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State v. Krambule

Court of Appeals of Idaho

December 19, 2017

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
MARJORIE BALLS KRAMBULE, Defendant-Appellant.

         2017 Opinion No. 67

         Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Franklin County. Hon. Mitchell W. Brown, District Judge.

         The appeal is dismissed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Andrea W. Reynolds, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Mark W. Olson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          GRATTON, Chief Judge

         Marjorie Balls Krambule appeals from the district court's order revoking her withheld judgment and continuing probation. She asserts the district court erred by allowing her to enter a guilty plea and be sentenced in a pro se capacity without first obtaining a valid waiver of her right to counsel.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Krambule was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), Idaho Code § 37-2732(c)(1). The district court appointed a public defender to represent her. Krambule entered into a plea agreement with the State in which she agreed to enter an Alford[1] plea of guilty to an amended charge of accessory to possession of methamphetamine, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1), and in return the State would recommend a withheld judgment and probation. The district court accepted her plea and scheduled the case for sentencing.

         Krambule filed a motion to withdraw her guilty plea prior to sentencing. At the hearing on the motion, her court-appointed counsel made a motion to withdraw as counsel based on Krambule's desire to retain private counsel. The district court granted both motions. Thereafter, Krambule's private counsel filed a notice of appearance.

         Prior to commencement of the continued jury trial, her private counsel also filed a motion to withdraw as counsel due to Krambule's request to terminate the representation. A hearing on this motion was held in January 2015. After consulting with Krambule, her counsel told the court that Krambule wanted to try to reach an agreement with the prosecutor and, if she were unsuccessful, then she wanted to retain new private counsel. The prosecutor indicated that he would speak with Krambule directly if the court granted her counsel's motion to withdraw. The court granted the motion and Krambule met with the prosecutor and shortly thereafter he informed the court that a plea agreement had been reached. The plea agreement was similar to the one previously reached where Krambule would enter an Alford plea to an amended charge of accessory to possession of methamphetamine, the State would recommend a withheld judgment and probation, and also included an agreement by the State to dismiss a related misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge. On January 22, 2015, the court accepted the plea, entered a withheld judgment, and placed Krambule on probation for three years.

         In March 2016, the State filed a report of a probation violation alleging Krambule had violated her probation by testing positive for methamphetamine. Krambule appeared at a hearing without counsel, indicated she would like to be represented by counsel, and the court appointed a public defender. After an evidentiary hearing, the court entered an order on August 1, 2016, finding Krambule had violated the terms of her probation, revoked her withheld judgment, and imposed a sentence of four years with two years determinate. Krambule timely appeals from the order revoking her withheld judgment.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Krambule asserts the withheld judgment entered in January 2015 was void because the district court allowed her to enter a guilty plea and be sentenced in a pro se capacity without first obtaining a valid waiver of her right to counsel. On appeal, Krambule asserts this Court should vacate the August 2016 order because the district court could not revoke a withheld judgment that was void. Alternatively, Krambule argues that her conviction for possession should be vacated because her plea and sentence were without representation by counsel constituting a structural defect. Conversely, the State contends that this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider the merits ...


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