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State v. Koon

Supreme Court of Montana

November 20, 2017

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
JAMIE MICHELLE KOON, Defendant and Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: September 27, 2017

         Appeal From District Court of the First Judicial District, In and For the County of Lewis and Clark, Cause No. ADC 2007-08 Honorable Mike Menahan, Presiding Judge

          For Appellant: Chad M. Wright, Chief Appellate Defender, James Reavis, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana.

          For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Mardell Ployhar, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana Leo Gallagher, Lewis and Clark County Attorney, Lisa Leckie, Deputy County Attorney, Helena, Montana.

          OPINION

          Mike McGrath Chief Justice.

         ¶1 Jamie Michelle Koon appeals from the District Court's Order on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss dated April 9, 2015. We affirm and remand for correction of the sentence.

         ¶2 We restate the issues on appeal as follows:

Issue One: Whether the District Court erred in dismissing Koon's motion to dismiss the petition to revoke her suspended sentence on the ground that there had been a four-year delay in executing the arrest warrant.
Issue Two: Whether the District Court's written judgment should be amended to conform to the oral pronouncement of sentence.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶3 On February 21, 2007, Koon pleaded guilty to felony issuing a bad check in violation of §§ 45-6-316 and 45-2-101, MCA. The District Court in Lewis and Clark County sentenced her to four years in prison with all but thirty days suspended. That sentence was to run consecutively to a sentence Koon was then serving in Colorado, and was subject to conditions including supervision by the Montana Department of Corrections and payment of restitution. She was extradited to Colorado.

         ¶4 On April 13, 2009, the State filed a petition to revoke Koon's suspended sentence. A supporting affidavit from a probation officer stated that Koon had discharged her Colorado sentence on October 16, 2008, but had not communicated with her supervising probation officer in Montana. Koon's whereabouts were unknown to Montana authorities, and on April 14, 2009, the District Court issued a "Montana only" warrant for her arrest.[1]

         ¶5 Koon was convicted of another offense in Colorado in 2009 and spent the next four years dealing with her new sentence there, being paroled and revoked several times. In June 2009 Koon wrote a letter to the Clerk of the District Court in Lewis and Clark County asking to be returned to Montana to serve her 2007 sentence. Nothing occurred as a result of that letter, and Koon discharged her Colorado sentences on April 12, 2013.

         ¶6 Koon returned to Montana at some point and on November 11, 2013, was stopped for a traffic violation in Fort Benton. She was arrested on the April 2009 "Montana only" warrant. On November 14, 2013, Koon appeared on the April 2009 petition to revoke her Montana 2007 suspended sentence. She was released on her own recognizance and ordered to report to her probation officer.

         ¶7 Koon moved to dismiss the petition to revoke the 2007 suspended sentence, contending that the State failed to bring her to court without unnecessary delay in violation of her right to due process.

         ¶8 The District Court denied Koon's motion to dismiss, holding that the requirement of § 46-18-203(4), MCA, that an arrested offender must be brought before a judge "without unnecessary delay" applies to the offender's initial appearance after arrest, citing State v. Edmundson, 2014 MT 12, 373 Mont. 338, 317 P.3d 169. The District Court determined that Koon's appearance in court within three days of her November 2013 arrest satisfied the statute. The District Court further concluded that there is no statutory requirement that an arrest warrant be served without unnecessary delay on an offender who is incarcerated in another state.

         ¶9 Koon also argued that issuing a "Montana only" arrest warrant while she was incarcerated in Colorado violated her due process rights. She contended that after she served her Colorado sentence she could no longer ask the Montana court to set her sentence in this State to run concurrently with her sentence in Colorado. In addition, she alleged that she had a "failing memory, " making it difficult for her to recall past events. The District Court applied State v. West, 2008 MT 338, 346 Mont. 244, 194 P.3d 683 to determine whether there was a violation of due process. As provided in West, the District Court examined the "totality of the circumstances."

         ¶10 The court considered the four-year time between the 2009 arrest warrant and Koon's arrest in 2013; the fact that her location was unknown when the warrant was issued; and the fact that Koon was subsequently arrested and ...


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