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State v. Easley

Supreme Court of Idaho

March 28, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
KRYSTAL LYNN EASLEY, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 41

Page 297

Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Twin Falls County. Hon. G. Richard Bevan, District Judge.

The case is remanded for resentencing considering all alternatives available to the sentencing court.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, attorneys for appellant. Shawn F. Wilkerson argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, attorneys for respondent. Daphne Huang argued.

SCHROEDER, J. pro tem. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, J. JONES and HORTON CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 298

[156 Idaho 216] SCHROEDER, J. pro tem

I.

Nature of the Case

This is an appeal from the district court's order revoking Krystal Easley's probation and this Court's partial denial of her request to augment the record with various transcripts to be created at the public's expense. The case also presents the issue of the prosecutor's refusal to consent to the district

Page 299

[156 Idaho 217] judge's desire to sentence Easley to mental health court and the district court's acquiescence in that refusal.

II.

Factual and Procedural Background

In September of 2005, Krystal Easley was charged by Information with possession of a controlled substance. She entered an Alford [1] plea to possession of a controlled substance on November 28, 2005. The district court imposed a sentence of four years with two years fixed but suspended the sentence and placed Easley on probation. On March 6, 2007, the State alleged that Easley violated various terms of her probation. On September 17, 2007, Easley admitted to violating the terms of her probation for failure to stay in contact with her probation officer, absconding, failing to maintain employment, and failing to pay the costs of her supervision. The district court revoked Easley's probation and reinstated her original probation on October 29, 2007.

On June 30, 2010, the State filed a motion to revoke probation, alleging that Easley violated various terms of her probation. The State also charged Easley by Information with possession of a controlled substance. Both cases were treated as though they were consolidated. Easley pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance in the second case. She also admitted to violating the terms of her probation by changing her residence without permission, consuming methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine, having contact with a prohibited person, and failing the pay the costs of her supervision. The district court imposed a concurrent unified sentence of seven years with three years fixed on the new charge, but the court retained jurisdiction. On February 22, 2010, on review of Easley's period of retained jurisdiction, the district court suspended Easley's sentences in both cases and placed her on probation.

On April 21, 2011, the State filed a motion to revoke probation in both cases. Easley admitted to violating the terms of her probation for failing to obtain a substance use evaluation, failing to provide a drug test, changing her residence without permission, failing to make herself available for supervision, failing to report to her probation officer, and failing to complete community service. On November 22, 2011, the State filed a second motion to revoke probation in both cases.

Easley was in contact with the Twin Falls mental health court coordinator. Easley asserts that the mental health court coordinator determined that she would be a good candidate for mental health court. The prosecutor did not agree with the recommendation. The district court ruled that it did not possess the authority to place Easley into the mental health court program, because in Twin Falls County the prosecutor has an " absolute veto" over post-judgment eligibility for mental health court. On January 31, 2012, the district court revoked probation in both cases and executed the underlying sentences. However, the district court sua sponte reduced Easley's sentence in the second case to a unified sentence of seven years with two years and six months fixed. The district court gave the following justification for reducing Easley's sentence:

I do that, not because people who abscond probation deserve a break, but I do believe there is a significant question about [Easley's] mental health to offer [her] an opportunity to hopefully get some treatment in the therapeutic community or otherwise and have an opportunity to parole out a half a year sooner.

Easley filed a notice of appeal in both cases on February 2, 2012.

Easley filed a motion to augment the record with various transcripts. The State objected in part to Easley's request for the transcripts. This Court entered an order granting Easley's request for two transcripts, but it denied her request for transcripts of the admit/deny hearing, the October 29, 2007, disposition hearing, and the February 22, 2011, rider review hearing.

Page 300

[156 Idaho 218] Easley asserts this Court erred in denying her motion to augment the record in part.

III.

Issues on Appeal

1. Whether this Court denied the defendant due process and equal protection when it denied in part her ...

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