Pope v. State, 00-136.

Decision Date25 January 2002
Docket NumberNo. 00-136.,00-136.
Citation2002 WY 9,38 P.3d 1069
PartiesJason Anthony POPE, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
CourtWyoming Supreme Court

Sylvia Lee Hackl, State Public Defender; and Donna D. Domonkos, Appellate Counsel, Representing Appellant.

Gay Woodhouse, Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and T. Alan Elrod, Assistant Attorney General, Representing Appellee.

Before LEHMAN, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, and KITE, JJ.

LEHMAN, Chief Justice.

[¶ 1] Appellant Jason Pope appeals from the Judgment and Sentence entered after he was convicted by a Sheridan County jury of felony interference with a police officer, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-204(b) (LexisNexis 2001).1 Pope claims that his constitutional right not to be placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense was violated when he was tried and convicted of the felony charge after he had already been convicted of misdemeanor interference with a peace officer, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-204(a) (LexisNexis 2001).2 We conclude that he was not subjected to double jeopardy because his crimes involved different actions and different victims.

[¶ 2] Affirmed.

ISSUE

[¶ 3] Pope presents a single issue on appeal:

Whether Pope was denied his constitutional right under the United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment, and the Wyoming Constitution, art. 1 § 11, to be free from being placed twice in jeopardy.
FACTS

[¶ 4] The facts which support the jury's verdict are as follows: On July 30, 1999, Officer John King of the Sheridan Police Department was dispatched to a domestic disturbance. When he arrived at the scene, he heard screaming and a loud boom that shook the windows of the house. He immediately reported to dispatch that the dispute had become physical. [¶ 5] Officer King entered the house and heard screaming coming from two different locations. He checked the main floor and discovered some small children crying in a bedroom. Officer King then proceeded up the stairs, where he witnessed Pope sitting on top of his wife. As the officer approached, Pope turned toward him in an aggressive manner. Officer King tried to force Pope to the ground but was not successful, and Pope pulled away from him. Pope then hit Officer King in the face with his closed fist, knocking off and breaking the officer's glasses.

[¶ 6] Officer King told Pope that he was under arrest and began to handcuff him. Pope did not cooperate, and the two men scuffled. The officer sprayed Pope with pepper spray, but it did not affect him. Sheridan Police Officer Phillips arrived while Pope and Officer King were still struggling. The two officers handcuffed Pope and began leading him out of the room. They informed Pope that he was under arrest for hitting Officer King.

[¶ 7] Pope started jumping as Officers King and Phillips attempted to escort him down the stairs. Officer Lamb of the Sheridan Police Department arrived at the scene and began climbing the stairs to assist the other officers; however, he realized that he was in a bad position, so he turned around to descend the stairs. At that point, Pope jumped down the stairs and kicked Officer Lamb, knocking him against the wall. Pope then tried to flee by going around Officer Lamb, but the officer grabbed him, and they began to struggle. Pope pushed Officer Lamb toward the stair railing and stated that the officer was going over the railing. Officer Lamb eventually regained control of Pope.

[¶ 8] Officer Lamb and Officer King directed Pope to the patrol car, where they attempted to perform a pat-down search. Pope tried to kick the officers, and they wrestled him to the ground, sprayed him with pepper spray, and restrained his legs. Pope was then transported to jail. Officer Lamb suffered a head wound and an injury to his elbow in the altercation with Pope. The officer was, consequently, taken to the emergency room for treatment.

[¶ 9] Pope was issued two citations: one for domestic battery and the other for misdemeanor interference with a peace officer. On August 2, 1999, Pope was brought before the Sheridan County Court for his initial appearance on the two citations. In addition, Pope was served with a felony information, charging him with felony interference with a peace officer. The felony information stated that the charge pertained to Pope's actions which resulted in Officer Lamb's injuries.

[¶ 10] Pope waived his preliminary hearing on the felony charge and pled guilty to the two misdemeanor charges. The State presented the factual basis for Pope's guilty pleas, recounting the entire confrontation among Pope and the three officers. The State did not indicate, in its factual basis, that the misdemeanor interference charge pertained particularly to the incident involving Officer King. Nevertheless, Pope agreed that the factual basis was substantially correct, and the trial court accepted his guilty pleas. The parties then began discussing sentencing issues. During that discussion, the prosecutor made a statement which indicated that the misdemeanor charge pertained to Pope's actions against Officer King and the felony charge related to Pope's actions against Officer Lamb. Neither Pope nor his attorney disputed the statement.

