ELMER R. PETERSEN, Appellant (Defendant),
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).
from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable
Michael N. Deegan, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief
Representing Appellee: Bridget Hill, Wyoming Attorney
General; Jenny L. Craig, Deputy Attorney General; Joshua C.
Eames, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Russell Farr,
Senior Assistant Attorney General.
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
Elmer Petersen pled guilty to domestic battery and failure to
register as a sex offender. On appeal, he claims he did not
receive adequate credit for his presentence confinement. We
Mr. Petersen presents a single issue that we restate as two
1. Did the district court abuse its discretion in denying Mr.
Petersen's request for additional credit for time served?
2. Did the district court violate Mr. Petersen's due
process rights by inducing him to plead guilty?
In 2009, Mr. Petersen was convicted of second-degree sexual
assault and interference with child custody. The conviction
arose from an incident in which he sexually assaulted his
estranged wife and absconded with their young child. He was
sentenced to a prison term of four to sixteen years for the
sexual assault and one to two years for the interference, to
be served concurrently. He completed his sentence on the
interference count in June 2010, and on February 20, 2013, he
was granted parole on the sexual assault count.
On March 29, 2018, Mr. Petersen's girlfriend reported two
recent incidents during which Mr. Petersen became angry and
injured her. She reported that the first occurred on March
21, and that Mr. Petersen placed his hand around her throat
and kept her from breathing for about a minute. She reported
that the second occurred the next evening, and that he
grabbed her by the arm and then pushed her, causing her to
fall to the ground. The law enforcement officer who took the
report observed bruising on the girlfriend's neck and arm
that was consistent with her report.
On March 30, 2018, a warrant issued for Mr. Petersen's
arrest on one count of strangulation of a household member
and one count of domestic battery. On April 4, 2018, law
enforcement officers went to Mr. Petersen's last known
address to serve the arrest warrant and were told that he no
longer lived at that address.
On May 9, 2018, Mr. Petersen was arrested in Pennsylvania for
violation of his Wyoming parole. He waived extradition and
was returned to Wyoming, where he was immediately placed in
the State's medium security correctional facility,
pending parole revocation. On July 10, 2018, his parole was
revoked, and he resumed serving his sentence on the 2009
sexual assault conviction.
On May 21, 2018, while Mr. Petersen's parole revocation
was still pending, a warrant issued for his arrest on a
charge of failure to register as a sex offender. On August
30, 2018, the State served Mr. Petersen with that arrest
warrant and with the March 2018 warrant for the domestic
battery and strangulation charges. On August 31, 2018, the
circuit court issued two appearance bonds, one for the
failure to register charge and one for the strangulation and
domestic battery charges. The bonds conditioned release on
Mr. Petersen's personal surety of $50, 000, and each also
included a note that Mr. Petersen was in the custody of the
Department of Corrections and not subject to release.
On September 17, 2018, Mr. Petersen was arraigned and pled
not guilty to the charges. He later reached a plea agreement
with the State, and on January 16, 2019, the district court
held a change of plea hearing. The parties outlined the plea
agreement as follows:
[THE COURT]: . . . So as I understand, [Defense Counsel],
there's some kind of a plea agreement here today, is that
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: There is, Your Honor. He's going to
plead to failure to register, two to three imposed; DV
battery six months imposed; strangulation dismissed. All to
run concurrent with what he's doing now in the system.
[THE COURT]: And what is that?
THE DEFENDANT: Four to 16.
[THE COURT]: For what kind of an offense?
THE DEFENDANT: Second degree sexual ...