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Mathewson v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 19, 2018

PAUL D. MATHEWSON, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Hot Springs County The Honorable Robert E. Skar, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; Christopher G. Humphrey, Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Humphrey.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; James M. LaRock, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. LaRock.

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

          KAUTZ, Justice.

         [¶1] The State charged Paul D. Mathewson with fraudulently altering a government record, claiming he altered a bond order. The district court found him guilty after a bench trial. On appeal, Mr. Mathewson claims the bond order was not a government record. Further, Mr. Mathewson contends the State's evidence was insufficient to show he had the requisite specific intent when he altered the document.

         [¶2] We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶3] Mr. Mathewson raises the following issues on appeal:

1. Did a printed copy of an unsigned and unfiled bond form qualify as a government record, as defined by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-604(b) (LexisNexis 2017)?
2. Did Mr. Mathewson possess the requisite intent to commit a violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-604(a)(ii) when he altered the copy of the bond condition order?

         FACTS

         [¶4] On June 23, 2016, Mr. Mathewson was arraigned for failing to appear on a trespassing ticket. The magistrate ordered that Mr. Mathewson could be released on a $2, 000 cash bond, and signed a bond order to that effect. Because the magistrate presided over the arraignment remotely, he sent two copies of the signed bond order to the Hot Springs County Circuit Court; the first electronically via e-mail and the second by mail. The order stated the bond amount to be paid and that it could only be paid in cash. The order also included a line on which Mr. Mathewson needed to sign and provide his address as an acknowledgment of his understanding of those conditions. After receiving the order via e-mail, the circuit court clerk printed a copy, file stamped it, and took it to the Hot Springs County jail where Mr. Mathewson was being held to obtain his signature.

         [¶5] The clerk delivered the bond order to a deputy sheriff at the jail who witnessed Mr. Mathewson sign it. While signing the order, Mr. Mathewson also checked a box marked "Acceptable Bail Bond." Checking this box indicates that the defendant could contract with an approved bondsman to satisfy the condition rather than paying the bond in cash. The magistrate had not checked this box because the bond order required a cash payment of the entire $2, 000. Mr. Mathewson returned the bond order to the deputy who then made a copy and returned the original to the clerk.

          [¶6] Ordinarily, the clerk would have then placed the document in the file as part of the permanent record. However, the clerk noticed that the additional box had been checked and compared it to the original sent via e-mail. The ...


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