[¶ 11] On September 9, 1999, Pope filed a motion and a supporting memorandum seeking dismissal of the felony interference charge on the grounds that his constitutional right to be free from being placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense was violated when the State prosecuted him for felony interference after he had already been convicted of misdemeanor interference. The trial court denied Pope's motion to dismiss and also denied a subsequent motion to reconsider its ruling on the double jeopardy issue.

[¶ 12] The trial court held a jury trial on the felony charge on December 1 and 2, 1999. The State requested permission from the trial court to cross-examine Pope with evidence showing that he had agreed with the State's factual basis for the misdemeanor charge. The trial court granted the State's request, with certain conditions; however, the State did not present the evidence at the trial. The jury found Pope guilty of the felony charge, and the trial court subsequently entered a Judgment and Sentence against Pope. He filed a timely notice of appeal to this court.

DISCUSSION

[¶ 13] Pope claims that his constitutional right to be free from being placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense was violated when he was prosecuted for felony interference with a peace officer after he had already been convicted of misdemeanor interference with a peace officer. In support of his contention, Pope argues that the misdemeanor charge pertained to Pope's action against all three officers at the scene because neither the citation nor the State's factual basis for the misdemeanor charge specified any particular officer as being the victim of that crime. Pope contends, therefore, that he could not later be prosecuted separately for his actions against Officer Lamb. Pope argues vehemently that the State's request to cross-examine him, at the trial on the felony charge, about the fact that he agreed with the State's factual basis for the misdemeanor charge is strong evidence that he was subjected to double jeopardy in this case. The State contends that Pope was not subjected to double jeopardy because the misdemeanor charge pertained to Pope's altercation with Officer King and the felony charge related to Pope's actions against Officer Lamb. We agree with the State.

[¶ 14] The Wyoming Supreme Court reviews claims that a constitutional right has been violated by applying our de novo standard of review. Burdine v. State, 974 P.2d 927, 929 (Wyo.1999). The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and art. 1, § 11 of the Wyoming Constitution guarantee that a person will not be placed twice in jeopardy for the same offense. The double jeopardy provisions of the Wyoming and United States constitutions "have the same meaning and are coextensive in application." Vigil v. State, 563 P.2d 1344, 1350 (Wyo.1977). See also Amrein v. State, 836 P.2d 862, 864 (Wyo.1992). The double jeopardy constitutional guarantee provides three protections to persons accused of crimes:

It protects the accused who has been acquitted against a second prosecution for the same offense; it protects the accused who has been convicted against a second prosecution for the same offense; and it protects the accused against multiple punishments for the same offense.

Amrein, 836 P.2d at 864. See also Frenzel v. State, 938 P.2d 867, 868 (Wyo.), cert. denied 522 U.S. 959, 118 S.Ct. 388, 139 L.Ed.2d 303 (1997); Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 165, 97 S.Ct. 2221, 2225, 53 L.Ed.2d 187 (1977). We are concerned with the second...

To continue reading

Request your trial
10 cases
  • Sincock v. State
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • September 12, 2003
    ...whether there are two offenses or only one is whether each provision requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not." Pope v. State, 2002 WY 9, ¶ 15, 38 P.3d 1069, ¶ 15 (Wyo.2002); Lee v. State, 2001 WY 129, ¶ 20, 36 P.3d 1133, ¶ 20 (Wyo. [¶ 10] Initially, application of the ......
  • Giles v. State
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • September 2, 2004
    ...de novo. Joyner v. State, 2002 WY 174, ¶ 7, 58 P.3d 331, ¶ 7 (Wyo.2002) (citing Taylor v. State, 7 P.3d 15, 19 (Wyo.2000)). See also Pope v. State, 2002 WY 9, ¶ 14, 38 P.3d 1069, ¶ 14 (Wyo.2002). In Browning v. State, 2001 WY 93, ¶ 12, 32 P.3d 1061, ¶ 12 (Wyo. 2001); Saiz v. State, 2001 WY ......
  • Martinez v. State
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • February 13, 2006
    ...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. ___......
  • Redding v. State
    • United States
    • Wyoming Supreme Court
    • April 1, 2016
    ...him from the residence. It was then that the elbowing action occurred, but only against officer Ableman. Thus, like Pope [v. State, 2002 WY 9, 38 P.3d 1069 (Wyo.2002),] there was a separate act by the Defendant against only one policeman. There must be proof of a separate fact, that being b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT