Rude v. State, No. 92-76

CourtWyoming Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBefore MACY; TAYLOR
Citation851 P.2d 15
PartiesJack Stanley RUDE, Appellant (Defendant), v. STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
Docket NumberNo. 92-76
Decision Date26 April 1993

Page 15

851 P.2d 15
Jack Stanley RUDE, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 92-76.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
April 26, 1993.

Page 16

Micheal K. Shoumaker, Sheridan, for appellant.

Joseph B. Meyer, Atty. Gen., Sylvia L. Hackl, Deputy Atty. Gen., and Barbara L. Boyer, Sr. Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Before MACY, C.J., and THOMAS, CARDINE, GOLDEN and TAYLOR, JJ.

TAYLOR, Justice.

Appellant, Jack Stanley Rude, appeals from the district court's decision to accept his pleas of guilty to the crimes of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Appellant raises one issue for our review by asking whether an adequate factual basis was established during re-arraignment to sustain his pleas of guilty to the crimes of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Mary Elizabeth Rude was found dead in her Cheyenne, Wyoming apartment on the morning of March 20, 1991. She had been shot three times at close range with a small caliber weapon, twice to the head and once to the back. The investigation of the murder centered upon appellant and his son. A complaint was filed on April 12, 1991, leading to the arrest of appellant in Ohio on April 17, 1991. He was extradited to Wyoming and appeared in county court on June 10, 1991. Counsel was appointed to represent appellant and he was bound over to the district court. He was arraigned in district court on August 9, 1991, and the district court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Appellant was re-arraigned on March 6, 1992, and, pursuant to a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. In exchange for appellant's guilty pleas, the prosecution agreed to recommend that he be sentenced to life terms for each count, with the terms to run concurrently. The district court accepted the guilty pleas and sentenced appellant to two concurrent life sentences.

I.

Appellant contends that the district court judge did not adequately establish a factual basis for each charge as required by W.R.Cr.P. 15(f) (Rule 11 under the present rules). W.R.Cr.P. 15(f) provided:

Determining accuracy of plea.--Notwithstanding the acceptance of a plea of guilty, the court should not enter a judgment upon such plea without making such inquiry as shall satisfy it that there is a factual basis for the plea.

During re-arraignment, after the district court established that the pleas were voluntary and had placed appellant under oath, the following colloquy occurred:

THE COURT: Okay. With regard to--let's go to count two first. I think that might be a little easier to get a factual basis.

What happened on March 19, 1991? First of all, did it happen here in Cheyenne?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, it did.

THE COURT: What did you do?

THE DEFENDANT: Beth was--my daughter-in-law was getting in my face and threatening legal action against my son. I was getting very angry. And she stooped down in front of me--was getting cat food or whatever--and she turned her head sideways and said, "You're nothing but a"--or "He's nothing

Page 17

but a damned liar." That's when I shot her.

* * * * * *

THE COURT: Okay. So, now, you came to Cheyenne then with the pistol, you came with the intent to kill your daughter-in-law, I take it. Is that right?

THE DEFENDANT: Well, it was not a dyed-in-the-wool decision. It was a decision that I think I reached a few seconds before I actually shot her.

* * * * * *

THE COURT: * * * Tell me about the actual shooting. What happened? How many shots did you shoot?

THE DEFENDANT: Well, the first two shots were, I would say, instantaneous, together, and the third shot followed it by--I have no concept of time--but some interval of time.

THE COURT: How much interval? What's your best testimony in that regard?

THE DEFENDANT: My guess would be just a few seconds.

The prosecution provided the following additional information:

[PROSECUTOR]: Your Honor, the premeditation, Mr. Rude, I believe, was laying a factual basis for the shot. He described first the first shot to the head of Ms. Rude. I believe we still have shots two and three. There was a pause between the second shot, a pause between the third shot. And I would submit upon completion of that statement, there would be sufficient evidence to support premeditation.

Appellant asserts that the factual basis which was provided to the district court did not establish premeditation, an element of the crime of first-degree murder. Wyo.Stat. § 6-2-101(a) (Cum.Supp.1992) provides:

Whoever purposely and with premeditated malice, or in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any sexual assault, arson, robbery, burglary, escape, resisting arrest or kidnapping, kills any human being is guilty of murder in the first degree.

This court has consistently held that no specific period of time is required for premeditation to occur. State v. Riggle, 76 Wyo. 1, 298 P.2d 349 (1956), cert. denied, 352 U.S. 981, 77 S.Ct. 384, 1 L.Ed.2d 366 (1957). We have concluded that premeditation requires only a brief interval between the formation of the intent or design and the commission of the act. Collins v. State, 589 P.2d 1283, 1292 (1979).

The word "premeditated" when used in reference to first-degree murder implies an interval, however brief, between the formation of the intent or design and the commission of the act.

