Hansen v. State, s. 94-237

Citation904 P.2d 811
Decision Date18 October 1995
Docket NumberNos. 94-237,94-242,s. 94-237
PartiesArthur HANSEN, Jr., Petitioner, v. STATE of Wyoming, Respondent. Derek Redstar PAPPAN, Petitioner, v. The STATE of Wyoming, Respondent.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming

Wyoming Public Defender Program: Sylvia Lee Hackl, State Public Defender; Deborah Cornia, Appellate Counsel; Peter H. Froelicher, Assistant Public Defender; David Gosar, Assistant Public Defender, for petitioners.

William U. Hill, Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Georgia L. Tibbetts, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.


THOMAS, Justice.

In these consolidated cases, brought to this court in each instance by a petition for a writ of review, Arthur Hansen, Jr. (Hansen) and Derek Redstar Pappan (Pappan) seek to inhibit the discretion of the prosecuting attorney and the discretion of the trial court with respect to the prosecution of young offenders as adults in the district court. At the heart of the controversy is the discretion afforded the district attorney to initiate criminal proceedings against a juvenile in the district court or, alternatively, to seek the transfer to district court of a proceeding commenced as a juvenile delinquency proceeding. Hansen attacks the constitutionality of WYO.STAT. § 14-6-203(f)(iv) (1994) as violative of the equal protection, due process, and separation of powers clauses of the Wyoming and United States Constitutions. In addition, Hansen and Pappan assert their right to due process was violated when the trial court failed to assign the burden of proof and a standard of proof during the hearings on their respective motions to transfer. Pappan also argues that the transfer of jurisdiction in his case from juvenile court to district court was an abuse of discretion, while Hansen asserts that the failure to transfer his case from the district court to the juvenile court was an abuse of discretion. We hold that the statutory scheme is constitutional; there is no demonstrable prejudice arising out of the failure to assign the burden of proof prior to any hearing; and there was no abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge in refusing to transfer Hansen's case to juvenile court or on the part of the trial judge in transferring Pappan's case to the county court from juvenile court for a preliminary examination with the view that the case would be prosecuted in the district court. The Order (transferring jurisdiction) in Pappan's case is affirmed, and the Order Denying Motion to Transfer to Juvenile Court in Hansen's case likewise is affirmed.

In Hansen's Brief of Appellant, this statement of the issues is set forth:


Did the filing of this case in adult court, pursuant to W.S. 14-6-203(f)(iv) violate Arthur Hansen Jr.'s right to equal protection of the laws?


Did the filing of this case in adult court, pursuant to W.S. 14-6-203(f)(iv) violate

Arthur Hansen's right to due process under the law?


Is W.S. 14-6-203(f)(iv) violative of the United States and the Wyoming Constitution's separation of powers clauses.


Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying Arthur Hansen Jr.'s motion to transfer his case to juvenile court?

In the Brief of the Appellant filed on behalf of Pappan, the only issues stated are:


Did the court err by transferring this case from juvenile to adult court?


Was Appellant denied due process by the failure to assign a known burden of proof governing the transfer hearing?

In the Brief of Appellee (consolidated) of the State of Wyoming, the issues are stated as:

I. Is W.S. § 14-6-203(f)(iv) violative of the equal protection, due process and separation of powers provisions of the Wyoming and United States constitutions?

II. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying Hansen's motion to transfer him to juvenile court?

III. Did the juvenile court abuse its discretion in transferring Pappan from juvenile to adult court?

On July 12, 1994, Hansen got off work and then went to visit a friend. When he arrived home, at approximately 11:30 p.m., the only person at his home was his stepmother, and the two engaged in an argument. Following the argument, Hansen took a shower, and his stepmother went to bed. At approximately 2:00 a.m. the next morning, the stepmother awoke to discover Hansen on top of her attempting to bind her with a rope. Hansen continued to try to tie her during a five-minute struggle. When he was unable to tie the stepmother, Hansen placed a pillow over her face for some time, in an effort to smother her. At that point, she was exhausted and could not struggle with Hansen any longer. She said to stop, hoping to catch her breath, regain some strength, continue the fight, and escape.

