[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the District Court of Fremont County. The Honorable
Norman E. Young, Judge.
Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M.
Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate
Counsel; Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.
Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David
L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens,
Senior Assistant Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson,
Faculty Director, Bradford H. Coates, Student Director, and
Brian Conklin, Student Intern, of the Prosecution Assistance
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
[¶1] Santana Mendoza pled guilty to
manslaughter and aggravated battery and was sentenced to
twelve to eighteen years for manslaughter and eight to ten
years for aggravated battery, to run concurrently, with a
recommendation for boot camp. Mr. Mendoza successfully
completed boot camp and moved for a sentence reduction to
probation. The district court denied that motion, but reduced
his sentence by two years. Mr. Mendoza appeals, claiming that
the district court applied the wrong standard, considered
improper evidence, and that the prosecutor breached the plea
agreement and engaged in misconduct during the hearing on his
motion. We affirm.
[¶2] 1. What is the proper standard for a
motion for sentence reduction following the successful
completion of the Youthful Offender Program (boot camp)?
the nature of the underlying crime a factor that may be
addressed by the parties and considered by the district court
in a motion for sentence reduction?
the prosecutor violate the terms of the plea agreement when
he argued against a sentence reduction?
[¶3] Mr. Mendoza and another juvenile
assaulted two people along a path outside of Riverton. One of
the victims was killed and the other sustained serious
injuries. Mr. Mendoza was sixteen at the time.
[¶4] Pursuant to a plea agreement, Mr.
Mendoza pled guilty to charges of manslaughter, in violation
of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-105(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2015),
and aggravated battery, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann.
§ 6-2-502(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2015). The plea agreement
provided that " [t]he State shall take no position on
[¶5] At the sentencing hearing, Mr.
Mendoza's counsel recommended he participate in the
Youthful Offender Program (boot camp) and that his sentences
run concurrently. The prosecutor made no mention of boot
camp. The district court imposed a sentence of twelve to
eighteen years for manslaughter and eight to ten years for
aggravated battery, to run concurrently. In the Judgment and
Sentence, the court recommended that Mr. Mendoza " serve
his sentence at" boot camp, if deemed appropriate by the
Wyoming Department of Corrections.
[¶6] In March of 2015, anticipating his
completion of boot camp, Mr. Mendoza filed a Motion for
Sentence Reduction, in which he requested that his sentence
be reduced to probation. After a hearing, the district court
reduced Mr. Mendoza's manslaughter sentence to ten to
eighteen years, but denied his request for probation. This
What is the proper standard for a motion for sentence
reduction following the successful completion of the Youthful
Offender Program (boot camp)?
[¶7] In determining whether to grant Mr.
Mendoza's request for the suspension of his sentence and
to be placed on probation, the district court conducted a
review identical to that which would be applied under a
motion for sentence reduction filed pursuant to W.R.Cr.P
35(b). In so doing, the district court
reviewed the evidence and testimony
submitted at the hearing, including evidence of the nature of
the underlying crimes, the arguments of counsel, and the
entire file. The district court denied Mr. Mendoza's
request for probation, but did reduce his sentence by two
[¶8] Mr. Mendoza argues that because the
denial of a motion for reduction under the Youthful Offender
Program statute, Wyo. Stat. Ann. § § 7-13-1001 to
17-13-1003 (LexisNexis 2015), defeats the rehabilitative
purpose of boot camp, it mandates a different review than
review under W.R.Cr.P. 35(b). Under W.R.Cr.P. 35(b), the
trial court is afforded considerable deference in deciding
whether to grant or deny a motion for sentence reduction.
" The purpose of Rule 35(b) is to give a convicted
defendant a second opportunity to reduce his sentence by
presenting additional information and argument to the
sentencing judge." Chapman v. State, 2015 WY
15, ¶ 11, 342 P.3d 388, 392 (Wyo. 2015). In considering
a Rule 35(b) motion, the sentencing court is " free to
accept or reject such information at its discretion."
Id. (citation omitted). Mr. Mendoza urges us to
adopt a ...