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.

State v. Watring

Court of Appeals of Utah

June 22, 2017

State of Utah, Appellee,
v.
Jared Michael Watring, Appellant.

         Second District Court, Farmington Department The Honorable John R. Morris No. 151700133

          Scott L. Wiggins, Attorney for Appellant

          Sean D. Reyes and Aaron G. Murphy, Attorneys for Appellee

          Judge Kate A. Toomey authored this Opinion, in which Judges J. Frederic Voros Jr. and David N. Mortensen concurred.

          OPINION

          TOOMEY, Judge:

         ¶1 Jared Michael Watring appeals the district court's decision to correct his 2015 sentence after the court ordered him to serve the sentence concurrently with rather than consecutively to previously imposed sentences. Watring contends the court lacked jurisdiction to correct the sentence and erred in determining it had made a clerical error in ordering that the sentences run concurrently. We affirm.

         ¶2 Watring was sentenced in December 2011 on three drug charges-two third degree felonies and one class B misdemeanor. The district court sentenced Watring to an indeterminate prison term not to exceed five years for each of the felony charges. It sentenced Watring to 182 days of jail time for the misdemeanor charge. The court suspended the prison and jail terms and ordered Watring to serve thirty-six months on probation and to complete the Regional Substance Abuse Treatment program (RSAT).

         ¶3 In January 2015, Watring was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a second degree felony, and possession or use of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor. On February 2, 2015, during a hearing and after accepting a plea offer from the State, Watring pleaded guilty to one third degree felony. He waived the waiting period for sentencing, and the court immediately sentenced him. The court sentenced Watring to a suspended prison term of zero to five years on the condition that he serve three years of probation and successfully complete RSAT. The court did not address Watring's 2011 sentences, including whether the 2015 sentence would run concurrently with or consecutively to them. It concluded the hearing by explaining that Watring needed to return the next day to discuss matters related to RSAT. Of particular importance to this appeal, the court entered its signed minutes of the February 2 hearing the same day. The minutes reflect the court's failure to determine whether Watring's 2015 sentence would run concurrently with or consecutively to the 2011 sentences: that section of the minutes was left blank.

         ¶4 On February 3, 2015, Watring appeared before the district court to discuss RSAT. The court apologized for going on "auto pilot" at the previous day's hearing. Defense counsel added, "That's kind of what we talked about. I don't think we've ever admitted [Watring's] probation violation, so we'll start there today."[1] Watring then admitted that by committing the 2015 drug offense, he violated the terms of his 2011 probation and therefore could no longer participate in RSAT. The court asked defense counsel how the probation violation would affect his sentencing recommendation, to which defense counsel responded that because "the RSAT team is done with [Watring], " he recommended the court impose jail terms on the 2011 and 2015 offenses that would run concurrently. In light of the news of Watring's probation violation and defense counsel's recommendation, the court explained it wanted to review Watring's pre-sentence report and continue sentencing for one week.

         ¶5 On February 4, 2015, the day after the RSAT hearing, the district court filed a second minute entry regarding the February 2 hearing. Contrary to the original minute entry, the court stated, "All cases and charges may run concurrent."

         ¶6 On February 10, 2015, the district court held a hearing to address Watring's probation violation and to determine whether his sentences would run concurrently or consecutively. Defense counsel recommended concurrent sentences but asked that, in the event the court imposed consecutive sentences, the court recommend that Watring be accepted into the Con-Quest drug rehabilitation program. The State recommended consecutive sentences, emphasizing that Watring committed a drug offense while he was attending RSAT, began associating with individuals who undermined his efforts to rehabilitate, and led another RSAT participant to join him in committing the drug offense. After considering the recommendations, the court revoked probation as to each of Watring's charges and imposed all of the original sentences, highlighting the large quantity of drugs Watring possessed during the 2015 offense and the harm he had caused another RSAT participant. The court ordered the 2011 sentences to run concurrently with one another but consecutively to the 2015 sentence. The court also recommended Watring for the Con-Quest program. The court's signed minutes reflected these orders.

         ¶7 In July 2015, Watring filed a motion to correct his 2015 sentence, arguing it was illegal because the second minute entry of the February 2 hearing stated his sentence would run concurrently with the 2011 sentences, but at the February 10 hearing, the court ordered it to run consecutively to those sentences. The court denied the motion.

         ¶8 In its ruling, the district court explained that under rule 22(e) of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, it could correct an illegal sentence at any time. The court acknowledged it made two separate errors. The court first erred when, at the February 2 hearing, it failed to address whether Watring's 2015 sentence would run concurrently with or consecutively to the 2011 sentences, rendering the 2015 sentence illegal. Second, the court made a clerical error when it filed a second version of its minutes for the February 2 hearing, which noted that Watring's sentences would run concurrently. The court stated, "It was not the Court's intent to order [Watring's] sentences to run concurrent and the Court was unaware that the Minute Entry included this language when it signed and entered the Minute Entry." The court corrected the clerical error by issuing an amended minute entry. The court then explained it had already corrected its error of failing to address whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively at the February 2 hearing when it ordered the sentences to run consecutively at the February 10 hearing and that the February 10 minutes "accurately reflect[ed] the corrected sentences." Accordingly, the court denied the motion. Watring appeals.

         ¶9 Watring argues the second minute entry of the February 2 hearing ordering the sentences to run concurrently constitutes a valid sentence and therefore the court lacked jurisdiction to correct the second minute entry. Whether a court has subject matter jurisdiction is a question of law, ...


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.