2014 Unpublished Opinion No. 343
Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Thomas F. Neville, District Judge.
Order relinquishing jurisdiction and sentence for felony domestic violence, affirmed.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben P. McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Dustin Ray Golden was charged with one count of attempted strangulation, Idaho Code § 18-923, and one count of domestic violence, I.C. §§ 18-903(a) and 18-918(2), as a result of violence that he inflicted upon his girlfriend. Part II of the information alleged that Golden was subject to a sentence enhancement as a persistent violator pursuant to I.C. § 19-2514. At a pretrial conference, Golden's counsel informed the court that Golden had rejected an offer by the State under which, if Golden would plead guilty to felony domestic violence, the State would dismiss the remaining allegations and dismiss a newly-filed felony charge for failure to register as a sex offender. Upon learning that Golden had rejected this plea offer, the district court became a participant in the plea negotiations. The court's statements included the following:
And the--the Court would want to see the evaluation from Oregon on domestic violence, but I can throw in my own offer here, and say that the Court would give serious consideration to retaining jurisdiction, for evaluative purposes, meaning I'd raise the bar, and recommend the conflict resolution program, CRP, which is done at the CAPP facility, as part of the CAPP program. CAPP is a--a program that specializes in substance abuse, that sort of thing.
No guarantees, but the Court would give serious consideration for a plea as has been proposed by the State. This is not--the State's not--the State would still be recommending prison straight away; the Court would be giving--would be willing to give serious consideration to retaining jurisdiction for evaluative purposes. It's not where the bar's left on the ground and nobody--and everybody get a probation recommendation. It has to be a good rider.
. . . . And if the Court retained--if the Court retained jurisdiction for evaluative purposes, you would have to do a fine rider before the Court would consider, at the end of the rider, placing you on probation.
The district court also stated, "I'm not going to offer this more than today, and--and that offer's going to go away in about ten minutes, Mr. Golden. . . . [Y]ou need to just tell me whether you're interested in this or not. I'm--I'm not guaranteeing you a rider, but I'm saying I would give serious consideration to a rider." After consulting with his attorney about the district court's offer, Golden decided to plead guilty and, pursuant to a plea agreement, entered his guilty plea to felony domestic violence.
At the sentencing hearing, the district court noted that Golden had previously committed approximately ten felonies and that the domestic violence evaluation conducted for purposes of sentencing placed him in the highest risk range for repeat domestic violence. The court then said:
For the record, the Court did--did give very serious consideration to retaining jurisdiction for evaluative purposes, and recommending the conflict resolution program. The Court, frankly, was unaware of the number of prior felonies that Mr. Golden had, and I was not aware of what the--was not yet aware of ...