Submitted on Briefs: June 7, 2017
FROM: District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DC 13-0395
Honorable Gregory R. Todd, Presiding Judge:
Appellant: Craig Shannon, Attorney at Law, Missoula, Montana
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Tammy A.
Hinderman, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana
Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, Julie Mees, Deputy County
Attorney, Billings, Montana
Joel Henrik Stone (Stone) appeals the District Court's
order vacating his guilty plea to felony partner or family
member assault and his subsequent prosecution for aggravated
assault. We affirm.
We restate the issues on appeal as follows:
Issue One: Did the District Court err by vacating
Stone's guilty plea?
Issue Two: Was Stone twice put in jeopardy for the same
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On May 24, 2013, the State filed an Information charging
Stone with aggravated assault and partner or family member
assault (PFMA). The State later filed an amended Information
charging Stone with the same offenses in the alternative, and
added a misdemeanor tampering charge. On September 30, 2013,
after a thorough colloquy Stone unconditionally pled guilty
to felony PFMA. Stone admitted to two prior PFMA convictions,
to the facts establishing the elements of PFMA, and stated he
understood he was pleading guilty to a felony. The plea
agreement included a designation of Stone as a persistent
felony offender. In the hearing, the District Court accepted
Stone's guilty plea as knowing and voluntary.
Prior to sentencing, the parties informed the District Court
that Stone, in fact, did not have two prior PFMA convictions.
Stone contented that he must be sentenced in accordance with
the crime of PFMA as a misdemeanor. The State moved to vacate
the guilty plea based on mutual mistake. The District Court
agreed with the State, vacated the guilty plea, and allowed
the State to amend the Information. The District Court
determined Stone was not being subjected to double jeopardy
nor were his due process rights violated.
The State filed a Second Amended Information charging Stone
with aggravated assault and tampering. After obtaining new
counsel, Stone moved the District Court to reconsider its
decision to allow the prosecution to proceed, alleging there
was no mutual mistake, but instead the State's unilateral