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Sena v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

November 6, 2019

MICHAEL ANGELO SENA, JR., Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Catherine R. Rogers, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, Wyoming State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; Desiree Wilson, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

          Representing Appellee: Bridget L. Hill, Wyoming Attorney General; Jenny L. Craig, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Samuel Williams, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ., and DEEGAN, D.J.

          OPINION

          BOOMGAARDEN, JUSTICE

         [¶1] Michael Angelo Sena, Jr. appeals the district court's order revoking his probation in Docket 33-549 and imposing sentence. Mr. Sena contends that the court did not have authority to revoke his probation because the probation violation did not "occur[] during the probationary period," as required by Wyoming Statute § 7-13-305(c). He also contends that, even if the court had authority to revoke his probation, it abused its discretion because there was no evidence to support a finding that he violated the probation condition willfully. We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶2] Mr. Sena raises two issues, which we rephrase as:

1.Did the district court have authority to revoke Mr. Sena's probation?
2. If the district court had authority, did the court abuse its discretion when it revoked Mr. Sena's probation?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Mr. Sena's probation revocation proceedings in Docket 33-549 are closely related to his probation revocation proceedings in Docket 32-612. The same district court judge presided over both cases and held several combined hearings as the cases became increasingly intertwined. Consequently, we discuss facts pertaining to both cases, beginning with Docket 32-612.

         [¶4] In June 2015, the State charged Mr. Sena in Docket 32-612 with failing to report a change of address to law enforcement within three days, in violation of Wyoming's sex offender registration statutes. Mr. Sena reached a plea agreement with the State and pled guilty to that offense. The court sentenced him to three to five years, suspended execution of the sentence, and placed him on probation for three years.

         [¶5] Nearly two years later, at the end of March 2017, the State filed a petition to revoke Mr. Sena's probation because, as of March 23, he "ha[d] not made any payments on his restitution"; "ha[d] not returned any calls from [his Probation and Parole Agent] and had a no call/no show for his office visit"; his whereabouts were unknown; and he had not completed "his UA call in's sanction."

         [¶6] Two days after the State filed the petition, the State charged Mr. Sena in Docket 33-549 with failing to report a change of address to law enforcement, subsequent offense, in violation of Wyoming's sex offender registration statutes. Mr. Sena reached a plea agreement with the State in which he agreed to plead no contest to the charge and admit to violating his probation in Docket 32-612.

         [¶7] Approximately one year later, in May 2018, the court held a combined probation revocation and sentencing hearing. In Docket 32-612, the court revoked Mr. Sena's probation and reinstated the three-year probation term. In Docket 33-549, the court sentenced Mr. Sena to three to five years, suspended in favor of three years of probation, to "run consecutive[] to the probationary sentence set forth in 32-612."

         [¶8] The following month, the State filed a petition to revoke Mr. Sena's probation in both cases based on his conduct between June 13 and 15. In Docket 32-612, the State alleged that Mr. Sena committed three probation violations:

1. On or about June 15, 2018 said Defendant admitted to consuming alcohol on this date as well as consuming alcohol on June 14, 2018.
. . . .
2. On or about June 13, 2018 said Defendant provided a positive [Blood Alcohol Content] sample of .103%. Said Defendant left the Cheyenne Field Office after providing this sample and being instructed not to leave the office.
. . . .
3.Said Defendant reported false employment to his probation ...

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