Britain v. State, No. 4027

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore McINTYRE; McINTYRE
Citation497 P.2d 543
Docket NumberNo. 4027
Decision Date31 May 1972
PartiesJoseph BRITAIN, Appellant, v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee.

Page 543

497 P.2d 543
Joseph BRITAIN, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee.
No. 4027.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
May 31, 1972.

Page 544

G. L. Spence, Casper, for appellant.

Clarence A. Brimmer, Atty. Gen., Donald L. Painter, Special Asst. Atty. Gen., Cheynne, for appellee.

Before McINTYRE, C. J., and PARKER, McEWAN and GUTHRIE, JJ.

McINTYRE, Chief Justice.

The defendant, Joseph Britain, pleaded guilty to the theft of 100 bales of hay (worth about $100). He was sentenced to a term of not less than one year nor more than five years in the penitentiary. The sentence may have been more severe than defendant expected. In fact, he may have expected to be placed on probation.

In any event, after sentence was rendered, defendant engaged new counsel and moved to set aside his guilty plea, with leave to enter a plea of not guilty. His motion, after a full hearing by the court, was denied and defendant has appealed.

On appeal, appellant contends:

1. The defendant is actually innocent but the prosecuting attorney threatened to prosecute defendant's wife and son; the prosecuting attorney, however, entered into an agreement with defendant's attorney that he would not prosecute the wife or son if defendant pleaded guilty; and defendant's plea of guilty was not in fact voluntary but entered out of fear that defendant's wife and son would be prosecuted if such a plea was not made.

2. The trial court failed to comply with Rule 15, W.R.Cr.P., by addressing the defendant personally to determine if the defendant's plea was made voluntarily.

Regarding an agreement between the prosecuting attorney and defendant's attorney, the prosecuting attorney testified at the hearing on defendant's motion to withdraw his plea. The following questions and answers are a part of his testimony:

'Q If Mr. Boyer (defendant's attorney) were to say-and he is here as a witness and will be called in a few minutes-that there was a gentleman's agreement between himself and yourself that in the event Mr. Britain pled guilty that no charges would be levied against his wife or his child, would you say that that gentleman's agreement existed? A Yes, it did.

'Q Did you keep the agreement? A Yes.'

* * *

* * *

'Q But that was the agreement you had with him, wasn't it, that if he pled guilty you wouldn't prosecute the wife and child? A. That is true.'

Of this agreement, the attorney general says in his brief the defendant's counsel promised to plead the defendant guilty and the prosecutor promised not to prosecute other members of the family that might be implicated.

The fact that the attorneys resolved matters as they did in this case does not in and of itself prove that defendant's plea was involuntary. The trial court, after a hearing in connection with defendant's motion to set the plea aside, found the plea had been voluntarily entered.

However, the purpose of Rule 15 of the criminal rules is to fix a guideline for the...

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19 practice notes
  • State v. Creech, No. 15475
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 20 Junio 1985
    ...of City of Tucson, 131 Ariz. 236, 640 P.2d 167, 168 (1981); Gonzales v. State, 96 Nev. 562, 613 P.2d 410, 411 (1980); Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972); People v. Cumby, 178 Colo. 31, 495 P.2d 223, 224-25 (1972); State v. Byrd, 203 Kan. 45, 453 P.2d 22, 29 (1969). When Creech c......
  • Mehring v. State, No. 92-114
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 27 Septiembre 1993
    ...of Criminal Procedure. 1 Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal 2d, § 171 (1982 & Supp.1993). See Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972). The present F.R.Cr.P. 11, as amended in 1983, is substantially similar to revised W.R.Cr.P. 11 which became effective Marc......
  • Dobbins v. State , Nos. S–11–0050
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 10 Agosto 2012
    ...a defendant's guilty plea is truly voluntary.’ ” Sena v. State, 2010 WY 93, ¶ 9, 233 P.3d 993, 996 (Wyo.2010) (quoting Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972)). [¶ 41] We also note, however, that “Rule 11 has been described as ‘lengthy and complex,’ and a ‘change of plea hearing [doe......
  • Schmidt v. State, No. 86-291
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 23 Junio 1987
    ...He cites Hoggatt v. State, Wyo., 606 P.2d 718 (1980); Cardenas v. Meacham, Wyo., 545 P.2d 632 (1976); and Britain v. State, Wyo., 497 P.2d 543 (1972), for the proposition that an accused must be informed of the consequences of his There is nothing in Hoggatt, Cardenas or Britain that remote......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • State v. Creech, No. 15475
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 20 Junio 1985
    ...of City of Tucson, 131 Ariz. 236, 640 P.2d 167, 168 (1981); Gonzales v. State, 96 Nev. 562, 613 P.2d 410, 411 (1980); Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972); People v. Cumby, 178 Colo. 31, 495 P.2d 223, 224-25 (1972); State v. Byrd, 203 Kan. 45, 453 P.2d 22, 29 (1969). When Creech c......
  • Mehring v. State, No. 92-114
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 27 Septiembre 1993
    ...of Criminal Procedure. 1 Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal 2d, § 171 (1982 & Supp.1993). See Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972). The present F.R.Cr.P. 11, as amended in 1983, is substantially similar to revised W.R.Cr.P. 11 which became effective Marc......
  • Dobbins v. State , Nos. S–11–0050
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 10 Agosto 2012
    ...a defendant's guilty plea is truly voluntary.’ ” Sena v. State, 2010 WY 93, ¶ 9, 233 P.3d 993, 996 (Wyo.2010) (quoting Britain v. State, 497 P.2d 543, 545 (Wyo.1972)). [¶ 41] We also note, however, that “Rule 11 has been described as ‘lengthy and complex,’ and a ‘change of plea hearing [doe......
  • Schmidt v. State, No. 86-291
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 23 Junio 1987
    ...He cites Hoggatt v. State, Wyo., 606 P.2d 718 (1980); Cardenas v. Meacham, Wyo., 545 P.2d 632 (1976); and Britain v. State, Wyo., 497 P.2d 543 (1972), for the proposition that an accused must be informed of the consequences of his There is nothing in Hoggatt, Cardenas or Britain that remote......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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