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Blake Bryan Leavitt v. the State of Wyoming

January 24, 2011

BLAKE BRYAN LEAVITT, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Lincoln County The Honorable Dennis L. Sanderson, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hill, Justice.

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE:

This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] After being convicted of four misdemeanors and felony interference with a peace officer, Blake Brian Leavitt claims the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for felony interference. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Leavitt's single issue before this Court is, as he phrases, There was insufficient evidence to convict [Leavitt] of felony interference with a peace officer.

FACTS

[¶3] On September 4, 2009, the Afton Police Department received a call that a vehicle was spinning tires in the gravel outside of a home. From the report given, Officer Aaron Jenkins of the Afton Police Department recognized the vehicle described as one owned by Blake Leavitt.

[¶4] Shortly after receiving this report, Officer Jenkins began following the vehicle but initially did not turn on any lights or sirens. After Leavitt's vehicle increased speed on hospital property, Officer Jenkins activated both his lights and sirens, and the pursuit of Leavitt ensued. Officer Jenkins called for backup to which Sheriff's Deputy Craig P. Thatcher responded. Thatcher attempted to stop Leavitt at an intersection to no avail.

[¶5] For the next several hours a high speed chase took place, taking the officers outside Afton, into Swift Creek Canyon, and into and back out of Idaho. At one point, Deputy Thatcher "semi-blocked" the parking lot of Swift Creek Canyon in an attempt to make Leavitt stop. Leavitt, however, did not stop and instead drove his vehicle directly at Deputy Thatcher. His actions influenced Deputy Thatcher to run behind his vehicle. Leavitt was finally apprehended after two of his tires were flattened by "stop sticks" and his engine caught on fire near Auburn, Wyoming. He was arrested after exiting his vehicle.

[¶6] Following a jury trial on February 16-17, 2010, Leavitt was convicted of Count I, Felony Interference with a Peace Officer; Count II, Fleeing or Eluding a Peace Officer; Count III, Fleeing or Eluding a Peace Officer; Count V, Reckless Driving; and Count VI, Possession of Marijuana. Count IV, Reckless Endangering, was dismissed. Leavitt was sentenced to the Wyoming State Penitentiary for not less than one and one-half years nor more than three years. This appeal followed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶7] In Gomez v. State, 2010 WY 108, ¶ 19; 237 P.3d 393, 398-99 ...


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