At this break in the struggle, Hansen removed her underwear and penetrated her with his penis until he ejaculated. Even though she had caught her breath, she was unable to escape. After he ejaculated, Hansen put a comforter over her face and attempted to suffocate her for approximately ten more minutes. Finally, Hansen either was thrown off or slipped off the bed and ran from the house. The stepmother telephoned for help. During the investigation, a detective from the sheriff's department located her underwear, a nylon rope, a flashlight, a white sock, and a "folding knife" in her bedroom.

Having fled his home, Hansen later telephoned there, and a deputy sheriff answered the call. Hansen asked the sheriff's officer if he would pick him up because he was freezing. After he was taken into custody, Hansen was advised of his constitutional rights and waived his right to an attorney. During an interview with the detective from the sheriff's office, Hansen admitted being very frustrated and very angry with his stepmother for some time. He said he had thought about raping her previously, but waited until the evening when they argued.

Hansen was charged, by an information filed in district court, with first degree sexual assault in violation of WYO.STAT. § 6-2-302(a)(i) (1988). 1 Hansen was sixteen years old. Following the filing of the information on July 14, 1994, Hansen moved to transfer the case from district court to juvenile court. Between August 16 and September 26, 1994, four hearings were conducted for the purpose of receiving evidence regarding the seven factors set forth in WYO.STAT. § 14-6-237(b) (1994). On October 6, 1994, the trial court issued its Order Denying Motion to Transfer to Juvenile Court. Hansen's petition for writ of review seeks reversal of that order.

On June 6, 1994, Pappan drank some beer and shared several joints of marijuana with his uncle and a cousin. The uncle told the other two they were going to drive around. As the uncle drove toward Fort Washakie, he told Pappan and the cousin that there were loaded guns in the back of his vehicle. Before they reached Fort Washakie, the uncle stopped the vehicle and told Pappan and the cousin that he planned to seek revenge against officers of the Wind River Police Department. The uncle felt the officers had treated him unfairly on a previous occasion, and he asked Pappan and the cousin if they "wanted to be in or not?" Pappan testified that he and the cousin did not believe the uncle "because he always says stuff like that."

The uncle then drove to the Wind River Police Department where he got out of the vehicle, walked toward the police station, and started shooting at the station. He went inside, then came back out and shouted "[w]ho wants to die tonight?" and "[d]o you guys want to play now?" He shot at two parked police vehicles as he left. During this shooting spree, Pappan had remained in the vehicle, and he hollered at his uncle to come back so they could leave. At that point, a car pulled up, and Pappan and the cousin, who by then were out of their vehicle, got down on their knees. The uncle shot at the car and struck an officer in the right chest area of his bullet-proof vest, causing shrapnel to enter the officer's body in three places and his arm and leg to become numb. Another bullet struck the officer directly.

After the shooting of the officer, Pappan and the cousin got in the vehicle, picked up the uncle, and drove toward Lander. The cousin was driving, and the uncle resumed shooting at officers of the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, who were pursuing them, and officers of the Lander Police Department, who were sent to intercept them. When the ammunition in the guns was exhausted, the uncle handed them to Pappan in the back seat and told him to load them. Pappan did as he was told and, as they approached Lander, Pappan picked up one of the guns and fired out the window of the vehicle. When the three arrived in Lander, Pappan suffered a shot in the back. He threw the gun he had fired out the car window and, when the uncle ran out of ammunition, he told the cousin to stop the vehicle. At that time, all three were arrested.

A petition was filed in juvenile court June 8, 1994, alleging Pappan was a delinquent child, as defined in WYO.STAT. § 14-6-212 (1986). Pappan was fifteen years old at that time. In the petition, he was charged with five counts of attempted first degree murder in violation of WYO.STAT. § 6-2-101(a) (1988) and WYO.STAT. § 6-1-301(a) (1988). 2 The State filed a Motion for Transfer Hearing as provided for in WYO.STAT. § 14-6-237(a) (1986), and a hearing was conducted on August 17, 1994. On September 30, 1994, the juvenile court entered an order in which it transferred the matter to the County Court of Fremont County for criminal prosecution of Pappan as an adult. In his petition for a writ of review, Pappan attacks that order.

We turn first to the constitutional deficiencies asserted by Hansen because, if valid, they would be dispositive. Hansen contends WYO.STAT. § 14-6-203(f)(iv) (1994) is unconstitutional because it...

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