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Cole v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

August 1, 2017

RICKY DARNELL COLE, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable Thomas W. Rumpke, Judge

         Representing Appellant:

          Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; and Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Alden.

         Representing Appellee:

          Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Katherine A. Adams, Assistant Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson, Faculty Director, Prosecution Assistance Program; and Kevin T. Farrelly, Student Director, Prosecution Assistance Program. Argument by Mr. Farrelly.

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

          HILL, Justice.

         [¶1] Ricky Darnell Cole asks whether the prosecutor committed misconduct when he referred to his race during rebuttal closing argument. We conclude there was no misconduct by the prosecutor, and affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Cole submits his single issue on appeal:

The prosecutor engaged in [prosecutorial] misconduct by appealing to racial prejudice in closing argument.

         FACTS

         [¶3] On September 19, 2015, in the early morning hours, Sandra Adams parked her mother's vehicle in her driveway in Gillette. She left the vehicle unlocked and the keys in the center console. The next morning, she woke to find the vehicle missing, and her mother, Sherri Adams, reported the theft to the police.

         [¶4] The following morning, law enforcement spotted the vehicle heading westbound on Highway 51 outside of Gillette. A high-speed chase followed and ended when Ricky Cole lost control of the vehicle and ...


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