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State of Idaho v. Marlin Wayne Dewitt

September 24, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MARLIN WAYNE DEWITT,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Idaho County. Hon. Jeff M. Brudie, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Melanson, Judge

2012 Opinion No. 49

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Judgment of conviction and unified sentence of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, for trafficking in methamphetamine and judgment of conviction for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, affirmed.

Marlin Wayne DeWitt appeals from his judgment of conviction and unified sentence of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, for trafficking in methamphetamine and his judgment of conviction for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

DeWitt was found guilty by a jury of trafficking in methamphetamine, I.C. § 37- 2732B(a)(4)(A), and possession of drug paraphernalia, I.C. § 37-2734A(1). The district court sentenced DeWitt to a unified term of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, for trafficking in methamphetamine and assessed court costs only for possession of drug paraphernalia. DeWitt appeals.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Denial of Opportunity to Obtain New Counsel

DeWitt argues that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated when the district court denied his request to obtain alternate counsel without providing DeWitt a full and fair opportunity to explain the conflict he had with counsel. On the morning of trial, DeWitt appeared with his retained counsel and, prior to jury selection, the following colloquy occurred:

[COURT] [Counsel], it's my understanding Mr. DeWitt wants to make some request to the Court at this time?

[COUNSEL] Your Honor, my client arrived this morning and explained to me that he wished to obtain different counsel for the trial in this matter and that he's not satisfied in the way that I'm representing him. And so I thought that it would be appropriate that I bring that matter to the Court's attention, and so I did so in the presence of the prosecutor and your Honor.

And I do not know exactly the specifics of the request, but I thought that my client should have the opportunity to bring that to the Court's attention. [COURT] Mr. DeWitt.

[DEWITT] I just don't feel I'm--he's working in my best interest. I have requested a couple of things and neither one of them got looked up or checked on. I just don't feel he's doing me . . .

[COURT] Well, you retained [Counsel] to represent you in this case, ...


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