State v. Langley, No. 16239

CourtIdaho Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBAKES; DONALDSON, C.J., and SHEPARD; BISTLINE; HUNTLEY; BISTLINE
Citation110 Idaho 895,719 P.2d 1155
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. William A. LANGLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 16239
Decision Date02 May 1986

Page 1155

719 P.2d 1155
110 Idaho 895
STATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
William A. LANGLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 16239.
Supreme Court of Idaho.
May 2, 1986.
Rehearing Denied June 11, 1986.

Page 1156

[110 Idaho 896] William A. Langley, Boise, pro se.

Jim Jones, Atty. Gen., Lynn E. Thomas, Sol. Gen., Boise, for plaintiff-respondent.

BAKES, Justice.

William Langley was convicted of robbery, pursuant to I.C. § 18-6501, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, pursuant to I.C. § 19-2520. The district court sentenced Langley to an indeterminate life sentence on the robbery count and a consecutive 15-year indeterminate term pursuant to I.C. § 19-2520, for the use of a firearm in the commission of the robbery. Langley now argues that his conviction should be overturned. We disagree and uphold the judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed.

On September 6, 1980, a Molenaar's Jewelry Store in Boise was robbed. After an informant tied Langley to the crime, two Molenaar's employees picked Langley out of a photographic lineup, identifying him as the man who had held them at gunpoint, forced them to lie on the floor, handcuffed them, and threatened to "blow off" their heads. Langley, no stranger to the criminal justice system, was subsequently extradited from Utah where he was being held on an unrelated charge.

Langley insisted on representing himself, agreeing to use a public defender only as a legal advisor. Acting pro se, with the public defender's office as legal advisor, Langley filed a number of pretrial motions. In fact, the record reflects that Langley filed over twenty pretrial motions. Most of these motions sought dismissal of the charges against Langley due to alleged defects in the extradition proceedings, disqualification of the district court judge, 1 or suppression of the prosecution witnesses' testimony. The record also reflects that between the arraignment on February 18, 1983, and July 18, 1983, when Langley ultimately stood trial, Langley appeared at least nine times in the district court to argue these various motions. A legal advisor from the public defender's office was present at each of these court appearances.

Trial was originally set for May 31, 1983. The minute entry from that date indicates that Langley refused to go to trial at that time, requesting a continuance. He argued that he needed the continuance in order to obtain alibi witnesses. Following argument by both Langley and a representative from the public defender's office, the trial was continued until July 18, 1983.

The case went to trial on July 18, 1983. At trial, Langley, still insisting upon representing himself, nevertheless refused to remain in the courtroom and participate in the trial. 2 As a result, Langley was taken

Page 1157

[110 Idaho 897] from the courtroom into a nearby room where he was able to view and participate in the trial through the use of audio-visual equipment. See I.C.R. 43.1. 3 The record reflects that no legal advisor from the public defender's office was present at this trial. 4 A jury was picked, and the prosecution presented its case. Langley completely refused to present a defense, but instead made a motion for a continuance, which was denied. Ultimately, the jury returned a guilty verdict, and the trial court entered judgment and sentence.

Langley then appealed, asserting several errors at trial. The Court of Appeals found no merit in most of Langley's arguments, but held that Langley did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel. Thus, the court reversed Langley's conviction. State v. Langley, 109 Idaho 119, 705 P.2d 1074 (Ct.App. 1985). Our review of the record causes us to conclude otherwise.

I

Langley, who asserted his constitutional right to represent himself at trial, now argues that his conviction should be overturned since he was not adequately informed of the dangers of self representation. We disagree and uphold the judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed.

It is basic to appellate practice that error in the trial court will not be presumed, but must be affirmatively shown by the appellant. State v. Sharp, 104 Idaho 691, 695, 662 P.2d 1135, 1139 (1983); Mahaffey v. State, 87 Idaho 233, 236, 392 P.2d 423, 424 (1964). See also Carpenter v. Double R Cattle Co., Inc., 108 Idaho 602, 604, 701 P.2d 222, 224 (1985); Gaither v. E.G. & G. Idaho, Inc., 106 Idaho 675, 676, 682 P.2d 628, 629 (1984). Langley, the appellant, has not affirmatively shown error here.

