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. Gardner

Court of Appeals of Utah

May 9, 2019

State of Utah, Appellee,
v.
Rodger Lynn Gardner, Appellant.

          Third District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Royal I. Hansen No. 171900660

          Nathalie S. Skibine and Neal G. Hamilton, Attorneys for Appellant

          Sean D. Reyes and William M. Hains, Attorneys for Appellee

          Judge Michele M. Christiansen Forster authored this Opinion, in which Judges Jill M. Pohlman and Diana Hagen concurred.

          CHRISTIANSEN FORSTER, JUDGE:

         ¶1 After Rodger Lynn Gardner pleaded guilty to theft and burglary in the instant case-but before the district court sentenced him-Gardner appeared in the South Salt Lake Justice Court to respond to charges of theft and criminal mischief, which arose out of the same criminal episode. Gardner pleaded guilty as charged in the justice court, and that court sentenced him. Gardner then returned to the district court and, citing the proceedings in the justice court, moved to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The district court denied Gardner's motion and sentenced him for his theft and burglary convictions. Gardner appeals, and asks us to determine whether the district court erred when it denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea to theft, the one charge duplicated in both the district court and justice court cases. We affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Witnesses observed Gardner enter a hole in a fence and later exit that hole carrying a wooden floor lamp and a cardboard box of auto parts. He carried the goods to a van and, shortly thereafter, a police officer initiated a traffic stop. A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered, among other things, "a box of auto parts and a lamp."

         ¶3 The State charged Gardner in district court with burglary and theft, each third degree felonies, and criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor.[1] Gardner agreed to enter a guilty plea to the burglary and theft charges in exchange for the State's agreement to dismiss the criminal mischief charge and other charges against Gardner in a separate criminal case. The district court accepted Gardner's guilty plea and ordered the preparation of a presentence report.

         ¶4 Almost two weeks after he pleaded guilty in district court, Gardner appeared in the South Salt Lake Justice Court on charges of theft and criminal mischief, each charged as a class B misdemeanor and both alleged crimes "arising out of the same criminal episode that served as the basis for the district-court conviction."[2] Without representation by counsel, Gardner pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to serve forty-five days in jail and pay $100 in restitution. The justice court suspended the jail sentence, and Gardner paid the ordered restitution. After disposition of his justice court case, Gardner's district court defense counsel realized both cases were based upon the same criminal conduct.

         ¶5 Gardner filed a motion in the district court seeking permission to withdraw his guilty plea asserting that he "would not have knowingly [pleaded] guilty to the same offense twice, and defense counsel would not have advised him to do so in violation of his constitutional protection against double jeopardy." The State opposed Gardner's motion to withdraw his guilty plea by arguing, among other things, that jeopardy attached when Gardner pleaded guilty in the district court.

         ¶6 After hearing argument, the district court denied Gardner's motion. It determined that Utah Code section 77-13-6 precluded Gardner from withdrawing his guilty plea because he knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty. The district court further determined that jeopardy "first attached at the time Defendant entered his guilty plea in this matter" and that it could therefore "proceed to sentencing in this matter without violating the Double Jeopardy Clause." The district court sentenced Gardner to two concurrent prison sentences of zero-to-five years.

         ISSUE AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW

         ¶7 Gardner appeals, and asserts that the district court erred when it denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, particularly when it concluded that his justice court conviction and sentence did not bar prosecution and sentencing in district court. We review the "denial of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea under an abuse of discretion standard," and we review the court's associated findings of fact for clear error. State v. Smit, 2004 UT App 222, ¶ 7, 95 P.3d 1203 (quotation simplified). Constitutional issues, such as whether double jeopardy bars reprosecution of a defendant, are questions 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.