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Steinfeldt v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

February 22, 2018

BOBBI JENEAN STEINFELDT, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Carbon County The Honorable Wade E. Waldrip, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Jamie M. Woolsey, Sandefer & Woolsey, Trial Lawyers LLC, Casper, Wyoming.

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

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

          BURKE, Chief Justice.

         [¶1] Appellant, Bobbi Jenean Steinfeldt, entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. After entry of the pleas, she sought and obtained a continuance of the sentencing hearing. Shortly before the rescheduled hearing, Ms. Steinfeldt sought another continuance. The district court denied that motion. Ms. Steinfeldt contends that the denial of her motion deprived her of the opportunity to obtain and present evidence in mitigation of her sentence. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Ms. Steinfeldt presents one issue, which we rephrase:

Did the district court abuse its discretion by denying her motion to continue the sentencing hearing so that she could present additional evidence in mitigation of her sentence pursuant to W.R.Cr.P. 32(c)(1)(C)?

         FACTS

         [¶3] In December 2015, the State charged Ms. Steinfeldt with fifteen felony and misdemeanor drug offenses, including possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, marijuana, and hydrocodone, use of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance, and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. It subsequently filed another Information in a separate docket alleging an additional 16 drug-related offenses. The State then moved to join the thirty-one counts for trial, asserting that the charges arose from related incidents and the same series of transactions. The motion was granted.

         [¶4] Prior to trial, the parties reached a plea agreement in which Ms. Steinfeldt agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. In return, the State agreed to dismiss all other charges and "cap" its sentencing recommendation at consecutive terms of 13 to 20 years for the conspiracy charge, and 2 to 5 years for the possession charge. The district court accepted the guilty pleas at a change of plea hearing on September 2, 2016. The court scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 9, 2017, and ordered a presentence investigation report. The presentence report was filed on November 23, 2016.

         [¶5] Prior to the sentencing hearing, Ms. Steinfeldt retained new counsel. On January 4, 2017, five days before the scheduled sentencing, her new counsel moved for a continuance. The district court granted the motion and sentencing was rescheduled for February 21. Shortly before the rescheduled sentencing hearing, Ms. Steinfeldt changed counsel again. On February 13, 2017, new counsel filed a second motion for continuance asserting, among other things, that additional time was needed to obtain a psychological evaluation.[1] The district court denied the motion.

         [¶6] On the day of sentencing, Ms. Steinfeldt renewed her request for a continuance and presented a letter from Dr. Amanda Turlington, a clinical psychologist. In her letter, Dr. Turlington recommended that Ms. Steinfeldt undergo a psychological evaluation. According to Dr. Turlington: "To provide the most effective and efficient treatment, as well as lower her risk of recidivism, it is highly recommended Ms. Steinfeldt receive a full Psychological Evaluation." The district court reviewed Dr. Turlington's ...


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