Martinez v. State, No. 04-238.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtVoigt
Citation2006 WY 20,128 P.3d 652
Docket NumberNo. 04-238.
Decision Date13 February 2006
PartiesTimothy Paul MARTINEZ, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

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128 P.3d 652
2006 WY 20
Timothy Paul MARTINEZ, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 04-238.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
February 13, 2006.

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Kenneth M. Koski, State Public Defender; Donna D. Domonkos, Appellate Counsel; and Megan Hayes, Special Assistant Public Defender, for Appellant.

Patrick J. Crank, Wyoming Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and James Michael Causey, Assistant Attorney General, for Appellee.

Before HILL, C.J., and GOLDEN, KITE, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

VOIGT, Justice.


[¶ 1] In May 2004, a Natrona County jury found Timothy Paul Martinez (the appellant) guilty of first-degree murder for brutally beating his wife to death with a shotgun. On appeal, the appellant claims that the State violated his constitutional rights because he lost material and favorable trial testimony when law enforcement officers threatened or coerced a potential defense witness, that his trial attorneys were ineffective, that his sentence was unconstitutional, and that his sentence was based on inaccurate information. We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶ 2] 1. Whether the State violated the appellant's constitutional rights by threatening or coercing a potential defense witness?

2. Whether the appellant's trial counsel were ineffective?

3. Whether the constitutionality of the appellant's sentence was raised properly in the district court?

4. Whether the appellant was sentenced based on inaccurate information?

FACTS

[¶ 3] It is not necessary for us to set forth the evidentiary facts in great detail due to the nature of the issues raised in this appeal. Melissa Martinez (the victim) and the appellant were married in 1999, and they had two children (ages two and four at the time of the victim's death). By September 2003, the victim had decided to leave their residence in Casper and move herself and the children back to her parents' residence in Sinclair, Wyoming. To that end, the victim gathered her possessions, sold some of the possessions at a yard sale, and rented a U-haul truck the weekend of September 7. She also arranged for her parents to meet her at 11 a.m. that Sunday to load the U-haul and then caravan back to Sinclair.

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[¶ 4] When the victim's family arrived at her residence on Sunday, they encountered the appellant and the children but were unable to locate the victim. Law enforcement officers subsequently discovered the victim's body in a duffel bag in the residence's laundry room, as well as a shotgun that had been placed in the rafters above the laundry room. The coroner opined that the shotgun had been used to beat the victim about the head—the victim sustained at least ten blows to the head, including one blow that caused a six-inch skull fracture.

[¶ 5] The appellant was charged with first-degree murder in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-101(a) (LexisNexis 2003). He testified in his own defense at trial and essentially implicated another individual, Randy Anderson, in the killing. Anderson testified that he had nothing to do with the victim's murder. The jury found the appellant guilty of first-degree murder following an eight-day trial, and the district court sentenced the appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The appellant now appeals from the district court's judgment and sentence.

DISCUSSION

Compulsory Process

[¶ 6] The appellant argues that the State intentionally caused the loss of material and favorable trial testimony because law enforcement officers threatened or coerced a potential defense witness, thereby interfering with the witness' "free and unhampered choice to testify" at the appellant's trial. According to the appellant, this conduct impaired his ability to present his own witnesses and establish a defense, which violated his constitutional rights to due process and compulsory process.1 We generally review a claim "that a constitutional right has been violated by applying our de novo standard of review." Pope v. State, 2002 WY 9, ¶ 14, 38 P.3d 1069, 1072 (Wyo.2002); see also United States v. Serrano, 406 F.3d 1208, 1214 (10th Cir.2005), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 126 S.Ct. 277, 163 L.Ed.2d 247 (2005).

