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State of Idaho v. Michael Patrick James

April 5, 2013

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHAEL PATRICK JAMES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

Per curiam.

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 432

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Order denying motion for credit for time served, affirmed.

Before LANSING, Judge; GRATTON, Judge; and MELANSON, Judge

On September 6, 2009, officers went to Michael Patrick James's Kootenai County residence in an attempt to arrest him on two active felony warrants. Officers were unable to locate James, but they observed firearms, numerous boxes of ammunition, and suspected stolen property in and around James's home. Officers obtained a search warrant and, upon searching James's residence, they located four firearms, numerous stolen vehicles and other stolen items, a dish "caked" with a crystal substance that tested positive for amphetamines, and "clandestin [sic] lab materials and chemicals." Two days later, an officer conducted a traffic stop on James, at which time James intentionally put his pickup in reverse and rammed the officer's patrol car, causing damage.

On October 9, 2009, a complaint was filed charging James with several felonies and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The complaint was ultimately amended to charge attempted trafficking in methamphetamine or amphetamine by manufacturing, three counts of grand theft, unlawful possession of a firearm, and felony malicious injury to property, with a habitual offender enhancement. In April 2010, James was arrested in the state of Washington for an offense unrelated to the Idaho charges. After sentencing in Washington, he was transported to Idaho on August 22, 2010, for disposition of the Kootenai County charges.

Pursuant to a binding Rule 11 plea agreement, James pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted to being a habitual offender, and the parties stipulated that James's sentence "shall be a prison sentence consisting of four (4) years fixed and a minimum of six (6) years indeterminate, the sentence on all counts to run concurrently." The district court imposed concurrent unified sentences of nineteen years, with four years fixed, for attempted trafficking in methamphetamine or amphetamine by manufacturing; ten years with four years fixed, for each of the three counts of grand theft; four years fixed for unlawful possession of a firearm; and four years fixed for felony malicious injury to property.

Approximately fourteen months later, on June 1, 2011, the district court, having heard a motion for credit for time served, entered an order granting James 134 days of credit for time served. On January 23, 2012, James filed an amended motion for credit for time served, requesting an additional 140 days of credit for time he spent incarcerated in Washington on the unrelated charges. At the hearing on the motion, James recognized that under Idaho law a defendant is not entitled to credit for time served for an unrelated offense. However, James argued that the district court's oral pronouncement at sentencing controls his sentence and that the district court said he would get credit for time served from the date of his "original arrest." James contended that his "original arrest" occurred in Washington on April 5, 2010. The district court then ruled as follows:

It was the Court's pronouncement that the Kootenai County case, the Canyon County Case and the Bonner case would run concurrent. And I invited [defense counsel], given the complexity among those cases, I strongly suggest you contact department of corrections and submit a document in each of those cases as to the time served from his original arrest to today's date. He gets credit for it. It was the Court's intention that his arrest on those three cases apply--or on the case I was handling. He technically was not arrested until he arrived in the state of Idaho after finishing his term in the state of Washington and being released.

It was not my intention to give him credit for time served before he got to the state of Idaho.

The district court then denied the motion and James timely appealed.

On appeal, James is "[m]indful of Idaho Code Section 18-309, State v. Moliga, 113 Idaho 672 (1987), and the district court's factual finding that Mr. James was not arrested for the instant offense until he was taken in custody in the state of Idaho," James nevertheless argues that the district court erred in denying his ...


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