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State of Idaho v. Ronald W. Rollins

July 19, 2011

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD W. ROLLINS, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Benjamin R. Simpson, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gratton, Chief Judge

2011 Opinion No. 42

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Judgment of conviction and sentence for grand theft, affirmed.

Ronald W. Rollins, Jr. appeals his sentence imposed upon a guilty plea to grand theft, Idaho Code § 18-2403(1). Rollins argues that the district court erred by failing to order a psychological evaluation before sentencing and abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence. We affirm.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Rollins entered a welding business with a key that had been entrusted to him by the business owner's sister. He took two pieces of welding machinery valued at approximately $7,750 to a pawn shop and received $600. Rollins spent the money on drugs. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Rollins pled guilty to grand theft and was released directly to a voluntary drug rehabilitation program. After entry of the guilty plea, the district court inquired about the need for an I.C. § 19-2524 evaluation, which allows courts to "order the defendant to undergo a substance abuse assessment and/or a mental health examination." I.C. § 19-2524(1). Rollins' attorney replied that the drug rehabilitation program would provide an evaluation that would assist the court in sentencing and a separate evaluation would not be necessary.

The presentence investigation report (PSI) summarized Rollins' history of misdemeanor crimes: possession of alcohol by a minor; driving without privileges; failure to purchase a license; battery; two instances of petit theft; unlawful sale of prescription drugs; and two probation violations. Rollins also had charges of grand theft and forgery dismissed. As it related to investigating Rollins' mental condition, the investigator reported that two attempts had been made to involuntarily commit Rollins' mother, but both proceedings had been dropped. Rollins' ex-girlfriend at the time of the investigation told the investigator that Rollins was a pathological liar, had stolen from her, had caused her severe financial difficulties, and possibly had mental health problems similar to his mother's. Rollins stated to the investigator that he "would like a mental health evaluation." Relating to his drug addiction, Rollins told the investigator that he had been addicted to pain medication for approximately eight years and that he desires to stop using drugs. The investigator concluded that Rollins' criminal problems were attempts to support his drug habit and that he needed a controlled environment to address his addictions, thinking, and behavior. The investigator did not recommend that the court obtain a psychological evaluation for sentencing purposes.

At sentencing, Rollins requested a withheld judgment. The court imposed a unified sentence of five years with two years determinate and suspended the sentence, placing Rollins on supervised probation. Rollins appeals.

II.

DISCUSSION

Rollins claims the sentencing court erred by failing to order a psychological evaluation, and abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence.

A. Psychological Evaluation

Rollins argues the district court erred by failing to order a psychological evaluation prior to sentencing. Rollins contends that he requested an evaluation through the PSI. Alternatively, he asserts that the district court erred by failing to sua sponte order a psychological evaluation prior to sentencing.

In the PSI, the investigator wrote: "The defendant stated he has never had mental health counseling, never considered or attempted suicide, but reports that he feels anxiety and depression and would like a mental health evaluation. He stated that his mother has mental health issues with anxiety and depression." (Emphasis added.) On appeal, Rollins characterizes this statement as a request for a psychological evaluation. The State asserts that the reference was in relation to treatment, ...


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