Reyna v. State, No. 00-193.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtVOIGT, Justice.
Citation2001 WY 105,33 P.3d 1129
Decision Date06 November 2001
Docket NumberNo. 00-193.
PartiesJoseph REYNA, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

33 P.3d 1129
2001 WY 105

Joseph REYNA, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff)

No. 00-193.

Supreme Court of Wyoming.

November 6, 2001.


33 P.3d 1130
Lynn Boak, Cheyenne, WY, Representing Appellant

Gay Woodhouse, Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Devon O'Connell Coleman, Interim Director, Prosecution Assistance Program; and Ryan Patrick Healy, Student Intern, Representing Appellee.

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

VOIGT, Justice.

[¶ 1] At a change of plea hearing, the appellant, Joseph Reyna, pled guilty to one count of forgery, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-602(a)(iii) (LexisNexis 2001), and one count of conspiracy to commit forgery, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-1-303(a) and 6-3-602(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2001), both felonies. He was sentenced to consecutive terms of five to ten years on each charge. After sentencing, the district court denied the appellant's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. This appeal is from the judgment and sentence and from the denial of the motion to withdraw his guilty pleas.

[¶ 2] We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶ 3] There are four issues presented for review:

1. Did the district court violate W.R.Cr.P. 11 in its advisement of the elements of a conspiracy?
2. Did the district court violate W.R.Cr.P. 11 in allowing the appellant to waive a presentence investigation report (PSI)?
3. Was the appellant denied effective assistance of counsel in entering his guilty pleas?
4. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying the appellant's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas?

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

[¶ 4] The probable cause affidavit attached to the Information filed in this case alleges that in December of 1999, the appellant and Juan Martinez forged seven checks totaling more than $10,000.00 on the account of Lowell Luebke. Upon his arrest, the appellant filed an affidavit of indigency and a public defender was appointed to represent him. It is disputed in the record whether a

33 P.3d 1131
preliminary hearing was held or waived.1 At any rate, the appellant was bound over for trial in the district court on both charges

[¶ 5] At his district court arraignment, the appellant entered pleas of not guilty and moved under W.R.Cr.P. 21.1(a) for peremptory disqualification of the district judge. The case was then assigned to a different district judge. At a change of plea hearing on May 17, 2000, the appellant entered pleas of guilty to both charges and was sentenced as set forth above. The pleas were the result of a limited plea agreement in which the State's only concessions were an agreement not to file additional charges against the appellant and to proceed without a presentence investigation.

[¶ 6] The appellant's trial counsel filed a Notice of Appeal on June 9, 2000. During the pendency of the appeal, the appellant filed a Motion to Withdraw Plea in the district court. This Court entered an Order Granting Motion to Stay Appeal, remanding the case to the district court for resolution of that motion. The district court heard the motion on November 13, 2000, and denied it on November 30, 2000. That denial, in addition to the original judgment and sentence, is the basis for this appeal.

DID THE DISTRICT COURT VIOLATE W.R.CR.P. 11 IN ITS ADVISEMENT OF THE ELEMENTS OF A CONSPIRACY?

[¶ 7] W.R.Cr.P. 11 sets forth the procedures that must be followed for acceptance of a plea by a criminal defendant. The rule is lengthy and complex. Pertinent to the present discussion are section (b), which describes the advisements that must be given to the defendant, section (d), which requires the court to determine the voluntariness of the plea, section (e)(7), which prohibits waiver of a presentence investigation by plea agreement, section (f), which requires the court to determine the accuracy of the plea by inquiring into the factual basis, and section (h), which allows harmless errors to be disregarded.

