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Hagen v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

November 5, 2014

CAMERON CURTIS HAGEN, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge

Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Westling.

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jenny L. Craig, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Caitlin Frances Young, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Young.

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

BURKE, CHIEF JUSTICE.

[¶1] In these consolidated appeals, Appellant, Cameron Curtis Hagen, challenges his conviction for escape under Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 7-18-112 and 6-5-206(a)(i). He also appeals the district court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Appellant states the issue as follows:

Did the trial court impose an illegal sentence by allowing a conviction of escape when Appellant's sentence on the underlying conviction had been served and he was not being legally detained?

FACTS

[¶3] Appellant was housed at a community corrections facility in Casper as a result of a conviction for aggravated assault. On May 14, 2012, he checked out of the facility to go to work. Appellant, however, never arrived at work, and proceeded to several unauthorized locations before returning to the corrections facility after the time he was required to report.

[¶4] As a result of this incident, the State charged Appellant with escape in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 7-18-112 and 6-5-206(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2011).[1] Appellant ultimately entered a plea of nolo contendere, or "no contest, " to the charge. The district court sentenced Appellant to 15 to 24 months in prison. Appellant timely appealed that decision, which was assigned Docket No. S-13-0069.

[¶5] Appellant subsequently filed four motions in the district court: a motion for release pending appeal, a motion to withdraw guilty plea, a motion to correct illegal sentence, and a motion for sentence reduction. In his motion to withdraw his plea, Appellant asserted that, "After entry of the judgment, Mr. Hagen discovered that at the time of the alleged escape he had been mistakenly or intentionally denied earned good time and he had actually served his sentence and should have been released prior to the incident alleged as an escape." To support his argument, Appellant attached a "Sentence Information Document, " dated May 28, 2008, which listed his "Earliest Projected Maximum Discharge Date" as November 11, 2011.[2] The State filed a response requesting dismissal of Appellant's motion to correct an illegal sentence. The State asserted that Appellant had provided the court with an "outdated and unreliable" sentence information document, and attached a sentence information document dated March 8, 2012, which listed Appellant's earliest discharge date as September 13, 2012. The State also asserted that a motion to correct an illegal sentence presupposes a valid conviction and could not be used to correct issues concerning the validity of a conviction. After a hearing on Appellant's motions, the court allowed Appellant to withdraw his motion for release pending appeal and denied the remaining three motions.

[ΒΆ6] Appellant filed an appeal from the denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence, which was assigned Docket No. S-14-0080. That appeal was consolidated with the appeal of the district court's judgment. After briefing was submitted, the State filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated appeals contending the appeals were moot because Appellant challenged only the legality of his sentence on appeal and because he had completed ...


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