District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Vernice S.
Trease No. 161901905
M. Nelson and Wojciech S. Nitecki, Attorneys for Appellant
D. Reyes and Jonathan S. Bauer, Attorneys for Appellee
Diana Hagen authored this Opinion, in which Judges Michele M.
Christiansen Forster and Ryan M. Harris concurred.
Timothy Ryan Robinson appeals his sentence for aggravated
assault, arguing that the district court failed to properly
resolve an inaccuracy in his presentence investigation report
(PSR). Specifically, Robinson objected to the four points
added to his criminal history score based on his prior
conviction for assault on a police officer. In determining
that the assault was a "person crime with injury"
for purposes of the sentencing guidelines, the district court
looked to the PSR, police report, and photographs from the
prior crime and concluded that an "injury" occurred
where Robinson punched the police officer in the face,
causing pain and a laceration to his nose. Robinson argues
that the court should not have relied on such evidence and
that the court abused its discretion by finding that the
injury sustained by the police officer qualified for the
four-point assessment. We affirm.
Following an episode of domestic violence between Robinson
and his wife, the State charged Robinson with several
offenses, including aggravated assault. In exchange for the
State dismissing six of the charges, Robinson pled guilty to
one count of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, with
a weapon enhancement.
At the district court's request, Adult Probation and
Parole (AP&P) conducted an investigation and submitted a
PSR. As part of the PSR, AP&P calculated a criminal
history assessment score for Robinson, which it then
incorporated into the Utah Sentencing Commission's
general matrix (Sentencing Matrix). The Sentencing Matrix
"compare[s] a defendant's 'criminal history
assessment' score with the degree of the offense of which
he ha[s] been convicted" to "assist sentencing
judges in deciding whether or not to incarcerate."
State v. Egbert, 748 P.2d 558, 561- 62 (Utah 1987)
(Durham, J., dissenting).
Robinson received a criminal history assessment score of
eight, placing him in criminal history category III. Four of
the eight criminal history points were based on
Robinson's prior conviction for attempted homicide, which
AP&P categorized as a "person crime with
injury." When viewed in conjunction with the
third-degree felony to which Robinson pled guilty,
Robinson's category III score produced a recommendation
of an "intermediate sanction" on the Sentencing
Matrix-i.e., "any sanction between regular probation and
prison." Utah Sentencing Comm'n, Adult
Sentencing & Release Guidelines 17 (2015),
recommended, however, that the district court deviate from
that recommendation and impose the maximum sentence of
one-to-ten years in the Utah State Prison "due to the
extremely brutal nature of the offense, as well as the
defendant's repeated history of violent behaviors,"
which indicate that Robinson is "an immediate public
Robinson challenged the accuracy of the PSR, arguing that
AP&P had incorrectly categorized his prior attempted
homicide conviction as a "person crime with injury"
based on the mistaken belief that the offense had resulted in
death. Because no injury or death had occurred during the
commission of that prior crime, Robinson argued that he
should have been awarded only two points instead of four
toward the total score on his criminal history assessment. A
reduced criminal history score of six would have placed him
in criminal history category II, resulting in a
recommendation of "probation" under the Sentencing
After reviewing the objections to the PSR, AP&P admitted
that it had erroneously stated that Robinson had previously
caused the death of another individual. But AP&P
determined that Robinson should nevertheless be assessed four
points for committing a prior person crime with injury based
on a separate class A misdemeanor conviction for assaulting a
Robinson moved the district court to correct the PSR,
contending that AP&P's amended evaluation was
"driven by the earlier error rather than a fair
assessment of the facts" underlying the prior assault
conviction. Robinson further argued that the award of four
points was "particularly inappropriate" because the
PSR for the prior assault conviction reflected that the
police officer reported "no physical or emotional injury
as a result of the incident."
The district court requested that Robinson submit the police
report, photographs, and PSR from the prior assault case for
it to consider. Before relying on that evidence to determine
whether Robinson's prior person crime conviction involved
an injury, the court asked, "[D]oes anybody contest what
the photograph and the police reports say?"
Robinson's counsel responded, "No." The court
followed up by asking, "[D]oes everybody agree the
police reports are what they are? This is what they say? The
photographs of the police officer." In response,
Robinson's counsel stated, "That is correct."
The district court ultimately determined that Robinson's
prior assault conviction qualified as a "person crime
with injury" under the Sentencing Matrix. Because the
sentencing guidelines do not include a definition of
"injury," the district court referred to the Utah
Criminal Code, which defines "bodily injury" as
"physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical
condition." See Utah Code Ann. § 76-1-601
(LexisNexis 2017). Based on this definition, the court found
"the officer did have an injury," even if it was
minor. In support of its finding, the court pointed to the
police report, which stated that the officer had been
"punched in the nose by [Robinson]," and the
photograph, which showed "blood on the left side of his
The district court adopted the PSR, including the four-point
enhancement for the prior assault, and ultimately sentenced
Robinson to one-to-ten years in prison, the maximum
permissible sentence for a third-degree felony with an
enhancement for the use of a dangerous weapon. In doing so,
the court stated ...