Id. at 1292. Premeditation need not have existed for any given length of time before the act. It is sufficient that premeditation existed at the time of the act, and the intent and the act may be as instantaneous as successive thoughts. Riggle, 298 P.2d at 367; Cloman v. State, 574 P.2d 410, 418 (Wyo.1978). We agree with the definition of premeditation outlined by the Supreme Court of Colorado:

It matters not how short the interval, if it was sufficient for one thought to follow another, and the defendant actually formed the design to kill, and deliberated and premeditated upon such design before firing the fatal shot, this was sufficient to raise the crime to the highest grade known to the law.

Sandoval v. People, 117 Colo. 588, 192 P.2d 423, 424-25 (1948). See also Young v. State, 849 P.2d 754 (Wyo.1993).

We have held that, when a conviction for first-degree murder is reviewed on appeal, "[d]eliberation and premeditation as the basis for conviction of murder may be inferred from the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing." Buckles v. State, 500 P.2d 518, 521 (Wyo.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1026, 93 S.Ct. 475, 34 L.Ed.2d 320 (1972). While Buckles involved a jury's finding of deliberation and premeditation, we hold that this same rule applies to a judge's determination of the factual basis for a plea of guilty to first-degree murder.

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We find support for this rule in the plain language of W.R.Cr.P. 15(f) (Rule 11 under the present rules). The rule requires the court to satisfy itself that a factual basis exists for the guilty plea before accepting such plea. The rule does not...

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15 practice notes
  • Pena v. State, No. 03-13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 6, 2004
    ...423 (1948). Young v. State, 849 P.2d 754, 761 (Wyo.1993) (quoting Murry v. State, 713 P.2d 202, 207 (Wyo.1986)). See also Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 17 (Wyo.1993); Collins v. State, 589 P.2d 1283, 1292 Hightower v. State, 901 P.2d 397, 403 (Wyo.1995). We think the jury instruction adequate......
  • Noel v. State, S-13-0059
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2013
    ...S. Ct. 160, 27 L. Ed. 2d 162 (1970); Berry v. State, 2004 WY 81, 93 P.3d 222 (Wyo. 2004); Sami, 2004 WY 23, 85 P.3d 1014; Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 18 (Wyo. 1993).[¶28] The existence of a bona fide defense does not prevent the entry of an Alford plea. See Johnston v. State, 829 P.2d 1179,......
  • Noel v. State, No. S–13–0059.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2014
    ...25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970); Berry v. State, 2004 WY 81, 93 P.3d 222 (Wyo.2004); Sami, 2004 WY 23, 85 P.3d 1014;Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 18 (Wyo.1993). [¶ 28] The existence of a bona fide defense does not prevent the entry of an Alford plea. See Johnston v. State, 829 P.2d 11......
  • Siler v. State, No. 03-169.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 8, 2005
    ...423 (1948).' Young v. State, 849 P.2d 754, 761 (Wyo.1993) (quoting Murry v. State, 713 P.2d 202, 207 (Wyo.1986)). See also Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 17 (Wyo.1993); Collins v. State, 589 P.2d 1283, 1292 Hightower v. State, 901 P.2d 397, 403 (Wyo.1995). We think the jury instruction adequat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • Pena v. State, No. 03-13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 6, 2004
    ...423 (1948). Young v. State, 849 P.2d 754, 761 (Wyo.1993) (quoting Murry v. State, 713 P.2d 202, 207 (Wyo.1986)). See also Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 17 (Wyo.1993); Collins v. State, 589 P.2d 1283, 1292 Hightower v. State, 901 P.2d 397, 403 (Wyo.1995). We think the jury instruction adequate......
  • Noel v. State, S-13-0059
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2013
    ...S. Ct. 160, 27 L. Ed. 2d 162 (1970); Berry v. State, 2004 WY 81, 93 P.3d 222 (Wyo. 2004); Sami, 2004 WY 23, 85 P.3d 1014; Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 18 (Wyo. 1993).[¶28] The existence of a bona fide defense does not prevent the entry of an Alford plea. See Johnston v. State, 829 P.2d 1179,......
  • Noel v. State, No. S–13–0059.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 25, 2014
    ...25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970); Berry v. State, 2004 WY 81, 93 P.3d 222 (Wyo.2004); Sami, 2004 WY 23, 85 P.3d 1014;Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 18 (Wyo.1993). [¶ 28] The existence of a bona fide defense does not prevent the entry of an Alford plea. See Johnston v. State, 829 P.2d 11......
  • Siler v. State, No. 03-169.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 8, 2005
    ...423 (1948).' Young v. State, 849 P.2d 754, 761 (Wyo.1993) (quoting Murry v. State, 713 P.2d 202, 207 (Wyo.1986)). See also Rude v. State, 851 P.2d 15, 17 (Wyo.1993); Collins v. State, 589 P.2d 1283, 1292 Hightower v. State, 901 P.2d 397, 403 (Wyo.1995). We think the jury instruction adequat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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