from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. David C. Nye, District
district court's order of dismissal is vacated
and the case is remanded for further proceedings.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Russell J. Spencer argued.
an appeal from the district court's summary dismissal of
Jeremy Ray Wheeler's petition for post-conviction relief.
We vacate the district court's order of dismissal and
remand for further proceedings.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
26, 2014, Wheeler was arrested and charged with possession of
methamphetamine in violation of Idaho Code section
37-2732(c)(1). Due to prior convictions of a similar nature,
he was also charged with being a persistent violator as
defined in Idaho Code section 19-2514. Wheeler filed a motion
to suppress evidence that was denied by the district court.
Consistent with Idaho Criminal Rule 11(e), Wheeler completed
a written plea advisory form on March 23, 2015. There, he
indicated that he was entering a conditional guilty plea,
reserving his right to appeal the issue of his "motion
to surpress [sic]." He appeared before the district
court the next day and entered his guilty plea to the charge
of possessing methamphetamine in exchange for dismissal of
another criminal matter and the persistent violator
allegation. On May 11, 2015, Wheeler was sentenced to serve
seven years, with three years fixed, and the district court
retained jurisdiction for one year. On August 13, 2015, the
district court relinquished jurisdiction at Wheeler's
trial counsel filed a notice of appeal on September 14, 2015.
The notice of appeal purported to challenge both the denial
of Wheeler's motion to suppress and his sentence. The
State Appellate Public Defender ("SAPD") was
appointed to represent Wheeler on appeal. Wheeler's SAPD
attorney informed him that his appeal from the denial of the
motion to suppress was untimely and recommended that Wheeler
file a petition for post-conviction relief alleging
ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to timely
appeal from the denial of his motion to suppress.
February 2, 2016, Wheeler filed a pro se petition
for post-conviction relief. The State moved for summary
dismissal of the petition. The district court granted the
motion, finding that Wheeler's claim that trial counsel
had failed to timely appeal from the denial of the motion to
suppress was groundless: "[T]he Court again notes that
an appeal was timely filed, the Court has verified this with
the Supreme Court of Idaho, and the appeal is ongoing at the
time of this decision. Wheeler's [claim based upon a
failure to timely appeal] must be dismissed as it is patently
timely appealed from the dismissal of his petition. In an
unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
district court's dismissal of Wheeler's petition for
post-conviction relief. We granted Wheeler's pro
se petition for review. We thereafter appointed the SAPD
to represent Wheeler in proceedings before this Court. We
granted the SAPD leave to file a supplemental brief on review
which we have considered in deciding this appeal.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
this Court gives serious consideration to the views of the
Idaho Court of Appeals when considering a case on review from
that court, it reviews the district court's decision
directly." State v. Watkins, 148 Idaho 418,
420, 224 P.3d 485, 487 (2009) (citing Mattoon v.
Blades, 145 Idaho 634, 636, 181 P.3d 1242, 1244 (2008)).
one judge presided over the plea hearing, and a different
judge presided over the suppression hearing and sentencing,
"this Court has determined that its role on appeal is to
freely review the evidence and weigh the evidence in the same
manner as the trial court would do when ruling on a motion
for new trial." Shabinaw v. Brown, 131 Idaho
747, 751, 963 ...