Opinion No. 3
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Jason D. Scott, District
court order denying motion to withdraw guilty plea, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
W. Reynolds, Deputy Appellate Public Defender argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
Russell J. Spencer, Deputy Attorney General argued.
BURDICK, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Ayers Baxter Jr. appeals his judgment of conviction entered
in the Ada County district court. On appeal, Baxter contends
the district court abused its discretion by denying his
motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The Court of Appeals
affirmed, and this Court granted Baxter's timely petition
for review. We affirm the district court.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
February 14, 2016, after drinking alcohol for most of the
day, Baxter "backhanded [his] wife in the throat
area" while the two were driving in his car. When they
eventually stopped driving and got out of his car, they
continued arguing, and Baxter "threatened to kill her
and punched her in the arm." Baxter's abuse left his
wife with "a traumatic injury" and bruising. A
no-contact order prohibiting Baxter from attempting to
"contact, harass, follow, communicate with, or knowingly
remain within 100 feet of: [his wife]" was issued
shortly thereafter, but Baxter "call[ed] and
talk[ed]" to his wife "between 1-14 times"
after the issuance of the no-contact order.
March 17, 2016, the State charged Baxter with domestic
violence under Idaho Code section 18-918(2) and violating the
no-contact order under Idaho Code section 18-920. The State
proposed a plea agreement, whereby, in exchange for
Baxter's plea of guilty on the domestic violence charge,
the State agreed to dismiss several other
charges and recommend probation on the condition
that a domestic violence evaluation rated Baxter's
likelihood to reoffend at "less than high risk[.]"
As an additional contingency, the plea agreement prohibited
Baxter from "acquiring a new criminal charge or charges
between the date of this offer and sentencing, even if the
charge or charges are not yet conviction(s)."
was initially uncertain about whether to accept the
State's proposed plea agreement. As Baxter's counsel
[Baxter] wasn't sure about how he wanted to proceed. I
advised him, well, let's get a domestic violence
evaluation and see how it turns out. And if ultimately it
comes back less than high risk, we have a plea agreement for
probation. You can decide what you want to do. So we did.
end, on June 17, 2016, Baxter obtained a domestic violence
evaluation from Dr. Bill Arnold, Ph.D. During the evaluation,
Baxter stated that he had "experiment[ed] with marijuana
and cocaine, " but his only present usage of drugs was
"social beer drink[ing]." He did not disclose use
of methamphetamine. Further, Baxter explicitly denied hitting
his wife or causing her injury. Dr. Arnold concluded Baxter
"falls in the group of offenders who display a moderate
to high risk of future violent offending."
28, 2016, when the State reviewed the domestic violence
evaluation, it grew concerned over "gross
omissions" it felt Baxter had made concerning his drug
use and violent conduct. The State informed Baxter's
counsel that it would not recommend a bond reduction of less
than $100, 000 with pretrial release ...