[¶ 8] The appellant's first contention is that the district court's colloquy with the appellant was insufficient to establish that the pleas were voluntary or that there was a factual basis for the pleas. He relies on McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459, 467, 89 S.Ct. 1166, 22 L.Ed.2d 418 (1969) (quoting F.R.Cr.P. 11, Notes on Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules), for the proposition that the judge must determine "`that the conduct which the defendant admits constitutes the offense charged in the indictment or information or an offense included therein to which the defendant has pleaded guilty.'" Specifically, the appellant argues that, conspiracy being a specific intent crime, it was improper for the district court to infer that element from the following exchange between the district court and the appellant:

THE COURT: Mr. Reyna, how do you plead to Counts I and II of the Information that's on file in this matter?
THE DEFENDANT: Guilty.
THE COURT: Were you in Laramie County on or about December 2 of 1999?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: And did you have a plan with one or more people to commit forgery?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Was that person Juan Martinez?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Were you also in Natrona [sic] County on December 17 of 1999?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Did you issue checks on an account that did not belong to you?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Did you write checks on an account?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
33 P.3d 1132
THE COURT: Was that Mr. Luebke's account?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Did you have his permission to do that?
THE DEFENDANT: No.
THE COURT: Does the State accept those factual recitations?
[PROSECUTING ATTORNEY]: Yes, Your Honor. And I believe you did get in the fact that it was in Laramie County, Wyoming.
THE COURT: Do you agree with that, Mr. Reyna?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: On both counts?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

[¶ 9] We have adopted the following standard of review for cases involving the acceptance of a guilty plea:

The procedure utilized to accept a guilty plea is reviewed by this court as a whole. Smith v. State, 871 P.2d 186, 187 (Wyo.1994). "Our inquiry determines if the district court sufficiently described the nature of the charges, including the possible penalties; informed the defendant of the right to representation; informed the defendant of the rights waived by a guilty plea; and obtained a factual basis for the plea." Mehring [v. State], 860 P.2d [1101] at 1106 [(Wyo.1993)] (emphasis added). These procedural requirements are intended to assure that the individual facing the criminal charges is not misled into an unintentional waiver of substantial rights. Id.

McCarty v. State, 883 P.2d 367, 372 (Wyo. 1994). We look to the totality of the circumstances to determine the voluntariness of a plea. Mehring v. State, 860 P.2d 1101, 1108 (Wyo.1993).

[¶ 10] At the change of plea hearing in the instant case, the district court reviewed with the appellant all of the following:

1. The terms of the plea agreement.
2. The appellant was not under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drug, or medication, he did not suffer from a mental disability or learning disorder, and he had no physical problems or distractions.
3. The appellant had reviewed the Information.
4. The nature of the charges.2
5. The potential penalties.
6. The rights waived by a guilty plea.3
7. The plea agreement did not restrict sentencing, and the appellant could be sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed by law.
8. The pleas were made of the appellant's own free will.
9. The appellant had discussed the matter "fully and completely" with his attorney and he was satisfied with that attorney's representation.
10. The appellant had no questions he wished to ask his attorney before pleading.
11. If the appellant pled guilty, he would be required to answer questions concerning the crimes.
12. The amount of restitution.
13. There was a factual basis for the pleas.

[¶ 11] This list reveals the immediate circumstances under which the district court accepted the factual basis for the conspiracy plea. The appellant's contention that there was insufficient discussion of the specific intent element of conspiracy could implicate either his understanding of the nature of the charge (# 4) or the factual basis for the

33 P.3d 1133
charge (# 13). The appellant's appellate brief commingles these arguments

[¶ 12] These immediate circumstances do not, however, tell the whole story. The change of plea hearing did not take place in a vacuum. The appellant is an experienced criminal, with three previous penitentiary sentences for felony convictions, two for forgery and one for theft. See Kaldwell v. State, 908 P.2d 987, 992-93 (Wyo.1995). He was represented by an experienced public defender who reviewed the evidence and plea options with him. See McCarty, 883 P.2d at 374. There was a preliminary hearing. The appellant, himself, raised the idea of waiving the presentence investigation report because he feared the judge would learn that he "may be wanted" in Nebraska "for the same thing not as much money." These circumstances indicate that the appellant made a voluntary plea with a full understanding of the nature of the charges.

