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State v. Komen

Supreme Court of Idaho

July 22, 2016

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
WILLIAM DEE VAN KOMEN, JR. Defendant-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 78

         Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for Kootenai County. Hon. John T. Mitchell, District Judge.

         The judgment of the district court is vacated.

          Maya P. Waldron, Deputy State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, argued for appellant.

          Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, argued for respondent.

          EISMANN, Justice.

         This is an appeal out of Kootenai County from an order relinquishing jurisdiction following a period of retained jurisdiction and requiring the defendant to serve a prison sentence because the defendant asserted his constitutional right to remain silent regarding an unrelated felony. We vacate the order of the district court and remand this case for further proceedings.

         I.

         Factual Background.

         For the felony offense of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, the district court on June 17, 2010, sentenced William Dee Van Komen, Jr. ("Defendant") to five years in the custody of the Idaho Board of Correction, with the first two years fixed and the remaining three years indeterminate. The court retained jurisdiction over the case for 180 days.

         When a district court sentences a defendant to prison and retains jurisdiction, the defendant is remanded to the custody of the Idaho Board of Correction and placed at a prison facility operated by the Idaho Department of Correction. Prior to the termination of the period of retained jurisdiction, the court has the discretion to suspend the sentence and place the defendant on probation. If the period of retained jurisdiction expires without the court affirmatively suspending the sentence and placing the defendant on probation, the court loses jurisdiction, and the defendant remains committed to the custody of the Board of Correction. State v. Taylor, 142 Idaho 30, 31, 121 P.3d 961, 962 (2005).

         When a district court sentences a defendant to prison and retains jurisdiction (typically called a "rider"), the Department assesses the defendant to determine his or her needs and places the defendant at an appropriate prison facility to receive intensive programming and education. During the rider, the Department can also assess the defendant's attitude and willingness to abide by required rules. Near the end of the rider, the Department submits a report to the sentencing court regarding the defendant's performance on the rider and the Department's recommendation regarding whether to suspend the sentence and place the defendant on probation. That recommendation is purely advisory and is not binding upon the court. State v. Coassolo, 136 Idaho 138, 143, 30 P.3d 293, 298 (2001).

         On November 23, 2010, the district court held a "rider-review" hearing to determine whether to suspend Defendant's sentence. The Department and the prosecutor recommended that Defendant be placed on probation. The court agreed, and it suspended Defendant's sentence and placed him on probation for a period of five years. Defendant later admitted violating the terms of his probation, and on March 28, 2013, the court entered an order continuing Defendant on probation with an additional term that he successfully complete a specified rehabilitation program.

         On August 26, 2013, the probation officer filed a report alleging that Defendant had violated three terms of his probation. Two of the terms allegedly violated were that Defendant "not associate with any individuals specified by your probation officer" and that he "submit to analysis of [his] blood, breath or urine at [his] own expense at the request of [his] probation officer or any law enforcement officer." In his report, the probation officer stated that Defendant was "having a relationship with a 16-year-old girl on juvenile probation" and that when questioned about the girl Defendant "admitted that the two were romantically involved, as well as using drugs together." The probation officer also wrote that Defendant's phone "contained various pictures of the two of them together, including kissing and nude photos of [Defendant]" and that Defendant had failed to report for required drug testing.

         At the arraignment on the alleged probation violations, Defendant admitted these two violations, and a third alleged violation was withdrawn. The district court revoked Defendant's probation, but again retained jurisdiction, this time for 365 days.[1] After announcing its decision, the court stated that because of the missed drug tests, it did not know whether Defendant had been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. Defendant responded that he had been. The court then stated that it would order that Defendant have a ...


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