from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W.
Thomas Sullins, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief
Appellate Counsel; and Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant
Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Morgan.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; David L Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne
Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Samuel
Williams, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Donna Anderson pled guilty to exploitation of a vulnerable
adult and was sentenced to a prison term of four to six
years, suspended in favor of six years of supervised
probation. As a condition of her probation, Ms. Anderson was
ordered to pay restitution to her victim. Ms. Anderson does
not claim error in the amount of restitution ordered, but she
contends on appeal that the district court exceeded its
authority by imposing additional probation conditions related
to the restitution. We find no error in the district
court's sentencing order and affirm.
Ms. Anderson presents one issue on appeal, which we restate
Did the district court have authority to impose
restitution-related conditions on Ms. Anderson's
probation without first approving a restitution plan?
Donna Anderson was the designated social security disability
payee for her brother, Glendon "AD" Hines, from
October 2014 until sometime in December 2015. At some point,
Mr. Hines discovered that Ms. Anderson had been using his
benefits for her own personal expenses. When Mr. Hines'
other family members learned of this, they confronted Ms.
Anderson and demanded that she repay Mr. Hines. When Ms.
Anderson showed no remorse for her actions and refused to
adhere to a payment plan for returning Mr. Hines' funds,
the family, in April 2016, contacted law enforcement.
Detective Terry Jackson of the Casper Police Department
investigated the allegations against Ms. Anderson. As part of
that investigation, Detective Jackson obtained a search
warrant for bank records pertaining to Ms. Anderson and Mr.
Hines. Through examination of those records, Detective
Jackson learned that during the period of December 2, 2014 to
December 21, 2015, Ms. Anderson had used a total of $27,
879.16 of Mr. Hines' disability benefits for her own
personal expenses, which included $11, 469.30 for mortgage
payments on her home.
On October 19, 2016, the State filed an information against
Ms. Anderson, followed by an amended information on November
3, 2016. The amended information charged Ms. Anderson with
one count of theft of property valued in excess of $1,
000.00, and one count of exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
On January 24, 2017, pursuant to a plea agreement, Ms.
Anderson pled guilty to exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
The district court accepted Ms. Anderson's guilty plea
and granted the State's motion to dismiss the theft
[¶6] On April 21, 2017, the district court entered its
judgment and sentence. The court sentenced Ms. Anderson to a
prison term of four to six years, suspended in favor of six
years of supervised probation. The court placed a number of
conditions on Ms. Anderson's probation, including the
8. That the Defendant shall not purchase any cable television
or cell phone services while restitution obligations are
. . . .
10. That the Defendant shall liquidate any recreational
vehicle or trailer in her possession and shall put funding
from said recreational vehicle or trailer liquidation towards
any restitution owed forthwith and without undue delay.
11. That the Defendant pay restitution in the amount of
Twenty-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-Nine Dollars and
Sixteen Cents ($27, 879.16) to Glendon Hines through his
payee, [payee name and address omitted], and shall make
minimum monthly payments each and every month of no less than
Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and with the first payment to
be paid by May 31, 2017, with said sum being paid through the
Clerk of the District Court, in and for Natrona County,
Wyoming, as directed by the Department of Corrections,
Probation and Parole.
On April 28, 2017, Ms. Anderson filed a timely notice of
appeal to this Court.
Ms. Anderson contends that the district court acted outside
its authority when it set her restitution payments at $500.00
per month, restricted her from purchasing cable television or
cell phone services, and directed that her recreational
vehicles and trailers be liquidated. In so arguing, Ms.
Anderson does not claim that these conditions are inherently
impermissible or that the district court abused its
discretion in imposing the conditions. She instead argues
that per the governing statutes, such conditions may only be
imposed as part of a restitution plan that has been prepared
by a defendant in cooperation with a probation officer, or
whomever else the court directs, and submitted to the
sentencing court for its approval or modification. Absent
this process, Ms. Anderson contends that the sentencing court
is without authority to impose the challenged conditions.
[¶9] The State argues that the district court has
authority with or without a restitution plan to impose
restitution-related conditions on a defendant's
probation. In keeping with that position, the State contends
that the $500.00 minimum monthly payment was a reasonable
requirement and one that the district court had authority to
impose. As to the remaining conditions, however, the State
takes a different position and offers to concede error. With
respect to the restriction on the purchase of cell phone and
cable television services, the State contends that such a
restriction may in some cases be a reasonable probation
condition, but it asserts that in this case, the record does
not support the condition. With respect to the required