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Clugston v. State

Supreme Court of Montana

September 24, 2013

CHARLES TODD CLUGSTON, Petitioner and Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MONTANA, Respondent and Appellee.

Submitted on Briefs: August 28, 2013

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County o f Flathead, Cause Nos. DC-07-495(C), DC-09-511(B), DV-11-341(C) Honorable Stewart E. Stadler, Presiding Judge.

For Appellant: Chad M. Wright, Wright Legal, P.C., Helena, Montana

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General; Pamela P. Collins, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana, Ed Corrigan, Flathead County Attorney; Travis R. Ahner, Deputy County Attorney, Kalispell, Montana

OPINION

Mike McGrath Chief Justice

¶1 Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(d), Montana Supreme Court Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and Montana Reports.

¶2 Charles Todd Clugston appeals from an order of the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, denying his Motion to Withdraw Guilty Pleas and Petition for Postconviction Relief. We affirm.

¶3 We rephrase the following issues on appeal:

¶4 Issue One: Whether the District Court properly denied Clugston's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas.

¶5 Issue Two: Whether there was a sufficient factual basis for Clugston's plea to criminal endangerment.

¶6 Issue Three: Whether Clugston was denied effective assistance of counsel.

¶7 Issue Four: Whether the State violated the plea agreement by opposing Clugston's parole.

¶8 Clugston was arrested October 20, 2007, after a dispute with his wife. He was charged with sexual intercourse without consent, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and criminal destruction of or tampering with communications. Trial began May 11, 2009. On the fourth day of trial, an oral plea agreement was reached. Clugston pled guilty to amended charges of criminal endangerment and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

ΒΆ9 The District Court questioned Clugston under oath to determine that his plea was voluntary and of his own free will. Clugston was then questioned by his attorney, Eduardo Gutierrez-Falla, to establish a factual basis for the plea. With regard to the criminal endangerment charge, he testified that in Flathead County on or about October 20, 2007, he had knowingly engaged in a course of conduct that created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to Heather Clugston. The District Court accepted Clugston's plea. The State then informed the ...


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