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Dockter v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

March 19, 2019

CHAD ALAN DOCKTER, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Chad Alan Dockter, pro se.

          Representing Appellees: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Benjamin E. Fischer, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          FOX, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] In his direct appeal, we affirmed Mr. Dockter's convictions and sentences for kidnapping, unlawful entry, misdemeanor theft, property destruction, interference with an emergency call, and domestic battery. While that appeal was pending, Mr. Dockter filed two motions for a new trial in the district court. The court denied those motions, and we affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Mr. Dockter raises seven issues for our consideration, which we rephrase as:

         I. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it denied Mr. Dockter's motions for a new trial?

A. Was Mr. Dockter entitled to counsel to pursue a motion for a new trial after his direct appeal had ended?
B. Was Mr. Dockter's proposed evidence that he lived with the victim at the time of the crimes "newly discovered evidence"?
C. Can a defendant raise an ineffective assistance of counsel claim in a motion for a new trial based on "newly discovered evidence"?
D. Did Mr. Dockter's proposed evidence that the State failed to disclose it was prosecuting one of its witnesses warrant a new trial?
E. Does Mr. Dockter's contention that the State knowingly allowed two witnesses to commit perjury qualify as "newly discovered evidence"?
F. Can a defendant raise a claim of cumulative error in a motion for new trial based on "newly discovered evidence"?

         FACTS

         [¶3] To provide context for Mr. Dockter's claims in this appeal, we restate the facts from Mr. Dockter's direct appeal:

Appellant and the victim Amanda Yearsley dated for six months before Ms. Yearsley ended the relationship in May 2015. Ms. Yearsley then met with Appellant to inform him that she was pregnant in July of 2015. After that, the two communicated sporadically through early August 2015.
On August 14, 2015, Ms. Yearsley was at a bar where she worked . . . when Appellant showed up. He stopped by to repay some money he owed her, and wanted to talk, but eventually he started to cause a scene. Because of his belligerent behavior, Ms. Yearsley suggested that they take the conversation back to her place. While they were at Ms. Yearsley's apartment, she used a smartphone, an iPhone 6, that Appellant had given her daughter. This apparently annoyed Appellant, so he snatched it from her and left. ...

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