Chorniak v. State, 85-208

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore THOMAS; MACY
Citation715 P.2d 1162
PartiesGary CHORNIAK, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
Docket NumberNo. 85-208,85-208
Decision Date17 March 1986

Page 1162

715 P.2d 1162
Gary CHORNIAK, Appellant (Defendant),
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 85-208.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
March 17, 1986.

Leonard Munker, State Public Defender, Julie Naylor, Appellate Counsel, Wyoming Public Defender Program, and Gerald M. Gallivan, Director, and Kate L. Mead, Student Intern, Wyoming Defender Aid Program, for appellant.

A.G. McClintock, Atty. Gen., Gerald A. Stack, Deputy Atty. Gen., John W. Renneisen, Senior Asst. Atty. Gen., and Michael Barrash, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.


MACY, Justice.

Appellant pled guilty to arson in the first degree under § 6-3-101, W.S.1977 (June 1983 Replacement). At the time of sentencing, he moved to withdraw his plea. The trial court denied the motion and sentenced appellant to six to eight years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

We affirm.

On December 31, 1984, appellant was having a party at his parents' home in

Page 1163

Casper, Wyoming. As the evening progressed and the consumption of alcohol continued, appellant went downstairs and, using his cigarette lighter, started a cardboard box underneath the stairs on fire. He then returned to the party upstairs. Within moments one of his friends smelled smoke. He and appellant went back to the basement, opened the door underneath the stairs, and discovered the room engulfed in flames. They ran to the kitchen and called the fire department. After determining that they could not stop the fire, they awakened a friend who was sleeping upstairs and fled from the house.

Later, appellant signed a statement in which he admitted intentionally setting the fire in the hope that his parents would be too upset about the damage to notice that he had taken seventy or eighty dollars from them.

On February 5, 1985, appellant entered his pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency to the charge of first-degree arson. The trial court ordered appellant to undergo a physical and mental examination at the Wyoming State Hospital. The report issued by the Wyoming State Hospital following that examination concluded that appellant was not then, nor was he at the time of the alleged offense, mentally ill or deficient.

On April 25, 1985, after receiving the report from the Wyoming State Hospital, appellant moved to change his plea to guilty. A Rule 15, W.R.Cr.P., 1 proceeding was held during which the trial court questioned appellant to determine whether the plea was voluntary and whether there was a factual basis for accepting the plea. During that proceeding, appellant stated that he maliciously started the fire with the intent to damage his parents' home. Based on this statement and others by appellant, the trial court concluded that the plea was voluntary and accurate and granted appellant's motion.

During the presentence investigation, appellant informed the parole officer that he wanted to withdraw his plea of guilty. Upon being informed of appellant's desire to withdraw his plea, his...

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10 cases
  • Billis v. State, s. 88-311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 5, 1990
    ...v. State, 783 P.2d 134 (Wyo.1989); Peper v. State, 768 P.2d 26 (Wyo.1989); Angerhofer v. State, 758 P.2d 1041 (Wyo.1988); Chorniak v. State, 715 P.2d 1162 (Wyo.1986). II. HISTORY OF THE STRUCTURE OF WYOMING LAW From before the time of statehood, Wyoming sentencing processes provided broad d......
  • Osborn v. State, 90-178
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 8, 1991
    ...of the trial court to reject withdrawal was not improvidently exercised. Zanetti v. State, 783 P.2d 134 (Wyo.1989); Chorniak v. State, 715 P.2d 1162 (Wyo.1986). C.--Issue 3. Ineffectiveness of Trial Whether appellant received ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial level. A. Should t......
  • Zanetti v. State, 88-281
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • November 22, 1989
    ...A defendant seeking to withdraw before sentencing must present the court with a plausible reason for withdrawal. Chorniak v. State, 715 P.2d 1162 (Wyo.1986); Ecker v. State, 545 P.2d 641 (Wyo.1976). After sentencing, the defendant must justify the withdrawal by showing a manifest injustice.......
  • Brock v. State, 97-311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 19, 1999 the record, a trial court does not abuse its discretion in refusing to permit withdrawal of a plea of guilty. Chorniak v. State, 715 P.2d 1162, 1164 (Wyo.1986). A district court may deny a motion to withdraw a plea without a hearing if the defendant's allegations or reasons for withdrawa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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