court’s denial of the motion was not based on the timing of Defendant’s filing, and (2) there was no abuse of discretion in the district court’s order denying Appellant’s motion for sentence reduction. View "Alford v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Larry Hurst was killed and Sara Hurst was seriously injured while riding their bicycles after a vehicle driven by Hannah Terry struck each of their bicycles. The Hurst filed a claim with their uninsured motorist insurance carrier, Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company (MetLife), which contended that the injuries to the Hursts were the result of one accident, resulting in a maximum of $300,000 in coverage. The Hursts, however, argued that their injuries were the result of two accidents, warranting $600,000 in coverage. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of MetLife, concluding that there was only one accident for purposes of determining the amount of uninsured motorist coverage. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the record was insufficient for a legal conclusion as to whether Terry maintained or regained control of her vehicle during the collisions with the Hursts, and therefore, summary judgment was improperly granted and the matter must be remanded for trial. View "Hurst v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Co." on Justia Law