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Steven David Lunden v. the State of Wyoming

March 20, 2013

STEVEN DAVID LUNDEN, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable David B. Park, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Voigt, 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] The appellant, Steven David Lunden, appeals the district court's denial of his motion to correct illegal sentence. On appeal, he claims that the judgment and sentence entered after he pled guilty to misuse of a credit card and forgery are illegal because he was not advised that his guilty pleas may result in the disqualification of his right to possess firearms pursuant to federal law. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Did the district court err when it denied the appellant's motion to correct an illegal sentence?

FACTS

[¶3] On May 7, 2010, the appellant pled guilty to one count of unlawful use of a credit card (a misdemeanor) and one count of forgery (a felony). He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than thirty months nor more than seventy-two months for the forgery conviction and six months in jail for the misdemeanor conviction. The district court ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

[¶4] On December 16, 2010, the appellant filed a motion to modify his sentence. The basis of his motion was premised on the fact that he was not given the opportunity to withdraw his guilty pleas after the district court sentenced him to a term of imprisonment and that the district court relied upon inaccurate information regarding his criminal history. The district court denied the motion. On January 5, 2011, the appellant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, again claiming that the sentence was based upon inaccurate information regarding his criminal history in the presentence investigation report. The district court also denied that motion. On January 25, 2011, the appellant filed a motion for a reduction of his sentence based upon his behavior during incarceration and familial circumstances. Again, the motion was denied.

[¶5] On March 1, 2011, the appellant filed a motion for post-conviction relief. He claimed he was denied a direct appeal, he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct when he discussed what the appellant claims to be an incorrect criminal history. After review, the district court denied the petition. The appellant filed a petition for writ of certiorari with this Court, which was denied on June 28, 2011. Thereafter, on August 19, 2011, the appellant filed another motion for a reduction of his sentence, again citing his behavior while incarcerated. This time, the district court heard the appellant out on his motion at a hearing on September 7, 2011. However, the afternoon after the hearing, the district court was informed that the appellant was alleged to have been found drinking alcohol, in violation of the rules imposed by the Department of Corrections. After giving the appellant and the State a chance to respond to the allegation, the district court denied the motion. Finally, on April 16, 2012, the appellant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. This motion was based upon the same allegations he raised in the petition for post-conviction relief: that he was denied a direct appeal, that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct when he referred to the appellant's criminal history at sentencing. The district court denied the motion, and the appellant now appeals that order.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶6] We review a district court's decision to deny a motion to correct an illegal sentence for an abuse of discretion. Cooper v. State, 2010 WY 22, ¶ 5, 225 P.3d 1070, 1071 (Wyo. 2010). However, as discussed below, we will dispose of this appeal upon other grounds.

DISCUSSION

[¶7] The appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence. He claims that, before he entered his guilty pleas, he was not advised, pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-507 (LexisNexis 2011), that pleading guilty to the charges may result in the disqualification of his right to possess a firearm under federal law. The State argues that this Court should not consider the appellant's argument because it is being raised for the first time on appeal. Further, the State ...


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