State v Crespo

Crespo appealed his murder, burglary and firearm convictions. The panel affirmed. It held the evidence was sufficient as to the murder count and the improbability test did not apply as there was circumstantial evidence Crespo shot victim including witnesses that Crespo was angry at victim for accusing him of rape, testimony Crespo asked for a gun and evidence Crespo was dropped off near victim’s apartment and walked towards it such as security footage, this circumstantial evidence corroborated codefendant’s testimony and the jury had enough evidence to infer guilt. It held there was no ineffective assistance of counsel based on a failure to request a cautionary instruction about codefendant’s testimony as the district court found the testimony corroborated and counsel directed the jury’s attention to codefendant’s prior lies, motive to lie on the stand and how the evidence pointed to codefendant as the shooter. It held that there no error in the district court’s treatment of Crespo’s dissatisfaction with appointed counsel as the district court asked about the conflict, allowed Crespo to look at a piece of evidence, explained that firing the attorneys would require a new trial and confirmed Crespo wanted to proceed and thus the allegation the district court made virtually no inquiry is false. It finally denied Crespo motion to remand on the dissatisfaction issue as Crespo failed to identify anything but speculation in support.

Risher v Emerson

Risher appealed the custody and related provisions in the paternity decree. The panel reversed and remanded as the district court provided no factual findings or any reasoning in support of its conclusions.

Desert Mountain Gold, LLC v Amnor Energy Corp.

Amnor appealed summary judgment to desert in the parties’ breach of contract case. The panel affirmed. It held the first breach rule did not apply here as the parties contract had a dispute resolution provision, Amnor did not follow the provision, as it did not do an informal meeting or seek immediate legal relief. It held the automatic termination provision was triggered when Amnor did not make a royalty payment as the language of the agreement as a whole required yearly payments and terminated the agreement if one or more yearly payments was not made, as is the case here.

Leger v state

Legar appealed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. The panel affirmed. It held Leger failed to point to any evidence in support of his claim his guilty plea was coerced, should have been aware of his own statement to police several months before the crime here about victim’s willingness to be choked during sex and there was a tactical basis for trial counsel to not hire a forensic nurse namely arguing the wounds on victim were old was inconsistent with the consent defense to be raised at trial.

Zaragoza v State

Zaragoza appealed summary judgment to state on his post-conviction relief petition. The panel affirmed. It held there was no abuse of discretion in denying Zaragoza’s motion for appointed attorney as there was no need for an evidentiary hearing and the issues here were not complex. It affirmed summary judgment holding the prosecutor never actually testified and that there was no ineffective assistance of appellate counsel as arguing wife should not have been called would have failed as calling wife was the only way to cross examine her, there was no requirement to prove presence for any period of time and thus no deficient performance in not seeking surveillance tape, there was no evidentiary basis to argue for the lesser included offense of kidnaping; there is no right to counsel at Utah’s certiorari stage and the less than one year delay in trial did not violate speedy trial rights.

O’Hearon v Hansen

O’Hearon appealed dismissal of his custody petition under Utah Code 30-5a-103(2). The panel reversed and remanded. It held the allegations in the petition were sufficient to satisfy the first six elements of the custody claim. It held the potion sufficiently alleged Hansen “is absent” as is for domestic case means the time of the petition pursuant to Utah supreme Court precedent and absent has its ordinary meaning of not present which is consistent with its definition in other parts of the Utah Code and that O’Hearon bears the burden of proving Hansen was not present for purposes of parenting the children involved here by clear and convincing evidence and allegations Hansen has been absent since 2007, cannot take care of the children and has no residence to do so may suffice to prevail at trial. It held that the petition did not adequately allege Hansen “is found to have abused or neglected the’ children as this requires proof that a court has made that fining as of the time of the petition and there is no evidence that any court has made a finding of abuse or neglect as to Hansen