May 23, 2019

Archives for February 23, 2016

Colorado Court of Appeals: Community Corrections Sentence Subject to Blakely

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Sandoval on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Alfred Gabriel Sandoval went to the victim’s apartment to collect a drug debt and shot the victim in the knee. He was charged with first degree assault and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. He entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution where he agreed to plead guilty to felony menacing in exchange for the original charges being dropped. The People notified Sandoval of possible penalties, including DOC confinement of 1 to 3 years with a possible aggravation of 6 years, but stipulated that he would receive a non-DOC sentence. He was ultimately sentenced to 6 years of community corrections, and the judge remarked that he aggravated the sentence based on Sandoval’s conduct in “knee-capping” the victim. Defendant appealed, arguing the aggravated sentence violated Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), which requires that aggravating circumstances be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Colorado Court of Appeals analyzed the transcript and determined that the sentencing judge did not find facts beyond a reasonable doubt to support the aggravated sentence. The court of appeals noted that a community corrections sentence is subject to Blakely just like a DOC sentence. Because the sentencing judge increased Defendant’s penalty beyond the statutory maximum without finding facts beyond a reasonable doubt to support the aggravation, the court of appeals vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing. Although Defendant argued that the court of appeals should impose the statutory sentence, the court declined to do so, noting that on remand the sentencing court could find the requisite facts to support the aggravated sentence.

The sentence was vacated and the case was remanded for resentencing consistent with the opinion.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/22/2016

On Monday, February 22, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

United States v. Cherry

Adair v. Wichita Public Schools

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.