[¶ 7] The pertinent facts are undisputed. On April 14, 2004, the appellant filed a list of "potential" trial witnesses, which list included James Friedman (Friedman). At the district attorney's request, two Casper police detectives interviewed Friedman the next day at the Natrona County Detention Center. The detectives advised Friedman of his Miranda rights and Friedman proceeded to tell the officers about his conversation with Randy Anderson (Anderson) in January 2004. Anderson "boast[ed]" to Friedman that he was a "collector"—if "somebody needed something done, he was the guy to go to." Anderson claimed that he and the appellant were using methamphetamine the night the victim was murdered, and the appellant sent Anderson to retrieve some stereo speakers from the basement of the appellant's residence. When he encountered the victim at the residence, the victim told Anderson that he needed to leave. Anderson refused to leave and the victim produced a shotgun, which "was jammed." Anderson ultimately took the shotgun from the victim and struck her twice in the face. The appellant arrived at the residence about fifteen minutes later

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and saw that Anderson was covered with blood.

[¶ 8] Upon reviewing an audiotape of the interview, detective Robin Tuma (Tuma) asked Friedman if he would "be willing to take a polygraph test to show that the information he had given . . . was true."2 Friedman agreed, and Tuma scheduled the examination for the next morning with detective Tim Weinhandl (Weinhandl). On April 16, Friedman was transported from the detention center to an interview room, where Tuma removed Friedman's restraints. Weinhandl followed his typical examination procedure and first obtained background and biographical information from Friedman. During this portion of the examination (which was not recorded), Friedman mentioned that he "was in jail awaiting a [presentence] investigation" in a different case. Weinhandl had no knowledge of this "underlying case" prior to the polygraph examination. Weinhandl then, as was his practice, informed Friedman of his Miranda rights and Friedman ultimately signed a form3 waiving those rights as well as a "release of liability form."

[¶ 9] Friedman asked Weinhandl what effect the polygraph "would have on him."4 At first, Weinhandl thought Friedman was worried about being shocked by the polygraph machine. When Friedman clarified that he was actually worried "about the statement he was going to give," Weinhandl replied that the appellant's case was an "ongoing criminal investigation," that Weinhandl's purpose was "to determine whether or not the information [Friedman] provided us with was the truth," and that if Friedman's information "was false in any way, that there are possible charges that could be filed against him" which also could "possibl[y]" affect his pending presentence investigation. Weinhandl denied that he threatened to prosecute Friedman "if he lied." Rather, he told Friedman that he "wanted the truth in this matter and if the statement that he had already given [was] the truth, fine." The detective then asked Friedman if his first statement to the detectives was the truth, and Friedman said that it "was not"—the source of the information he provided in his first interview was not Anderson, but was instead the appellant (whom Friedman had known since 2001) and another jail inmate.

[¶ 10] Weinhandl conferred with Tuma, and they called the district attorney. According to Weinhandl, the district attorney instructed them to tell Friedman "that . . . changing . . . his statement at this time is not going to affect the deal that he has going on right now" and that whatever Friedman said, "we just wanted the truth"—it "didn't matter if he changed [his statement] or not." According to Tuma, the district attorney instructed them to ensure that Friedman understood that "even though he lied previously, it wouldn't affect his deal, and he just needed to tell the truth"—Friedman's "deal was not impaired in any way no matter what he said." The detectives conveyed this information to Friedman. Tuma also reiterated to Friedman at some point that "by telling us the truth now and lying prior, that had not affected what he had worked out with his attorney and the district attorney," and Tuma denied that he indicated that Friedman "should or should not testify in any particular manner."

[¶ 11] Since Friedman had stated that his first taped statement was partially untrue, Weinhandl told Friedman that the detectives wanted him to provide them another taped statement and Friedman indicated "that would be fine." Friedman was again advised of his Miranda rights and he apparently signed a form waiving those rights. He stated during the taped interview that he had not told the truth to the appellant's investigator or to Tuma the previous day regarding the

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source of his information about Anderson's alleged role in the victim's murder—the source was not Anderson himself, but was instead the appellant5 and another inmate. This statement was more detailed than Friedman's statement the previous day and differed in some other respects that are not material to this appeal. During the statement, Weinhandl also confirmed what he had previously discussed with Friedman regarding Friedman's pending presentence investigation:

[Weinhandl:] And we talked about a previous [incident] that you're already in jail for that you [inaudible] a PSI for?

