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State v. Matthews

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise

January 30, 2019

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent-Cross Appellant,
v.
RYAN KELLY MATTHEWS, Defendant-Appellant-Cross-Respondent.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Melissa Moody, District Judge.

          District court judgment and conviction, affirmed.

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

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Jeff Nye, Deputy Attorney General, argued

          BURDICK, Chief Justice

         Ryan Kelly Matthews ("Matthews") appeals his judgment of conviction and sentence entered in Ada County district court. The State cross-appeals the district court's decision not to award prosecution costs as part of the agreed-to restitution.

         After Matthews was arrested for absconding from parole, methamphetamine was found on his person during the booking process at the Ada County Jail and Matthews was charged with possession of a controlled substance. After having his motion to suppress denied, Matthews agreed to a plea deal and the district court sentenced him to seven years with three years fixed. The district court declined to order the full amount of restitution for prosecution costs under Idaho Code section 37-2732(k). The district court stated it agreed with Matthews's concern that he felt like he was having "to pay for exercising [his] constitutional right."

         Matthews timely appealed contending that the district court abused its discretion by ignoring mitigating factors at sentencing. The State timely filed a cross-appeal based on the district court's denial of the State's request for prosecution costs. Specifically, the State argues that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to order Matthews to pay the costs of prosecution on the sole basis that it would infringe on his constitutional rights because such a statement is inconsistent with this Court's precedent. We affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On May 6, 2016, Matthews was arrested on an agent's warrant after he failed to check in with his parole officer for a period of weeks. The parole officer believed that Matthews had absconded from supervision and was living in an unapproved location. A woman with whom Matthews was staying at the time alerted parole and probation officers to Matthews's whereabouts after she grew "concerned for her safety and the safety of her children" because Matthews was "bringing in some unsavory characters to her house" and she "suspected that he was also using narcotics." With her permission, the parole officers entered the woman's home, found Matthews asleep, and arrested him. During Matthews's booking process at the Ada County Jail, two plastic baggies containing methamphetamine were found in his pocket. Matthews was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled substance. He then filed a motion to suppress the evidence taken from his pocket which, after a hearing on the matter, the district court denied. Matthews then accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. Matthews's counsel informed the district court of the agreement at the change-of-plea hearing, stating:

Your Honor, this is going to be quite straightforward, as far as a plea goes. This is simply to possessing a controlled substance. It's going to be open recommendations. There will be no Information Part II.

         The State has made it very clear that they are going to be asking for the cost of prosecution in this case. It's somewhere in the three to $500 range. And that-Mr. Matthews would agree to that.

         Beyond that, Your Honor, that's the extent to the agreement in this case. The court accepted Matthews's guilty plea.

         At sentencing, the State requested that Matthews be ordered to pay $200.00 in restitution for laboratory tests and $524.12 for prosecution costs in the case. Matthews's counsel stated he did not object to the laboratory-costs restitution, but made no mention of the prosecution costs. After hearing arguments and hearing directly from Matthews, the district court sentenced Matthews to seven years with three years fixed and the remaining four years indeterminate. The district court also ordered Matthews to pay $285.50 in court costs and $200.00 in restitution for laboratory tests pursuant to Idaho Code section 37-2732(k). The ...


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