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State v. Harper

Supreme Court of Montana

November 6, 2013

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
BRENT AARON HARPER, Defendant and Appellant.

ORDER

The defendant Brent Aaron Harper, by counsel (Harper) has filed a motion to stay execution of judgment. He seeks an order from this court staying execution of the judgment and conviction entered by the Montana First Judicial District Court on October 24, 2013, during the pendency of this appeal, together with an order continuing his District Court bond during the pendency of the appeal. Harper notes in his motion that the State of Montana opposes this request for relief.

Harper was convicted following a bench trial of assault with a weapon. The victim was his wife. At sentencing, Harper asked to have his deferred sentence be unsupervised, for the sole reason that his employment at a private school in the State of Washington would be terminated if he were required to report his conviction to his headmaster as a condition of supervised probation. He maintained that reporting the conviction would not only result in his loss of employment, but would also result in his children being unable to continue to attend the school, as they had previously been able to do so without cost under a faculty exemption. The District Court nonetheless sentenced Harper to a three-year deferred imposition of sentence to be supervised by the Montana Department of Corrections and the State of Washington under the interstate compact. The court stayed execution of the sentence for 10 days in order to allow Harper and his wife to get their affairs in order.

Harper seeks to stay the execution of his sentence during the pendency of an appeal, so that he would be able to continue teaching for the rest of this school year, and then resign his position. Alternatively, he asks that we stay execution of the judgment until the middle of June 2014. Finally, he asks that we enter an order immediately staying the execution of judgment until such time as the State of Montana can respond to his motion and we are able to enter a ruling on his motion.

We deem it appropriate to allow the State of Montana to file a response to Harper's motion. We further deem it appropriate to enter an immediate stay of execution pending the filing of that response and our ensuing ruling on Harper's motion. Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the State of Montana shall have 20 days within which to file a response to Harper's motion to stay execution of judgment. No reply brief shall be permitted.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that execution of the judgment entered against Harper by the Montana First Judicial District Court, Lewis & Clark County, under Cause No. BDC 2012-230 is hereby STAYED pending further Order of this Court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Harper's District Court bond is continued until further Order of this Court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court immediately serve a copy of this order upon all counsel of record, and upon the Honorable Jeffrey Sherlock, District Court Judge.


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