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State v. Bullplume

Supreme Court of Montana

June 25, 2013

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
CHRISTOPHER NELS BULLPLUME, Defendant and Appellant.

Submitted on Briefs: April 24, 2013

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eighth Judicial District, In and For the County of Cascade, Cause No. CDC-11-305 Honorable Kenneth R. Neill, Presiding Judge.

For Appellant: Wade Zolynski, Chief Appellate Defender, Sarah Chase Rosario, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Mardell Ployhar, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana John Parker, Cascade County Attorney, Kory Larsen, Deputy County Attorney, Great Falls, Montana

OPINION

Laurie McKinnon Justice.

¶1 Christopher Nels Bullplume was convicted of failing to provide notice of his change of residence when required to do so as a sexual offender. The Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County, imposed a four-year suspended sentence. Bullplume appeals several conditions of that sentence. We affirm.

¶2 We restate the issues on appeal as follows:

1. Whether Bullplume has waived appellate review of the District Court's requirement that he pay the costs of his court-ordered evaluations and treatment.
2. Whether the District Court abused its discretion in imposing conditions 26 through 40, which relate specifically to sexual offenders.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶3 In 1993, Bullplume was convicted of first-degree rape in the State of Washington. As a result of that conviction, he is required to register as a sexual offender. Bullplume has discharged the Washington sentence that was imposed.

¶4 On August 1, 2011, Bullplume was arrested in Great Falls for misdemeanor offenses of driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, driving without insurance, and driving while license suspended. Law enforcement officers ascertained that Bullplume was a registered sexual offender from Washington and that a warrant had been issued for his arrest in Washington because he had absconded from his last known address in June 2011. Officers further determined that Bullplume had not registered as a sexual offender in Great Falls. A detective spoke with Bullplume, who admitted that he had left Washington approximately two months earlier and that he had been living in Great Falls for about two weeks.

¶5 On August 11, 2011, the State charged Bullplume with failing to register, a felony, in violation of §§ 46-23-505 and -507, MCA (2009). The State and Bullplume ultimately entered into a binding plea agreement under § 46-12-211(1)(b), MCA. In exchange for Bullplume's guilty plea, the State agreed to recommend a four-year commitment to the Montana State Prison, with all time suspended. On November 1, 2011, Bullplume appeared in court and changed his plea to guilty. A presentence investigation report (PSI) was ordered. As required by § 46-18-111(1)(b), MCA, a psychosexual evaluation was prepared in conjunction with the PSI.

¶6 The PSI was filed with the District Court on February 22, 2012. It reflected that Bullplume, age 34 at the time, was unemployed and relied on family as a means of support. In addition to his 1993 conviction for rape, Bullplume had convictions for felony possession of heroin (1995) and felony unlawful possession of a firearm (2006). He also had two convictions for DUI (2001 and 2003) and had been arrested for his third DUI when the State charged him with failure to register. Additionally, Bullplume had a conviction for felony attempt to elude (2001), as well as two prior convictions of felony failing to register as a sexual offender in Washington (2001 and 2003). The PSI notes that Bullplume's charge of failing to register in the instant case occurred not long after his release in 2010 from a four-year incarceration in Washington State Prison on a firearm offense.

ΒΆ7 Dr. Donna M. Zook conducted the psychosexual evaluation and prepared a report for the District Court. Dr. Zook determined that "[t]he veracity and trustworthiness of Mr. Bullplume's self-report is questionable" in that "[h]is account of events do not coincide with records." Dr. Zook found that "[t]he most salient factor regarding Mr. Bullplume's character is his lack of shame, guilt, or remorse regarding antisocial behaviors that he ...


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