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State v. Reeves

Court of Appeals of Kansas

September 1, 2017

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Tieler Michael Reeves, Appellant.

          SYLLABUS

          1. The plain language of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 22-3716(c)(1)(E) grants jurisdiction to the district court to impose the underlying sentence, or any lesser sentence, upon revoking a defendant's probation.

         2. An appellate court has jurisdiction to review the district court's denial of a defendant's request for a lesser sentence upon the revocation of probation, even if the sentence originally imposed was a presumptive sentence under the guidelines.

         3. An appellate court reviews the district court's decision to deny a defendant's request for a lesser sentence upon the revocation of probation for an abuse of discretion.

         Appeal from Riley District Court; Meryl D. Wilson, judge. Affirmed.

         Submitted for summary disposition pursuant to K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-6820(g) and (h).

          Before Malone, P.J., Pierron and Bruns, JJ.

          Malone, J.

         Tieler Michael Reeves appeals the district court's denial of his request for a lesser prison sentence following the revocation of his probation. We granted Reeves' motion for summary disposition in lieu of briefs pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 7.041A (2017 Kan. S.Ct. R. 48). The State has filed no response. Finding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Reeves' request for a lesser sentence, we affirm the district court's decision.

         On March 17, 2014, Reeves pled no contest to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. On March 24, 2014, the district court imposed the standard presumptive sentence of 32 months' imprisonment but made border box findings and placed Reeves on probation for 36 months to be supervised by community corrections.

         From December 2014 to November 2016, Reeves returned to court five times for probation violation hearings. Over the course of that two years, he was ordered to serve 2-day and 30-day jail sanctions, as well as a 120-day sanction with the Department of Corrections. He also received sanctions from his probation officer at least two times.

         At a hearing on November 14, 2016, Reeves stipulated to violating his probation on numerous grounds, including failing to report to community corrections as directed and testing positive for drugs. Reeves told the judge that "probation ain't working out for me, " and he said he wanted to "just go and do my time." However, he asked the district court to reduce his sentence from 32 months' imprisonment to 23 months. Reeves acknowledged that he had a drug problem. His counsel pointed out that Reeves was 16 years old at the time of the offense, and he was only 20 years old at the time of the hearing. The State objected to any sentence modification and pointed out that Reeves had "completely disappeared from his probation." The district court revoked Reeves' probation, specifically denied his request for a sentence modification, and ordered that he serve the remainder of his original sentence. Reeves timely appealed from that decision.

         On appeal, Reeves does not argue that the district court erred in revoking his probation. After all, Reeves explicitly asked the district court to revoke his probation so that he could go and serve his time. However, Reeves claims that the district court "abused its discretion by [ordering him to serve] his full underlying sentence (32 months) after revoking his probation, rather than the 23 months for which he argued."

         Resolution of Reeves' claim involves statutory interpretation and raises issues of appellate jurisdiction. Interpretation of a statute is a question of law over which appellate courts have unlimited review. State v. Collins, 303 Kan. 472, 473-74, 362 P.3d 1098 (2015). Likewise, whether jurisdiction exists is a question of law ...


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