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Salinas v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

October 10, 2016

SKUYLER SALINAS, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge

         Representing Appellant:

          Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Westling.

         Representing Appellee:

          Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Caitlin F. Young, Assistant Attorney General; Kathryn A. Adams, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Adams.

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

          DAVIS, Justice.

         [¶1] Appellant Skuyler Salinas asks us to set aside his stalking conviction. He claims the district court erred in not granting a mistrial and in not imposing a stiffer sanction for a discovery violation. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] 1. Did the district court abuse its discretion by not granting a mistrial for a violation of an order in limine concerning W.R.E. 404(b) evidence?

         2. Did the district court abuse its discretion by imposing a discovery sanction that precluded the State from introducing untimely disclosed text messages but allowing the jury to hear testimony about them?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Appellant and Ashley Martinez's relationship ended a year after their daughter, L.S., was born. After some time had passed, an incident occurred in Fort Collins, Colorado. While Ms. Martinez, her date, and L.S. were stopped at a traffic light, Appellant, who apparently had been following them, came over and began punching her car and yelling at them. Ms. Martinez was eventually able to drive off, call the police, and get to the police station.

         [¶4] The next day, Ms. Martinez obtained a temporary ex-parte stalking order of protection. After a hearing was held a few days later, an order of protection valid for six months was issued. That order forbade Appellant from contacting Ms. Martinez and certain members of her family. Appellant repeatedly violated the order by texting Ms. Martinez.

         [¶5] Appellant was tried on one count[1] of felony stalking for violating the protective order.[2] As the case proceeded toward trial, the State filed a notice of intent to introduce evidence pursuant to W.R.E. 404(b). It disclosed that it intended to introduce evidence of Appellant's misconduct and interactions with Ms. Martinez and her family members that occurred outside the scope of the charged date range. Appellant objected and a hearing was held, after which the district court excluded much of the evidence sought to be introduced by the State by an order in limine.

          [¶6] However, the court allowed the State to present evidence concerning the details of four separate incidents, including the Fort Collins event that led to the protective orders. However, the district court's order precluded witnesses from testifying that Appellant "was arrested, charged or pled guilty to any crime."

         [¶7] Appellant also filed a motion to compel certain specific discovery. In particular, he asked that the court require the State to produce Ms. Martinez's father David Martinez's ...


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