Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Vasquez

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise

April 16, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
IDA PEREZ VASQUEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

         2018 Opinion No. 35

          Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Power County. Hon. Stephen S. Dunn, District Judge. The judgment of conviction is vacated.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for Appellant. Justin M. Curtis argued.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, for Respondent. Mark Olsen argued.

          BEVAN, Justice

         Ida Perez Vasquez ("Vasquez") appeals from a judgment of conviction following a trial by the court where she was found guilty of one count of intimidating a witness, in violation of Idaho Code section 18-2604(3). Vasquez argues that she was deprived of her state and federal constitutional right to a jury trial because, although her counsel waived her right to a jury trial, Vasquez never personally waived such right, either orally or in writing. Vasquez subsequently appealed and this case was originally heard and decided by the Court of Appeals; however, we granted the State of Idaho's petition for review. We now vacate Vasquez's conviction and remand this case to the district court.

          I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

         In 2009, D.P. made allegations of sexual abuse against her paternal uncle, but later recanted those allegations. The paternal uncle and Vasquez are siblings. In 2012, D.P. disclosed additional acts of sexual abuse by the same uncle. Because of the new allegations, police officers again investigated the 2009 allegations. During the course of the 2012 investigation, the officers obtained evidence that Vasquez coached D.P. in 2009 regarding what to say during her recantation. As a result, Vasquez was charged with intimidating a witness.

         Vasquez initially pleaded not guilty and the case was set for jury trial on September 24, 2014. After a failed attempt at mediation, trial was reset to December 2, 2014. The day before trial, Vasquez's counsel and the prosecutor informed the district court that they intended to waive Vasquez's right to a jury trial and stipulate to a trial by the court. On the day of trial, the following exchange occurred:

Court: Yesterday I was advised by the counsel for parties, both the state and the defendant, that they had stipulated to waive a jury and try this case to the court. Is that right, Mr. Peterson?
Mr. Peterson: Yes, [y]our Honor.
Court: Mr. Souza [counsel for Ms. Vasquez]?
Mr. Souza: Yes, sir.
Court: All right. So the record will reflect that agreement.

         Vasquez was present, but the district court never inquired of her whether or not she personally agreed with this stipulation.

         Following the court trial, Vasquez was found guilty of felony intimidating a witness. The district court imposed a unified sentence of four years, with two years determinate, and placed Vasquez on probation. Vasquez timely appealed. Vasquez's appeal was initially heard by the Court of Appeals, which vacated and remanded the case on the ground that the district court erred when it conducted a bench trial without first obtaining Vasquez's personal, express waiver of her right to a jury trial.

         The State petitioned this Court for review of the Court of Appeals' ruling, arguing that Vasquez failed to meet her burden of showing fundamental error. This Court granted review on September 8, 2017.

         Shortly thereafter, on September 12, 2017, the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) filed a request to terminate Vasquez's probation in the district court. On September 13, 2017, before any remittitur from this Court, the trial court granted[1] the Board's request, terminated Ms. Vasquez's probation and "set aside the guilty plea and dismissed the case." While Vasquez never pled guilty in this case, the order nevertheless had the effect of dismissing the matter pursuant to I.C. §19-2604 while Vasquez's appeal was pending before this Court.

         This Court was notified of the trial court's order and the Clerk of the Supreme Court entered an order on December 7, 2017 conditionally dismissing this appeal because it appeared to be moot. The State of Idaho formally objected to that proposed dismissal, and this Court therefore left the matter pending and heard argument on January 12, 2018. Based thereon, we now vacate Vasquez's Judgment of Conviction.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.