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State v. Eagleman

Supreme Court of North Dakota

June 19, 2013

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Matthew Eagleman, Defendant and Appellant

Appeal from the District Court of Ramsey County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable Donovan John Foughty, Judge.

Lonnie Olson, State's Attorney, for plaintiff and appellee.

Adam L. Fleischman (argued) and Blake D. Hankey (on brief), for defendant and appellant.

OPINION

Maring, Justice.

[¶ 1] Matthew Eagleman appeals from an order granting the State's motion to correct an illegal sentence and resentencing him to imprisonment. Because the district court acted within the statutorily prescribed sentencing limits and did not rely on an impermissible factor in resentencing Eagleman, we affirm.

I

[¶ 2] On September 19, 2002, Eagleman pled guilty to class A misdemeanor harboring a runaway minor and class A felony gross sexual imposition in Ramsey County. He was sentenced to one year in prison with all time suspended for two years on the harboring charge and to five years in prison on the gross sexual imposition charge with all imprisonment suspended for four years while he was on supervised probation. He was given credit for 127 days spent in custody. Less than one month later on October 16, 2002, Eagleman's probation was revoked and he was resentenced by the district court as follows:

[F]or the Harboring a Runaway charge, [he shall] serve one (1) year with the Department of Corrections with credit for 141 days. For the GSI charge he shall serve five (5) years with the Department of Corrections with no credit for time served. He is to serve four (4) years consecutive with the Harboring charge. One (1) year will be suspended for five (5) years upon his release. His previous Appendix A conditions [of probation] shall be re-imposed.

From December 2006 until February 2008, Eagleman spent time at the State Hospital pending a separate civil commitment hearing as a sexually dangerous individual.

[¶ 3] In June 2008, the State filed another petition to revoke Eagleman's probation. On September 17, 2008, the district court found Eagleman had violated numerous conditions of his probation and resentenced him to 20 years in prison, to serve seven years with credit for four years and 89 days, with the remaining 13 years suspended for five years during which time he would be placed on supervised probation. In July 2011, the State filed its third petition to revoke Eagleman's probation. On August 31, 2011, the court found he had again violated the conditions of probation and resentenced him to 20 years in prison, to serve 10 years with credit for seven years and 37 days, with the balance of 10 years suspended for 10 years during which time he would be placed on supervised probation.

[¶ 4] In August 2012, the State moved to correct an illegal sentence under N.D.R.Crim.P. 35. The State argued that, under State v. Perales, 2012 ND 158, 820 N.W.2d 119 and State v. Stavig, 2006 ND 63, 711 N.W.2d 183, Eagleman could not be ordered to serve more than two periods of probation for his crimes. Following a hearing, the district court agreed with the State and resentenced Eagleman to 20 years in prison with credit for time served in prison and in the State Hospital which totaled nine years, four months and 24 days.

II

[¶ 5] Eagleman argues the district court "exceeded its authority or abused its discretion" in correcting his illegal sentence by resentencing him to the maximum term of imprisonment available under the law.

[¶ 6] This Court will vacate a district court's sentencing decision only if the court acted outside the limits prescribed by statute or substantially relied on an impermissible factor in determining the severity of the sentence. E.g., State v. Gonzalez, 2011 ND 143, ¶ 6, 799 N.W.2d 402. Under N.D.R.Crim.P. 35(a)(1), the "sentencing court may correct an illegal sentence at any time." A sentence is illegal if it exceeds the maximum term authorized by statute. E.g., State v. Eide, 2012 ND 129, ¶ 10, 818 N.W.2d 711. There is no dispute in this case that the sentences imposed on Eagleman in September 2008 and August 2011 are illegal under Perales, 2012 ND 158, 820 N.W.2d 119 and Stavig, 2006 ND 63, ...


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