Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Garrison v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

February 2, 2018

MARK ALAN GARRISON, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable Daniel L. Forgey, Judge

          Representing 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; Kirk A. Morgan [*] , Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; James M. Causey, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

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

          FOX, Justice.

         [¶1] A jury convicted Mark Alan Garrison on a charge of first-degree arson for setting fire to his estranged wife's trailer home. Mr. Garrison alleges that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence of other acts, in violation of W.R.E. 404(b). We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Garrison presents one issue, which we break into two components:

1. Was it plain error when the district court conducted its 404(b) Gleason analysis after the disputed 404(b) evidence had been admitted and after the close of evidence at trial?
2. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it admitted evidence of other acts at trial?

         FACTS

         [¶3] With money she inherited from her mother, Ms. Hendricks purchased a mobile home, furnished the mobile home and bought a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup, and a 1974 Reinell boat. Shortly thereafter, in early 2011, Ms. Hendricks and Mr. Garrison married. By the fall of 2013, and after a series of violent episodes, the couple had become estranged. In November 2013, Ms. Hendricks obtained a protection order which granted her the use of the trailer home, granted Mr. Garrison the use of the 1999 Dodge Ram, and prohibited Mr. Garrison from contacting Ms. Hendricks.

         [¶4] During a snowstorm on the evening of December 20, 2013, Ms. Hendricks' mobile home was consumed by fire. That evening she had gone to pick up her nephew from work; her cat and Mr. Garrison's bird were inside the home; and a dog was tethered to the front porch. Paula Houlberg, Ms. Hendricks' neighbor, testified that she saw the fire in its early stages on the front porch of the home and that it spread "like something had been poured . . . following a trail" to the front door and then to other parts of the home. It was later determined that gasoline appeared to have been poured on the porch and inside the front door of the trailer. The fire investigator eliminated other potential sources for the fire and concluded that gasoline inside the front door was likely the origin of the fire. A video from the Houlbergs' security camera revealed that shortly before the fire, a late 1990's Dodge Ram truck drove by, a man walked toward the mobile home; later, the same man ran away from the home with the dog, and a glow from the fire reflected on a nearby camper and window.

          [¶5] Mr. Garrison's friend testified that he had loaned Mr. Garrison his gas can a couple of days prior to the fire, and that on the day of the fire it was in the back of Mr. Garrison's truck with about an inch of gas in it. He testified that when Mr. Garrison returned to his friend's house the next day, the gas can did not have as much gas in it and was "pretty close" to empty.

         [¶6] Mr. Garrison was charged with one count of first-degree arson, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. 6-3-101(a) and (b)(i). Later, the State amended the charge to reflect an enhanced penalty due to prior convictions.

         [¶7] Prior to trial, Mr. Garrison sought notice of the State's intent to use 404(b) evidence. The State filed its notice of intent to offer evidence pursuant to W.R.E. 404(b), identifying other acts it contended were admissible under the rule. The proposed evidence consisted of ten separate incidents:

1. On October 30, 2013, Mr. Garrison went to Ms. Hendricks' workplace, threatened to destroy her belongings, and took her truck.
2. At the November 8, 2013 circuit court hearing on the protection order, on his way out of the courtroom, Mr. Garrison pointed at Ms. Hendricks and said, "you're mine" and threatened to "[k]ick [her nephew's] ass."
3. Prior to the fire, Mr. Garrison used a golf club to destroy knickknacks, and to strike the dog. He shattered Ms. Hendricks' glass coffee table, covering her with shards of glass.
4. On several occasions in November of 2013, Mr. Garrison moved a dresser in front of the bedroom door, preventing Ms. Hendricks' exit.
5. During the summer of 2013, Mr. Garrison forced Ms. Hendricks to the floor of the truck he was driving, hit her in the head, yelled at her, and refused to let her return to the passenger seat for over 45 minutes.
6. After the protective order was in place and shortly before the fire, Mr. Garrison entered Ms. Hendricks' home and sexually assaulted her.
7. On December 9, 2013, Mr. Garrison repeatedly called Ms. Hendricks from several local stores, in violation of the protective order. (Mr. Garrison pled guilty to this violation of the protective order.)
8. On January 29, 2014, Mr. Garrison called Ms. Hendricks multiple times and threatened to harm her and a friend she was visiting, in violation of the protective order. (Mr. Garrison pled guilty to this violation of the protective order.)
9. On February 2, 2014, Mr. Garrison again made numerous phone calls to Ms. Hendricks, leaving seven voice mails. (Mr. Garrison pled guilty to this violation of the protective order.)
10. On March 2, 2014, Mr. Garrison called Ms. Hendricks over 128 times, and threatened to harm her; he called her son and threatened him as well. (Mr. Garrison also pled guilty to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.