Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lamb v. Eleventh Judicial District Court

Supreme Court of Montana

November 19, 2019

RYAN CODY LAMB, Petitioner,
v.
ELEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, FLATHEAD COUNTY, HONORABLE ROBERT B. ALLISON, Presiding, Respondents.

          Submitted on Briefs: September 25, 2019

          APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County of Flathead, Cause No. DC-15-2018-301 Honorable Robert B Allison, Presiding Judge

          For Petitioner: Greg Rapkoch, Office of the State Public Defender, Kalispell, Montana

          For Respondents: Alison Howard, Travis Ahner, Flathead County Attorney's Office, Kalispell, Montana Robert B Allison, Self-represented, Kalispell, Montana

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Laurie McKinnon, Justice

         ¶1 Petitioner Ryan Cody Lamb seeks a writ of supervisory control directing the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, to reverse its Order Re Double Jeopardy in its Cause No. DC-18-301 B. In that Order, the District Court denied Lamb's motion to dismiss this matter with prejudice after Lamb argued that retrial would violate his right to avoid double jeopardy. The State of Montana has responded to Lamb's petition for writ.

         ¶2 We consider the following issue:

         Did the District Court err in denying Lamb's motion to dismiss this matter on double-jeopardy grounds?

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶3 The circumstances leading to Lamb's petition came about during jury deliberations of his trial for deliberate homicide. About four hours after the jury received its instructions, the court, counsel for both parties, and Lamb convened outside the presence of the jury to confer regarding two questions a juror had posed in writing: "Is it possible to get a lesser charge?" and "If not guilty, is there still consequences?" After discussion, the court and parties agreed that the court would respond, "Your sole function is to determine whether the Defendant is guilty or not guilty of deliberate homicide." The jury was so instructed.

         ¶4 About an hour and a half later, the court, counsel for both parties, and Lamb reconvened outside the presence of the jury because the jury had sent out a note stating they were deadlocked. The court indicated that it intended to read the Standard Cautionary Instruction For Potentially Hung Jury[1] to the jury. Neither party objected, and the court then brought in the jury, read the instruction, and dismissed them for the evening.

         ¶5 The jury resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. the following morning. At 10:25 a.m., the court, counsel for both parties, and Lamb reconvened outside the presence of the jury to address a request sent out by the jury to see the test results of a swab sample. After discussion, the court informed the jury, "You are required to rely on the testimony as you recall it, and the exhibits with you in the jury room."

         ¶6 Three minutes later, the jury sent out another question: "Can we get transcripts of what Ryan Lamb said on [the] stand?" The court, counsel for both parties, and Lamb reconvened and after discussion, the court informed the jury, "A copy of the trial transcript has not been prepared and will not be during the course of your deliberations. You must rely on your recollection of the testimony presented at trial."

         ¶7 The jury resumed deliberations until approximately 4:15 p.m., when they sent a note stating, "After much deliberation we are still deadlocked." The court, counsel for both parties, and Lamb reconvened and the jury was brought into the courtroom. The court asked the jury foreperson to confirm the jury was deadlocked and he stated that it was. The following colloquy occurred:

THE COURT: Do you feel that additional time either tonight or next week could perhaps break the deadlock? Do you feel you're making any progress?
JURY FOREPERSON: We have made progress. I feel at this point if we don't have any -- I know you've given us the instructions, and how we are interpreting them I don't see us going any farther. If we were able to have somebody come in there and tell us what that really means and what we're supposed to do, we might be able to go again. With how we are reading that, I don't see us making any progress other than what's there. We are not lawyers, we are -- and so we do have some questions on some of the instructions. And we've read them a lot, and we tried to -- and we are just -- we are -- we made progress, but we are not there.
THE COURT: Do you feel that more time could result in you -- more time deliberating could result in you coming there?
JURY FOREPERSON: With the current instructions that we have and no further instruction, I don't believe we're going to go any farther.
THE COURT: Okay. And counsel, either side, care to -
THE STATE: Your Honor, I don't think there's any additional instructions we ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.