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State v. Edmundson

Supreme Court of Montana

January 21, 2014

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
RODNEY ARNETTE EDMUNDSON, Defendant and Appellant.

Submitted on Briefs: December 18, 2013

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County of Flathead, Cause No. DC 05-063(C) Honorable Stewart E. Stadler, Presiding Judge.

For Appellant: Nancy G. Schwartz, N.G. Schwartz Law, PLLC, Billings, Montana.

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Katie F. Schulz, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana Ed Corrigan, Flathead County Attorney, Kalispell, Montana.

OPINION

Mike McGrath, Chief Justice.

¶1 Rodney Arnette Edmundson appeals from two orders of the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, related to the revocation of his suspended sentence. We affirm.

¶2 The following issues are raised on appeal:

¶3 Issue One: Whether the District Court erred when it denied Edmundson's motion to dismiss the petition for revocation.

¶4 Issue Two: Whether the District Court erred when it considered allegedly unreliable information about Edmundson's criminal history.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

¶5 In 2005, Edmundson was charged with four counts of felony assault with a weapon, one count of misdemeanor sexual assault, and one count of misdemeanor violation of privacy in communications. He reached a plea agreement with the State, pursuant to which he pled guilty to one count of felony assault with a weapon. The remaining charges were dismissed. The District Court sentenced Edmundson to a ten-year commitment to the Department of Corrections, with five years suspended. At the hearing, Edmundson contested portions of the presentencing investigation report (PSI) pertaining to his criminal history. The District Court made handwritten annotations on the PSI indicating Edmundson's objections, but denied his motion to amend the PSI because he had offered no evidence supporting his claim that the information was incorrect. Edmundson was released on parole on January 8, 2009, and transferred his supervision to his home state of Indiana on July 9, 2009. On February 9, 2010, he discharged parole and began serving the suspended portion of his sentence.

¶6 The conditions of his suspended sentence required him to maintain regular employment and pay restitution to the victim. On October 5, 2011, Edmundson's probation officer in Indiana reported that Edmundson was not employed and had fallen behind on his restitution obligations. A petition for revocation was filed in the Flathead County District Court, and Edmundson returned to Montana. At a revocation hearing on March 1, 2012, Edmundson admitted the violations, explaining that he had been laid off from the job he had held for a year and a half. The District Court re-suspended his sentence, allowing him to continue his supervision in Montana. Edmundson reported that he intended to stay with an acquaintance in Bozeman and transferred his supervision there on March 8, 2012.

¶7 On March 22, 2012, Bozeman police were called when Edmundson allegedly refused to leave the Continental Motor Inn, where he was seeking a room. Officers believed him to be intoxicated and arrested him on suspicion of violating his probation. Edmundson was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center. It is uncontested that Edmundson had an initial appearance in the Gallatin County District Court on March 23, 2012. Edmundson remained in the Gallatin County Detention Center until April 25, 2012.

ΒΆ8 A report of violation by Probation Officer Arturo Gonzalez was filed in the Flathead County District Court on March 27, 2012. The report alleged that Edmundson did not reside at his reported address, was found in possession of two diazepam pills for which he did not have a prescription, was unemployed, consumed alcohol, refused to provide breath and urine samples, and refused to leave the Continental Motor Inn. Edmundson claims that on April 13, 2012, he sent a pro se Order for Transport to the Flathead County District Court, seeking an appearance there. The Order does not appear in the record, and the State contests this claim. On April 16, 2012, a petition for revocation was filed in the Flathead County District Court. A bench warrant was issued the next day. On April 24, 2012, Edmundson appeared on the warrant in the Gallatin County Justice Court. He was ...


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