State v Cline (UT App 49)

Cline appealed his sentence arguing he should have received probation. The panel affirmed holding the district court considered Cline’s mental health issues and all other required factors in setting the sentence.

State v Cline (UT App 50)

Cline appealed his sentence arguing he should have received probation and that he should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. The panel affirmed holding the district court considered all of Cline’s mitigating factors and Cline failed to demonstrate how the district court was inherently unfair as the weighing of factors here was within the district court’s discretion. It held there was no jurisdiction over the withdrawal issue as Cline failed to make his motion before sentence was announced.

State v Ricketts

Rickets appealed the denial of his motion to reduce the degree of offense of his previous conviction. The panel affirmed holding the motion was properly denied as it was filed after judgment was entered and sentence pronounced and his sentence was not stayed and thus there was no basis to grant the motion under Utah Code 76-3-402.

State v Edgar (UT App 52)

Edgar appealed his drug convictions arguing his trial attorney was ineffective. The panel affirmed. It held that whether or not counsel’s performance was deficient for failing to object to statements by Edgar made seeking a plea deal and failing to object to a prosecutor’s misstatement of evidence during closing argument, he cannot prove prejudice as he admitted ownership of drugs found in safe, a prescription bottle with his name on it was found in the safe and he admitted that giving up the combination would incriminate him and no remand under rule of Appellate Procedure 23B as Edgar cannot prove error under Rule of Evidence 410 as no Utah court has held that rule applies to statements made to investigating officers as well as prosecutors.

State v Edgar (UT App 53)

Edgar appealed his drug convictions arising from a different incident than in UT App 52 arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. The panel affirmed holding there is no controlling Utah precedent holding drug impairment in a driver supports reasonable suspicion of drugs being in the car, but federal and other state appellate courts have held that impairment is enough and thus there can be no ineffective assistance for failing to argue a novel theory yet to be accepted by Utah courts.

State v Edgar (UT App 54)

Edgar appealed drug convictions arising from a spate incident from those in UT App 52 and 53 arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. It held that Edgar failed to preserve his argument about testimony on his statements concerning connection with another drug dealer and in any event objection would have been futile because the testimony made Edgar’s ownership of the drugs seized more probable and any prejudice did not substantially outweigh this permissible inference and prescription bottles with his name on them were found with the heroin and other drugs in the briefcase seized form the car Edgar was driving. It also held that failure to object to an amended information was not ineffective as there was no evidence the facility for children near where Edgar was arrested was less than 1000 feet away.