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State v. Charlo-Whitworth

State v. Charlo-Whitworth, 2016 MT 157 (June 28, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in not giving the defendant’s proposed jury instruction on accomplice liability.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Riley Charlo-Whitworth and Alexis Paul lived together with Paul’s 2-year-old child, MP. One evening in January 2013, Whitworth drove Paul to work around 7 pm, then returned home with MP. He put MP to bed around 8:30 pm, but the child awoke crying around 10 pm. Whitworth grew frustrated and shoved the child into a wall, spanked him and hit him. Because MP was bleeding, Whitworth gave him a bath.…

State v. Robertson

State v. Robertson, 2015 MT 341 (Dec. 8, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in dismissing the aggravated assault charge against Robertson based on the state’s failure to issue a fitness-to-proceed report within 90 days of Robertson’s commitment.

Short Answer: Yes, because Robertson waived the timeliness argument.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Ross Robertson has been in and out of the state hospital at least seven times since 2004. Robertson attempted to rob a convenience store using a weapon in 2005. After a competency evaluation, he pled guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to DPHHS’s custody for 15 years with 5 suspended.

In January 2012, Robertson violently attacked and seriously injured a nurse at MSH.…

State v. King

State v. King, 2013 MT 139 (May 28, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly excluded evidence of justifiable use of force as a defense to the charge of deliberate homicide, and (2) whether the district court’s exclusion of evidence of the victim’s mental health history violated King’s Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) no.


State v. MacDonald

State v. MacDonald, 2013 MT 105 (April 23, 2013) (7-0) (Baker, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by ordering a change in parenting arrangements for John Doe as part of the criminal sentence, despite pending dependency and neglect proceedings, and (2) whether the district court exceeded statutory mandates by ordering MacDonald to pay fees, costs, and surcharges without inquiring into her ability to pay.

Short Answer: (1) No, but the court should not have included a statement in the written judgment that John Doe’s father should be presumed to have custody; and (2) no.

Affirmed and remanded to strike part of written judgment

State v. Torres

State v. Torres, 2013 MT 101 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (Baker, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether Torres’ aggravated assault conviction was supported by sufficient evidence; (2) whether Torres’ burglary conviction was supported by sufficient evidence; and (3) whether the Court should exercise plain error review of Torres’ claim that his convictions violated double jeopardy.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; and (3) no.