[Friedman:] Yes, sir.

[Weinhandl:] And you have some time hanging over your head for that, correct?

[Friedman:] Yes, sir.

[Weinhandl:] And I informed you that, uh, that...

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22 practice notes
  • State v. Berrios, SC 19494
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 26, 2016
    ...2007AP169-CR, 2008 WL 786530, *4-5 (Wis. App. March 26, 2008), review denied, 310 Wis. 2d 707, 754 N.W.2d 850 (2008); Martinez v. State, 128 P.3d 652, 665 and n.15 (Wyo. 2006); see also People v. Budzyn, 456 Mich. 77, 88-89, 566 N.W.2d 229 (1997) (applying burden shift as matter of state la......
  • Teniente v. State, No. 05-171.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 18, 2007
    ...establish, after notice to and hearing of the defendant, that such contact with the juror was harmless to the defendant. Martinez v. State, 2006 WY 20, 28, 128 P.3d 652, 665 (Wyo.2006) (quoting Remmer v. United States, 347 U.S. 227, 229, 74 S.Ct. 450, 98 L.Ed. 654 (1954)). Martinez further ......
  • State v. Berrios, No. 19494.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 26, 2016
    ...2007AP169–CR, 2008 WL 786530, *4–5 (Wis.App. March 26, 2008), review denied, 310 Wis.2d 707, 754 N.W.2d 850 (2008) ; Martinez v. State, 128 P.3d 652, 665 and n. 15 (Wyo.2006) ; see also People v. Budzyn, 456 Mich. 77, 88–89, 566 N.W.2d 229 (1997) (applying burden shift as matter of state la......
  • Carter v. The State Of Wyo.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 14, 2010
    ...466 U.S. at 686, 104 S.Ct. [at 2064].The burden of proving that counsel was ineffective rests entirely on the appellant.Martinez v. State, 2006 WY 20, ¶ 23, 128 P.3d 652, 663 (Wyo. 2006).The appellant must also demonstrate the existence of a reasonable probability that, absent the deficienc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
22 cases
  • State v. Berrios, SC 19494
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 26, 2016
    ...2007AP169-CR, 2008 WL 786530, *4-5 (Wis. App. March 26, 2008), review denied, 310 Wis. 2d 707, 754 N.W.2d 850 (2008); Martinez v. State, 128 P.3d 652, 665 and n.15 (Wyo. 2006); see also People v. Budzyn, 456 Mich. 77, 88-89, 566 N.W.2d 229 (1997) (applying burden shift as matter of state la......
  • Teniente v. State, No. 05-171.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 18, 2007
    ...establish, after notice to and hearing of the defendant, that such contact with the juror was harmless to the defendant. Martinez v. State, 2006 WY 20, 28, 128 P.3d 652, 665 (Wyo.2006) (quoting Remmer v. United States, 347 U.S. 227, 229, 74 S.Ct. 450, 98 L.Ed. 654 (1954)). Martinez further ......
  • State v. Berrios, No. 19494.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 26, 2016
    ...2007AP169–CR, 2008 WL 786530, *4–5 (Wis.App. March 26, 2008), review denied, 310 Wis.2d 707, 754 N.W.2d 850 (2008) ; Martinez v. State, 128 P.3d 652, 665 and n. 15 (Wyo.2006) ; see also People v. Budzyn, 456 Mich. 77, 88–89, 566 N.W.2d 229 (1997) (applying burden shift as matter of state la......
  • Carter v. The State Of Wyo.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 14, 2010
    ...466 U.S. at 686, 104 S.Ct. [at 2064].The burden of proving that counsel was ineffective rests entirely on the appellant.Martinez v. State, 2006 WY 20, ¶ 23, 128 P.3d 652, 663 (Wyo. 2006).The appellant must also demonstrate the existence of a reasonable probability that, absent the deficienc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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