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State v. Hartshorn

March 8, 2010

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CURTIS GLENN HARTSHORN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bonneville County. Hon. Richard T. St. Clair, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Walters, Judge Pro Tem

2010 Opinion No. 16

Order denying motion to withdraw guilty plea, affirmed; orders denying I.C.R. 35 motions for reduction of sentences, affirmed.

Curtis Glenn Hartshorn appeals from the district court's order denying his motion to withdraw a guilty plea. In addition, Hartshorn appeals from the district court's orders denying his motions under Idaho Criminal Rule 35 for reduction of his sentences. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hartshorn pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. I.C. § 37-2732(a)(1)(A). Hartshorn was sentenced to a unified term of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years. The district court suspended Hartshorn's sentence and placed him on probation for five years. As conditions of probation, the district court ordered Hartshorn to serve an additional sixty days in the county jail with work release privileges and to complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment as recommended by his probation officer. Two days after Hartshorn was sentenced, Hartshorn left the county jail on work release and failed to return. The following day, Hartshorn was charged with escape. I.C. § 18-2505.

A few months later, Hartshorn was arrested for escape and four counts of issuing a check without funds. I.C. § 18-3106(a). After his arrest, an aggravated assault charge was filed against Hartshorn for attempting to commit a violent injury upon an arresting officer. I.C. §§ 18-901, 18-905(a). In addition, Hartshorn was charged with grand theft for taking, obtaining, or withholding a financial transaction card belonging to another person. I.C. §§ 18-2403, 18-2407(1)(b)(3). A public defender was appointed to represent Hartshorn.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hartshorn pled guilty to escape and to one count of issuing a check without funds and entered an Alford*fn1 plea to grand theft. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the prosecutor agreed to make certain sentence recommendations and to dismiss the aggravated assault charge and the three counts of issuing a check without funds. A few days after entering his pleas, Hartshorn sent a letter to the district court, stating that he did not feel comfortable pleading guilty, that he wanted to disqualify his current counsel, and wanted to represent himself. The district court treated the letter as a motion to withdraw Hartshorn's guilty pleas. At a hearing on the motion, Hartshorn agreed to withdraw his motion to withdraw his pleas if the district court would immediately proceed with his sentencing and disposition for his probation violation.

The district court agreed to sentence Hartshorn immediately. The district court revoked Hartshorn's probation and ordered execution of the previously suspended sentence for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. For escape, the district court sentenced Hartshorn to a determinate term of one year, to be served consecutive to the sentence in the controlled substance case. For issuing a check without funds, the district court sentenced Hartshorn to a determinate term of three years, to run concurrent with the controlled substance sentence. Finally, for grand theft, the district court sentenced Hartshorn to a unified term of twelve years, with a minimum period of confinement of four years, also to be served concurrent with the controlled substance sentence. Hartshorn was represented by counsel at the hearing on the motion to withdraw his guilty plea, at disposition on the probation violation, and at sentencing.

Hartshorn filed pro se I.C.R. 35 motions for reduction of his sentences, asking for leniency due to mental health and substance abuse issues. After a hearing, the district court denied Hartshorn's Rule 35 motions.

Thereafter, Hartshorn filed a pro se appeal from each of the district court's orders denying the Rule 35 motions. The district court ordered the appointment of the state appellate public defender and the withdrawal of the county public defender on appeal. While his appeal was pending, Hartshorn filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea to grand theft. As a result, the proceedings on appeal were suspended pending the outcome of the motion to withdraw the plea. At a hearing on the motion, Hartshorn appeared via telephone and argued the motion to withdraw the plea without counsel. The district court denied the motion to withdraw the guilty plea. Subsequently, the proceedings on appeal resumed.

II. ANALYSIS

Hartshorn argues that the district court erred by holding the hearing on his motion to withdraw plea without the presence of counsel. In addition, Hartshorn appeals the district court's order denying the Rule 35 motions. Specifically, Hartshorn asserts that the district court abused its ...


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