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Parkhurst v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

June 19, 2019

DERRICK RAYMOND PARKHURST, Appellant (Petitioner),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Respondent).

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

          Representing Appellant: Derrick R. Parkhurst, pro se.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Christyne Marie Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Samuel Lee Williams, Assistant Attorney General.

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

          BOOMGAARDEN, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Thirty-eight years after his convictions for first degree murder and assault and battery with felonious intent, Appellant Derrick Raymond Parkhurst, pro se, seeks exoneration under the newly enacted Post-Conviction Determination of Factual Innocence Act, Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 7-12-401 through 407 (LexisNexis Supp. 2018). The district court dismissed Mr. Parkhurst's petition because it lacked documentation of any newly discovered evidence that would establish his innocence. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] We frame the issue for review as:

Did the district court err when it dismissed Mr. Parkhurst's petition for post-conviction determination of factual innocence?

         FACTS

         [¶3] We set forth the facts leading to Mr. Parkhurst's convictions in Parkhurst v. State:

At approximately 11:45 p.m. on October 29, 1978, the home of Dennis and Christina Baird, located in Glenrock, Wyoming, was entered by force. The assailants kicked open the front door and went inside. Wade Dugger, a house guest who was sleeping in the front room on a couch, awoke to the sound of a shotgun blast which hit the Bairds' dog as it ran into the room. Mr. Dugger stood up and he too was shot. The blast knocked him backwards into the adjoining bedroom in which the Baird children were sleeping. Dennis and Christina Baird jumped out of bed to investigate the commotion. As they approached the door into the front room, Dennis pushed his wife back into the bedroom and indicated that she should wait. He then went around the door and was instantly shot. His body, recoiling from the shotgun blast, landed at Christina's feet. Desperate for help, she headed out of the bedroom and then saw Derrick Parkhurst, one of the appellants, running out the front door. When she went to check on her children, she discovered that Mr. Dugger was seriously injured. She asked if he was all right and he responded, "no," and then said, "Derrick." Ms. Baird then ran next door for help.
When the police arrived, a witness told them that he had seen two males fleeing the scene in a blue or green Ford Fairlane and that he had followed the car far enough to see it heading out of town towards Douglas, Wyoming. The police, upon entering the house, determined that Dennis Baird was dead but that Wade Dugger was still alive. While awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, Ms. Baird informed the police that Dennis and Derrick Parkhurst were the assailants. A police officer then asked Mr. Dugger if he knew who shot him. Unable to understand the response, the officer queried if it had been Derrick and Mr. Dugger indicated yes; Dugger survived to testify.

628 P.2d 1369, 1372 (Wyo. 1981) (footnote omitted). Police soon located the vehicle observed leaving the scene and ordered Mr. Parkhurst and his brother, Dennis, to exit the vehicle. Id. at 1372-73. On Mr. Parkhurst's advice, his brother consented to a search. Id. at 1373. In the trunk, police discovered a .22 caliber rifle and 12-gauge shotgun which was later matched to the spent shells found at the ...


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