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State of Idaho v. Peggy Sue Neumeyer

March 28, 2013

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
PEGGY SUE NEUMEYER,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Michael E. Wetherell, District Judge.

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

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 425

) Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk ) THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED ) OPINION AND SHALL NOT ) BE CITED AS AUTHORITY )

Judgment of conviction and unified sentence of seven years, with a minimum period of confinement of two and one-half years, for possession of a controlled substance, affirmed; order denying I.C.R. 35 motion for reduction of sentence, affirmed.

Peggy Sue Neumeyer appeals from her judgment of conviction and unified sentence of seven years, with a minimum period of confinement of two and one-half years, for possession of a controlled substance. Neumeyer also appeals from an order denying her I.C.R. 35 motion for reduction of sentence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

In October 2011, a concerned citizen called 911 and reported that an individual, later identified as Neumeyer, was observed stealing items from a shed. The citizen followed Neumeyer to a nearby convenience store. When officers arrived, the citizen directed them to Neumeyer. The officers made contact with Neumeyer in the convenience store and requested that she step outside to speak with the officers. One officer asked Neumeyer if she had any weapons on her person, at which point Neumeyer placed her hands into her pockets. The officer attempted to perform a pat-down, taking control of Neumeyer's arms. The officer informed Neumeyer she was not under arrest but, rather, was being detained. However, Neumeyer became hostile, tensed her arms, and began to scream. Neumeyer subsequently kicked one of the officers in the leg.

Officers then located a bag Neumeyer had left inside the store. The officers searched the bag and discovered a syringe loaded with a brown substance which later tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine. The officers also discovered a license plate that had been reported stolen. Neumeyer was arrested and charged with felony battery on a police officer, I.C. §§ 18-915(1)(b), 18-903; possession of methamphetamine, I.C. § 37-2732(c); resisting or obstructing an officer, I.C. § 18-705; and petit theft by possession of stolen property,

I.C. §§ 18-2403(4), 18-2407(2).

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Neumeyer agreed to plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor battery of a police officer.*fn1 The state agreed to dismiss the remaining charges and to recommend a unified sentence of seven years, with a minimum period of confinement of two years. The state also agreed to recommend that the sentence be suspended. However, the state subsequently learned that Neumeyer misrepresented her criminal history and had recently used her daughter's social security number to fraudulently obtain utility services. The state sought to be relieved of its sentencing recommendations under the plea agreement and the district court ruled the state was no longer bound by the agreement.

At sentencing, Neumeyer's adult daughter testified about her upbringing with Neumeyer and described watching her mother use drugs. The state argued for a unified sentence of seven years, with a minimum period of confinement of two years. Neumeyer argued she should be placed on probation.

Prior to announcing Neumeyer's sentence, the district court provided commentary on articles in a local newspaper which had asserted drug use is a victimless crime. The district court indicated it disagreed strongly with that notion and viewed Neumeyer's case as a classic example of why. The district court indicated that Neumeyer's case involved two victims--Neumeyer and her daughter. The district court then relayed its own personal experience of watching a parent struggle with alcohol addiction. The district court stated:

Then I look at the fact that your daughter and your relationship is obviously in tatters right now. This happens to be with drugs, but it really doesn't matter whether it is drugs or whether it is alcohol or--same effect. Same impact. Your daughter is never going to forget that instance of seeing you use heroin. Just like I will never forget the impact of helping my father up the front stairs when he was too drunk to get up them. And in all other respects he was actually [a] pretty good father, but until ...


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