Appeal from the District Court of Crook County The Honorable Dan R. Price II, Judge
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hill, Justice.
Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.
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] Appellant, Kelly David Robinson (Robinson), was convicted of three misdemeanors and one felony. All of these crimes arose in a domestic violence context. Robinson challenges one of those misdemeanor convictions, a violation of a protection order charged under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-4-404 (LexisNexis 2009). The gravamen of the crime was that he mailed a letter from his jail cell in Oregon (where he was being held on a warrant for his other Wyoming crimes) to the victim who had obtained the protection order. The posting and the eventual receipt of that letter by the victim was the basis for the violation of the protection order issued by the circuit court of Crook County. Among other things, Robinson claims that there is insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction for the crime charged. Although our decision is based upon grounds somewhat different from those raised in the briefs, we will reverse that conviction and remand this matter to the district court with directions that the conviction at issue be vacated and that Robinson be resentenced accordingly.
[¶2] Robinson raises these issues:
I. Did the district court have subject matter jurisdiction to prosecute a violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-3-510(c) under § 6-4-404?
II. Was venue proper where [Robinson's] act occurred outside the county of prosecution?
III. Was sufficient evidence presented to prove an act of violation of the protection order within Crook County?
IV. Did the trial court abuse its discretion by allowing the testimony of the "domestic violence" expert?
The State conforms its statement of the issues to that presented by Robinson.
[¶3] The details of this case are not of significance. For the sake of background and context, we note that Robinson was charged with, and was convicted of: (1) Aggravated assault, a felony described in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-502(a)(iii) (LexisNexis 2009); (2) unlawful contact with a household member, a misdemeanor described in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-501(g) (LexisNexis 2009); (3) property destruction and defacement, a misdemeanor described in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-201(a) and (b)(i) (LexisNexis 2009); and (4) violation of a protection order, a misdemeanor described in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-4-404(a) (LexisNexis 2009).
[¶4] Over the course of two days, August 1-2, 2009, Robinson and the victim engaged in arguments and physical confrontations over an alleged love triangle. The victim asked Robinson to leave the apartment they shared and he refused to do so, so she left. She returned the next day to get some of her things, and Robinson became violent in his actions toward her. During the altercation, Robinson held a knife to her throat and threatened her (aggravated assault), and he kneed her in the back knocking her to the ground (battery against household member). The victim managed to get away from him, and Robinson followed her out to her car where he slashed one of the tires on her car (property destruction/defacement). Based upon these events, a protection order was issued by the circuit court prohibiting Robinson from having any contact with the victim. Robinson then left Wyoming. Warrants were issued for his arrest by the Wyoming court. Eventually, he was found in the state of Oregon, where ...