District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Paul B.
Parker No. 121903179 The Honorable Mark S. Kouris No.
Deborah L. Bulkeley, Attorney for Appellant
D. Reyes and Jeffrey S. Gray, Attorneys for Appellee
Kate Appleby authored this Opinion, in which Judges Michele
M. Christiansen Forster and Ryan M. Harris concurred.
In 2014, Robert Brian Walton entered an Alford
to one count of retaliation against a witness, KB, a woman he
had previously dated. As part of his sentence, Walton agreed
to the entry of a permanent criminal stalking injunction
(Injunction), which prohibited him from contacting KB and her
family. In 2017, after violating the Injunction, Walton asked
the district court to vacate the Injunction as an
"illegal sentence." The court denied the motion and
Walton and KB started dating in 2010 but the relationship
began to sour the following year. In 2011, KB tried to end
the relationship but Walton continued to contact her. Walton
went to KB's workplace after repeatedly calling her, to
convince her to go to his house. He yelled, "Know your
place. Submit, woman." KB called the police and made a
report. After KB filed the police report, Walton began
contacting her saying she needed to "fix" the
report and "get rid of it" because it was going to
hurt his career.
KB made several other police reports that same year. On one
occasion, Walton went to KB's birthday party and got into
an altercation with one of the guests. He showed up at her
apartment the following day and demanded information about
the police report she filed. He refused to leave her
apartment and demanded she "sleep with him" and
"tried to take [her] clothes off." KB sent a text
message to one of her coworkers to call the police.
Over the next several months, Walton continued to contact and
send text messages to KB, telling her, "You're
fucked. You're in so much trouble. You need to take care
of this." Walton also told KB "he was gonna take
[her] out like game." When asked at the preliminary
hearing what she thought that statement meant, KB responded,
"I took it as a threat. I said, 'Are you threatening
me?'"-at which point Walton hung up the phone.
In early 2012, KB received a text message from Walton telling
her she "should go home," she was in "so much
trouble," and "ignoring this [was] going to cost
[her] dearly." These statements scared KB and she called
the police who offered to escort her to her apartment after
work. About one month later, Walton showed up at KB's
apartment and tried to get money from her. He followed her
from her apartment to her car. After another car pulled into
the parking lot, Walton walked away saying, "[Y]ou
deserve everything you're gonna get."
KB attempted to cut off all communication with Walton but he
continued to call her and send her text messages. KB even
tried moving her household in an effort to get him to leave
her alone. She moved her belongings at night and during times
she thought he would not be around. But within a couple of
days, Walton left her a note on her door and a voicemail
telling her he wanted money and to meet him at a cafe across
the street from her new apartment. KB stated she was not sure
how Walton was able to find her new address and thought he
may have followed her from work. After this, KB began staying
at her parents' house. She was frightened and tried to
have Walton served with a civil stalking injunction.
One day, KB stopped at her new apartment after work to
collect some belongings to take to her parents' house.
She parked on the street and noticed a car pull up nearby.
Once KB realized it was Walton, she turned around and ran
back to her car. Before KB was able to lock herself in her
car, Walton ran toward her and opened the car door. Walton
grabbed KB by her hair and began hitting her head against the
steering wheel. She started honking the horn. He demanded she
give him her cell phone; she told him it was in the back and
she could not get to it. As the struggle continued, KB began
screaming and hitting the panic button on her car keys. KB
dropped her keys and Walton grabbed them. She begged Walton
to give back her keys and let her go. Walton responded he
would not unless she paid him money and signed paperwork
stating he was not a threat to her. During this time, Walton
pulled KB out of the car and again grabbed her hair and began
hitting her head on the back window. He threatened to
"snap [her] neck" if she did not sign the
documents. A woman drove by and asked KB if she was okay.
Walton told the woman, "Don't worry about it,
she's just crazy." The woman asked if she should
call the police. KB told Walton that if he gave the woman
KB's car keys then KB would sign the papers. KB signed
the documents and Walton threw her keys to the woman and told
KB, "I know you've called the police." As he
was leaving he said to KB, "If you call the police I
will hunt you down for as long as it takes and kill
you." KB got into the woman's car with her and
called the police.
The State charged Walton with (1) retaliation against a
witness, victim, or informant, a third-degree felony; (2)
stalking, a class A misdemeanor; (3) assault, a class B
misdemeanor; (4) unlawful detention, a class B misdemeanor;
and (5) threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor. In this
opinion, we refer to this criminal case, filed in 2012, as
the Retaliation Case. Walton and the State entered into a
plea agreement that was preapproved by the district court
under rule 11 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure. Walton
entered an Alford plea to retaliation against a
witness, and the remaining charges, in addition to other
criminal charges on a separate matter relating to KB, were
dismissed. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed
not to prosecute Walton for any other potential criminal
charges arising from his relationship with KB before the date
of the plea agreement. Walton ...