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Sanchez v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 24, 2013

Henry R. SANCHEZ, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

Page 1178

Representing Appellant: Henry R. Sanchez, pro se.

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath; Jeffrey S. Pope, Assistant Attorney General.

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

VOIGT, Justice.

[¶ 1] A jury convicted the appellant of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and battery, possession of cocaine, and misdemeanor interference. He was sentenced to thirty to forty years for the attempted murder conviction, with lesser sentences to run concurrently. The appellant filed a motion for sentence reduction, which the district court denied. Not convinced the district court had all accurate facts available in making its decision, the appellant filed a motion for reconsideration and it too was denied. The appellant argues on appeal that the district court abused its discretion and violated his due process rights by denying his motions for sentence reduction and ensuing reconsideration. He contends the State committed prosecutorial misconduct by presenting false facts in its traverse to the motion for sentence reduction; as a result, the district court's denial was improper. We find no abuse of discretion by the district court, no violation of the appellant's constitutional rights, and no prosecutorial misconduct. We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶ 2] 1. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying the appellant's motion for reduction of sentence?

2. Were the appellant's constitutional due process rights violated by the district court's denial of his motion to reconsider a sentence reduction?

3. Did the State commit prosecutorial misconduct by misstating facts in its traverse to the appellant's motion for reduction of sentence?

FACTS

[¶ 3] Stemming from an attack on his girlfriend, the appellant was convicted of four crimes and sentenced to a combined prison term of thirty to forty years. In arriving at these sentences, the district court considered, inter alia, the appellant's Presentence Investigation Report. The report reflected that, between 1977 and 2008, the appellant had been charged with over forty separate crimes resulting in more than twenty-five convictions.

[¶ 4] The appellant appealed his conviction and sentence to this Court. See Sanchez v. State, 2011 WY 77, 253 P.3d 136 (Wyo.2011). While his appeal was pending, he filed a motion for a new trial premised upon a claim of recently discovered juror bias, which was denied by the district court. Id. at ¶ 10, 253 P.3d at 140. We affirmed the conviction, sentence, and denial of the motion for new trial. Id. at ¶ 50, 253 P.3d at 149. Thereafter, the appellant filed a petition for post-conviction relief. The district court denied relief, and we entered an order denying the appellant's petition seeking a writ of review of that denial.

[¶ 5] In the latest salvo, the appellant has filed a motion for sentence reduction. He provided proof of successful completion of several prison rehabilitation programs, attendance of various counseling sessions, employment at the prison, and being a role model, explaining:

I came in here [to prison] with a negative view of life. But I view life in a much better way now. I communicate, socialize and work with others in a real positive way. And a lot more, I help others as much as I can if it will help them in a positive way. I've learned to respect others in authority, as well as fellow inmates. I have no desire to live life as I ...

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