Becker v. State, 031920 NVCA, 77941-COA

Docket Nº:77941-COA
Opinion Judge:Gibbons, C.J.
Party Name:DANIEL CHRISTOPHER BECKER, Appellant, v. THE STATE OF NEVADA, Respondent.
Judge Panel:Tao, J., Bulla, J. Hon. Ronald J. Israel, District Judge
Case Date:March 19, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of Nevada
 
FREE EXCERPT

DANIEL CHRISTOPHER BECKER, Appellant,

v.

THE STATE OF NEVADA, Respondent.

No. 77941-COA

Court of Appeals of Nevada

March 19, 2020

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

ORDER OF AFFIRMANCE

Gibbons, C.J.

Daniel Christopher Becker appeals from a judgment of conviction entered pursuant to a guilty plea of three counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing death. Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; Ronald J. Israel, Judge.

First, Becker claims the district court abused its discretion at sentencing by improperly relying upon highly suspect or impalpable evidence. He argues that his presentence investigation report [PSI] constituted highly suspect or impalpable evidence because the Division of Parole and Probation erred in calculating its sentencing recommendation. And he asserts that he was prejudiced because the district court's sentencing decision was influenced by the error.

We review a district court's sentencing decision for abuse of discretion. Chavez v. State, 125 Nev. 328, 348, 213 P.3d 476, 490 (2009). We will not interfere with the sentence imposed by the district court “[s]o long as the record does not demonstrate prejudice resulting from consideration of information or accusations founded on facts supported only by impalpable or highly suspect evidence." Silks v. State, 92 Nev. 91, 94, 545 P.2d 1159, 1161 (1976). An error that taints the PSI sentencing recommendation considered by the district court may constitute impalpable or highly suspect evidence. Blankenship v. State, 132 Nev. 500, 509, 375 P.3d 407, 413(2016).

Here, the record demonstrates that Becker objected to the Division's sentencing recommendation because his raw score of 15 dictated a sentence of 48 to 240 months for each offense but the Division had recommended a sentence of 84 to 240 months for each offense. The district court agreed that there appeared to be an error and the error was significant. The district court asked if there was any reason that sentencing could not proceed if it acknowledged that the Division's sentencing recommendation was incorrect. Becker responded, "No. I'm quite content with that," The district...

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