The record reflects that Langley repeatedly insisted on representing himself, agreeing to use a public defender only as a legal advisor. This relationship between Langley and the public defender, Laird Stone, was clarified during Langley's preliminary hearing in magistrate court:

"THE COURT: Be seated. Take up at this time, State of Idaho vs. William Langley, Case Number 25C-1077. This is the time set for Preliminary Hearing. Is the State ready to proceed?

"MR. ROSENTHAL: The State's ready, Your Honor.

"THE COURT: Is the Defendant ready to proceed?

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: The Defense is ready, Your Honor.

"THE COURT: Okay. Call your first witness.

"MR. STONE: Judge ....

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Judge, I have some motions ....

"MR. STONE: .... I think before we take that up, we better take those motions up to ... at least clear up my status in the case at this point.

"THE COURT: Well, I assume, Mr. Langley, what you wanted was to have the Public Defender along in case you wanted to ask him any legal questions, but ...

Page 1158

[110 Idaho 898] "DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Yes, I want ....

"THE COURT: ... you wanted to represent yourself, is that right?

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Merely as a--a legal advisor.

"THE COURT: Okay.

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: I filed a motion to proceed in pro se, so that will clear him ....

"THE COURT: Okay."

In accord with his wishes, Langley represented himself at the preliminary hearing, questioning all the prosecution's witnesses and calling and questioning his own witnesses. The record reflects that the public defender participated in the hearing only in an advisory capacity.

Later, during Langley's arraignment in district court, Langley rejected the court's attempts to persuade him to have counsel appointed. The following exchange took place:

"THE COURT: The next case I'll take up is the State of Idaho, plaintiff, versus William A. Langley, Case No. 11538. Mr. Bailiff?

"Mr. Langley, apparently you were represented also by the public defender in the lower court; is that correct, sir?

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: I represented myself pro se, Your Honor. I proceeded with the guidance of assistance of the public defender as a legal advisor.

"THE COURT: Well, then, I might ask you: What is your thinking in regard to the attorney in this court?

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Well, I intend to proceed pro se with the assistance of legal advisors from the public defender's office. Mr. Laird Stone has been assigned to me.

"THE COURT: You would like to continue that arrangement?

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Yes, sir.

"THE COURT: Well, I might advise you that I have been in this business a long time, and I have never yet found a person that has represented themselves very well pro se, and I think it's a very foolish idea to do so.

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: I'm a fool for a client is what you mean.

"THE COURT: I think that's about it. Even I have an attorney and am in court over in a civil case in Payette, and I'm not representing myself.

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: I would rather proceed pro se, Your Honor.

"THE COURT: Very well, then, I have advised you accordingly.

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: Excuse me, Your Honor. I would like the assistance of an attorney as a legal advisor.

"THE COURT: Well, I'll give you that right, and the public defender is there. I hope you reconsider and change your mind in that regard. And to that extent, I'll reaffirm the public defender to represent you.

"DEFENDANT LANGLEY: No, I'll proceed pro se.

"THE COURT: Very well. ...."

The record also reflects that Langley's decision to represent himself was discussed several times during Langley's many court appearances. The minute entry from a May 12, 1983, motion hearing reflects that at this time the district court again advised Langley to allow his legal advisor to represent him. At that time Langley again articulated his desire to continue to represent himself pro se. A later minute entry, from the May 31, 1983, hearing at which the continuance was granted, reads, "The Court comments regarding appointment of counsel for further legal proceedings. The defendant informs court that he will continue pro se with comments."

