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Montoya v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 28, 2016

GABRIEL ELIAJAH MONTOYA, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Catherine R. Rogers, 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.

         Representing Appellee:

          Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Joshua C. Eames, Assistant Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson, Faculty Director, and Kevin T. Farrelly, Student Director, Prosecution Assistance Program, University of Wyoming, College of Law.

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

          FOX, Justice.

         [¶1] After his first jury trial ended in a mistrial, a second jury found Gabriel Eliajah Montoya guilty of felony stalking. Mr. Montoya appeals his conviction, claiming his second trial violated his right against double jeopardy because the prosecutor provoked him into moving for a mistrial. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] We rephrase the issue as follows: Were Mr. Montoya's rights against double jeopardy violated when he was tried again after his first trial ended in a mistrial?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Mr. Montoya was charged by Information with felony stalking in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-506(e)(iv) (LexisNexis 2015). His case proceeded to trial and was submitted to the jury. After jury deliberations began, but before a decision was reached, the jury submitted a question to the court: "We have State's Exhibit 1 and 2, but we also have [the victim's] Petition for Stalking Protection Order with [the victim's] written reason for getting the Petition for Stalking Protection Order. Were we supposed to have [the victim's] written reasoning for getting the protection order?"

         [¶4] The district court notified the parties of the jury's question and stated:

My strong suspicion is that this document got mixed in with other documents; namely Exhibit 1, which the jury returned to me along with this document, when [the State's attorney] handed Mr. Montoya documents as he testified at the witness stand, and then they were given to the jury as they went into deliberations. Of course, not at all imputing ill ...

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