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.

Requejo v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

April 19, 2019

CHRISTOPHER M. REQUEJO, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Goshen County The Honorable Patrick W. Korell, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Westling.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Darrell Duane Jackson, Faculty Director, PAP; Catherine M. Mercer, Student Director, PAP; Jenna N. Niehl, Student Intern. Argument by Ms. Niehl.

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

          KAUTZ, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] A jury convicted Christopher Michael Requejo of two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Four and one-half months before his trial, Mr. Requejo demanded disclosure by the State of any recorded statements he or any witnesses had made. Although the State had access to such statements before Mr. Requejo's demand, it did not disclose them until three working days prior to trial. Mr. Requejo moved for dismissal of the charges as a sanction for the late discovery and now appeals the district court's denial of that motion. We find that the district court properly exercised its discretion by imposing other sanctions against the State and affirm the court's order denying Mr. Requejo's motion to dismiss.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Requejo presents the following issue on appeal:

         Whether the district court abused its discretion in not dismissing with prejudice the charges against Mr. Requejo as a sanction for the State's violation of Wyoming Rule of Criminal Procedure 16.

         FACTS

         [¶3] On July 20, 2017, the State charged Mr. Requejo with two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-502(a)(ii) and (b) (Lexis Nexis 2017). The charges stemmed from an incident where he attempted to forcibly enter the residence of his girlfriend's sister while swinging a machete at a window and yelling threats at the two occupants inside. Mr. Requejo pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on August 10, 2017, and the case was set for trial. On September 11, 2017, he served discovery demands on the State. Under W.R.Cr.P. 16, he demanded, among other discovery, any recorded statements he had made. Under W.R.Cr.P. 26.2 he requested "any and all statements which Rule 26.2 required be turned over." The district court did not enter an order requiring any discovery.

         [¶4] While the State timely responded to most of Mr. Requejo's discovery requests, it failed to produce two items until January 24, 2018-three working days, or five days total before trial. These items were a recording of a 911 call made by the victim on the night of the incident and a statement made by Mr. Requejo to the police on the night of his arrest. Based on the late disclosure, Mr. Requejo filed a Motion to Dismiss Case with Prejudice on January 25, 2018.

         [¶5] The district court held a hearing on the motion on January 29, 2018. The State denied any bad faith and asserted a lack of diligence and a glitch in their records acquisition process as the reason for the late disclosure. This glitch kept the State from discovering the records until several days before trial, after which they promptly disclosed them to Mr. Requejo. Acknowledging their violation of discovery rules, the State voluntarily stipulated to suppression of the late disclosed evidence and listed several remedial mechanisms it had implemented to avoid any future mistakes. It argued this stipulation materially weakened its case since the evidence in question was only inculpatory and thus damaging to Mr. Requejo's case, not helpful. Mr. Requejo agreed the State probably did not act in bad faith but stated that the late disclosure should not have occurred in any event. In addition, he argued that the late disclosure caused him to suffer prejudice due to its effect on plea negotiations and his inability to pursue a voluntary intoxication defense. The court offered Mr. Requejo a one-week continuance to consider a voluntary intoxication defense based on the late discovery materials, but he declined this offer. He declined two further offers of continuances made by the judge later in the proceedings, as well. The court issued its Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on February 2, 2018, finding that Mr. Requejo agreed the State did not act in bad faith when it violated the discovery rules, that Mr. Requejo was not prejudiced by the error, that he declined the offer of a continuance for trial preparation, and that he requested the trial proceed as scheduled.

         [¶6] On January 30, 2018, a jury convicted Mr. Requejo of both counts. The court sentenced him to concurrent six to ten-year periods of incarceration in a Wyoming State Penal Institution, with credit for 287 days of presentence ...


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.