The record also reflects that a pretrial motion hearing was held on July 7, 1983. The minutes of this hearing reflect that Langley called Laird Stone, the public defender serving as his legal advisor, as a witness. It is unclear what the substance of Stone's testimony was or why he was called to testify. However, the minutes of this hearing do contain the following entry: "The Court affirmed the trial date of July 18, 1983 at 9:00 A.M. Response by the Defendant regarding the refusal to attend

Page 1159

[110 Idaho 899] the trial. Comments by the Defendant regarding a Motion to Appoint Counsel Outside the Public Defenders Office. Response by the Court, informing the defendant that the public defenders office has not been appointed." The minutes do not reflect just what Langley meant, at this point in time, when he motioned for the appointment of outside counsel. No such motion is contained in the record. However, it is clear that Langley, by this point, had been instructed many times and was fully aware that by electing pro se representation he had assumed full responsibility for his own defense.

In Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S.Ct. 2525, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975), the United States Supreme Court held that an individual has a right to pro se representation. This right, conditioned upon a knowing and intelligent waiver of...

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7 practice notes
  • State v. Lovelace, No. 24373
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • July 23, 2003
    ...made, with an understanding of the charges, and possible penalties and dangers of self-representation. See also State v. Langley, 110 Idaho 895, 719 P.2d 1155 (1986), citing Faretta v. California, At a July 28, 1997 hearing, which was noticed for a change of plea, Lovelace informed the dist......
  • State v. Hall, Docket Nos. 31528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 11, 2018
    ...must be affirmatively shown by an appellant." State v. Lovelace , 140 Idaho 53, 65, 90 P.3d 278, 290 (2003) (citing State v. Langley , 110 Idaho 895, 897, 719 P.2d 1155, 1157 (1986) ). Here, Hall has failed to demonstrate specific prejudice he suffered because some proceedings were conducte......
  • State v. Hall, Docket Nos. 31528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 11, 2018
    ...must be affirmatively shown by an appellant." State v. Lovelace , 140 Idaho 53, 65, 90 P.3d 278, 290 (2003) (citing State v. Langley , 110 Idaho 895, 897, 719 P.2d 1155, 1157 (1986) ). Here, Hall has failed to demonstrate specific prejudice he suffered because some proceedings were conducte......
  • State v. Kirkwood, No. 16413
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • September 26, 1986
    ...economy, to delegate criminal cases to the Court of Appeals and then routinely overturn their decisions. See, e.g., State v. Langley, 110 Idaho 895, 719 P.2d 1155 (1986); State v. Lewis, 107 Idaho 616, 691 P.2d 1231 (1984); State v. Wilson, 107 Idaho 506, 690 P.2d 1338 (1984). This is parti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • State v. Lovelace, No. 24373
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • July 23, 2003
    ...made, with an understanding of the charges, and possible penalties and dangers of self-representation. See also State v. Langley, 110 Idaho 895, 719 P.2d 1155 (1986), citing Faretta v. California, At a July 28, 1997 hearing, which was noticed for a change of plea, Lovelace informed the dist......
  • State v. Hall, Docket Nos. 31528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 11, 2018
    ...must be affirmatively shown by an appellant." State v. Lovelace , 140 Idaho 53, 65, 90 P.3d 278, 290 (2003) (citing State v. Langley , 110 Idaho 895, 897, 719 P.2d 1155, 1157 (1986) ). Here, Hall has failed to demonstrate specific prejudice he suffered because some proceedings were conducte......
  • State v. Hall, Docket Nos. 31528
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • April 11, 2018
    ...must be affirmatively shown by an appellant." State v. Lovelace , 140 Idaho 53, 65, 90 P.3d 278, 290 (2003) (citing State v. Langley , 110 Idaho 895, 897, 719 P.2d 1155, 1157 (1986) ). Here, Hall has failed to demonstrate specific prejudice he suffered because some proceedings were conducte......
  • State v. Kirkwood, No. 16413
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • September 26, 1986
    ...economy, to delegate criminal cases to the Court of Appeals and then routinely overturn their decisions. See, e.g., State v. Langley, 110 Idaho 895, 719 P.2d 1155 (1986); State v. Lewis, 107 Idaho 616, 691 P.2d 1231 (1984); State v. Wilson, 107 Idaho 506, 690 P.2d 1338 (1984). This is parti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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