2014 Opinion No. 34
Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Twin Falls County. Hon. G. Richard Bevan.
The decisions of the district court are affirmed.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, attorneys for appellant. argued. Sarah E. Tompkins argued.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, attorneys for respondent. Kenneth K. Jorgensen argued.
SCHROEDER, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, J. JONES and HORTON CONCUR.
[156 Idaho 171] SCHROEDER, Justice. pro tem
Robert C. Hansen pled guilty to the charges of aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an injury accident. At the sentencing hearing the district court allowed the victim's father to give an informal statement over Hansen's objection that the father was not a victim entitled to make a victim impact statement. The district court sentenced Hansen to a total of 15 years imprisonment for the two convictions. Hansen appealed. The case was assigned to the Court of Appeals, which determined that it was error for the district court to allow the father's statement, because the father was not a victim. However, the Court of Appeals held that any error was harmless. Hansen also attempted to appeal his sentences on both the aggravated driving under the influence charge and the leaving the scene of an injury accident charge, maintaining that the district court's departure from the plea agreement on one charge opened up both for review. The State petitioned this Court for review of whether the district court erroneously admitted the father's statement. This Court granted the State's petition.
Factual and Procedural Background
Hansen struck a motorcyclist, Donovan Jones, while Hansen was driving under the influence of alcohol. He did not stop his vehicle upon impact and immediately drove away from the scene. Donovan had recently finished his senior year of high school and planned to attend basic training for the Marine Corps in ten days. His injuries included a dislocated hip, damage to his knee ligament, severed tendons in his wrist, and multiple broken bones. Due to the extent of his injuries, he could not attend basic training, and he was disqualified when he tried to reenlist after recovery.
The State charged Hansen with aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an injury accident. Hansen pled guilty to both charges pursuant to a plea agreement. The State agreed to recommend a sentence of three years fixed plus 12 indeterminate years of imprisonment for the aggravated DUI conviction. The State agreed to recommend a sentence of five indeterminate years of imprisonment with no fixed years for the leaving the scene conviction. The State would recommend that the two sentences run concurrently. Hansen waived the right to appeal any issue, except he could appeal " the sentence" if the district court " exceeds the determinate portion of the State's sentencing recommendation of the 'Jail/Prison terms.'" The agreement allowed the State to alter the sentencing recommendation
[156 Idaho 172] if new criminal charges were filed against Hansen.
Before the sentencing hearing for the aggravated DUI and leaving the scene convictions, the State filed a new criminal charge against Hansen for domestic violence to which Hansen pled guilty. The domestic violence case was ...