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State v. Colvin

Court of Appeals of Idaho

November 4, 2016

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
DOUGLAS RAYMOND COLVIN, Defendant-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 70

         Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Latah County. Hon. John R. Stegner, District Judge.

         Order denying motions to correct an illegal sentence, to withdraw guilty plea, and for appointment standby counsel, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, Interim State Appellate Public Defender; Reed P. Anderson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          MELANSON, Chief Judge

         Douglas Raymond Colvin appeals from the district court's order denying his motions to correct an illegal sentence, withdraw his guilty plea, and for appointment of standby counsel. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

         In 1992, pursuant to a plea agreement, Colvin pled guilty to second degree murder. At his sentencing hearing, the district court invited Colvin to make a statement on his behalf, which he did. The district court also asked Colvin's attorney whether there was any legal reason the judgment should not be pronounced, and Colvin's attorney answered in the negative. Colvin was sentenced to a unified life term, with a minimum period of confinement of twenty-five years. In 2015, Colvin filed three motions: (1) motion for correction of an illegal sentence; (2) "motion for relief, " which requested that he be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea; and (3) motion for appointment of standby counsel.

         In his motion to correct an illegal sentence, Colvin argued that the district court violated Colvin's right to allocution by failing to explain that his personal statement could include mitigating information. Colvin also argued that it was improper for the district court to ask Colvin's attorney, rather than Colvin, whether there was any legal reason judgment should not be pronounced. In Colvin's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, he claimed that his guilty plea was invalid and therefore resulted in a manifest injustice. Finally, in his motion for appointment of standby counsel, Colvin argued that he was entitled to counsel to confer with regarding the motion to correct an illegal sentence and the motion to withdraw the guilty plea. The district court denied all three motions. Colvin appeals.

         II. ANALYSIS

         On appeal, Colvin contends that the district court erred in denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence and abused its discretion in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea and motion for appointment of standby counsel.

         A. Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence

         On appeal, Colvin contends the district court erred when it denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The district court found that Colvin's motion was barred by the time limitations contained in Rule 35(b) and that, even if it were brought under Rule 35(a), that his sentence was not illegal on the face of the record. Rule 35 is a narrow rule which allows a trial court to correct an illegal sentence or to correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner. State v. Farwell,144 Idaho 732, 735, 170 P.3d 397, 400 (2007). An illegal sentence apparent from the face of the record can be corrected at any time. I.C.R. 35(a). However, a sentence imposed in an illegal manner may only be corrected within 120 days after the judgment of conviction ...


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