[¶ 13] The appellant does not contest that a forgery or forgeries occurred or that there was a sufficient factual basis presented for that crime. His contention is that the factual basis for conspiracy was inadequate because his specific intent—the agreement that a crime be committed—has to be inferred from other statements.4 We disagree. The appellant replied, "Yes," when asked, "And did you have a plan with one or more people to commit forgery." (Emphasis added.) Certainly it does not require much of an inference to conclude that "a plan with one or more people to commit forgery" is substantively the same as "agrees with one (1) or more persons that they ... will commit [forgery]."5 Wyo. Stat. Ann. §...

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33 practice notes
  • Noel v. State, S-13-0059
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2013
    ...that his guilty pleas were involuntary. See generally Van Haele v. State, 2004 WY 59, ¶ 27, 90 P.3d 708, 716 (Wyo. 2004); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 9, 33 P.3d 1129, 1132 (Wyo. 2001). Thus, this Court need not determine whether the trial court sufficiently described the nature of the ch......
  • Noel v. State, No. S–13–0059.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2014
    ...that his guilty pleas were involuntary. See generally Van Haele v. State, 2004 WY 59, ¶ 27, 90 P.3d 708, 716 (Wyo.2004); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 9, 33 P.3d 1129, 1132 (Wyo.2001). Thus, this Court need not determine whether the trial court sufficiently described the nature of the char......
  • Duke v. State, No. 02-270.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 25, 2004
    ...U.S. at 686, 104 S.Ct. at 2064. Asch, at ¶ 11 (quoting Becker v. State, 2002 WY 126, ¶ 12, 53 P.3d 94, ¶ 12 (Wyo.2002); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 19, 33 P.3d 1129, ¶ 19 (Wyo.2001); Chapman v. State, 2001 WY 25, ¶ 6, 18 P.3d 1164, ¶ 6 (Wyo. 2001); Grainey v. State, 997 P.2d 1035, 1038-3......
  • Cloud v. State, No. S–11–0102.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 9, 2012
    ...Frias v. State, 722 P.2d 135, 145 (Wyo.1986) ). Becker v. State, 2002 WY 126, ¶ 12, 53 P.3d 94, 98–99 (Wyo.2002) (quoting Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 19, 33 P.3d 1129, 1134–35 (Wyo.2001) ) (emphasis added).B. Bear Cloud's Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims¶ 39] Bear Cloud has asser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Noel v. State, S-13-0059
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2013
    ...that his guilty pleas were involuntary. See generally Van Haele v. State, 2004 WY 59, ¶ 27, 90 P.3d 708, 716 (Wyo. 2004); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 9, 33 P.3d 1129, 1132 (Wyo. 2001). Thus, this Court need not determine whether the trial court sufficiently described the nature of the ch......
  • Noel v. State, No. S–13–0059.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2014
    ...that his guilty pleas were involuntary. See generally Van Haele v. State, 2004 WY 59, ¶ 27, 90 P.3d 708, 716 (Wyo.2004); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 9, 33 P.3d 1129, 1132 (Wyo.2001). Thus, this Court need not determine whether the trial court sufficiently described the nature of the char......
  • Duke v. State, No. 02-270.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 25, 2004
    ...U.S. at 686, 104 S.Ct. at 2064. Asch, at ¶ 11 (quoting Becker v. State, 2002 WY 126, ¶ 12, 53 P.3d 94, ¶ 12 (Wyo.2002); Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 19, 33 P.3d 1129, ¶ 19 (Wyo.2001); Chapman v. State, 2001 WY 25, ¶ 6, 18 P.3d 1164, ¶ 6 (Wyo. 2001); Grainey v. State, 997 P.2d 1035, 1038-3......
  • Cloud v. State, No. S–11–0102.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 9, 2012
    ...Frias v. State, 722 P.2d 135, 145 (Wyo.1986) ). Becker v. State, 2002 WY 126, ¶ 12, 53 P.3d 94, 98–99 (Wyo.2002) (quoting Reyna v. State, 2001 WY 105, ¶ 19, 33 P.3d 1129, 1134–35 (Wyo.2001) ) (emphasis added).B. Bear Cloud's Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims¶ 39] Bear Cloud has asser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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