of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Sean
Michael McGuire, Assistant Public Defender, Saint Paul,
Minnesota, for appellant.
Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; Michael O.
Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Kelly O'Neil Moller,
Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and David
Hauser, Otter Tail County Attorney, Kurt Mortenson, Assistant
County Attorney, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, for respondent.
defendant files a motion under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd.
9, to correct a sentence after the time for direct appeal has
passed, the defendant bears the burden of proving that the
sentence was not authorized by law.
GILDEA, Chief Justice.
case we are asked to decide which party has the burden to
prove the accuracy of the defendant's criminal-history
score when a defendant brings a motion to correct his or her
sentence under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, after the
time to file a direct appeal has expired. Appellant Tramayne
Colfred Williams brought motions under the rule, arguing that
two Minnesota district courts miscalculated his
criminal-history score because those courts treated his two
Illinois drug-related convictions as felonies. The district
courts denied the motions. The court of appeals affirmed.
Because we hold that a defendant who files a motion under
Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, to correct a sentence after
the time for direct appeal has passed bears the burden to
prove the sentence was based on an incorrect criminal-history
score, we affirm.
challenges the sentences he received in two criminal cases,
one in Otter Tail County and one in Hennepin County. In Otter
Tail County, Williams was charged with first-degree
aggravated robbery, Minn. Stat. § 609.245, subd. (2016).
He agreed to plead guilty to that charge on the condition
that, assuming his criminal-history score was five, he would
be sentenced to 84 months in prison. The district court
deferred acceptance of Williams's guilty plea and ordered
a presentence investigation.
Hennepin County, Williams was charged with, among other
crimes, promoting prostitution, Minn. Stat. § 609.322,
subd. 1(a)(2) (2016). The parties agreed that in exchange for
his guilty plea to promoting prostitution, they would jointly
recommend that Williams be sentenced to 96 months in prison,
served concurrently with whatever sentence was imposed in the
Otter Tail County case. The plea petition Williams filed
stated that a 96-month sentence was a downward durational
departure from a 180-month presumptive guideline sentence.
The State also agreed to dismiss other charges.
pleaded guilty to and was sentenced on one count of promotion
of prostitution in the Hennepin County case in November 2012.
A summary report of his prior convictions prepared before
sentencing stated in part that Williams had three Illinois
felony convictions. The report assigned one-half point for an
Illinois receiving-stolen-property conviction and two points
for two Illinois drug-related convictions. In total, the
report determined that Williams's criminal-history score
was six. Williams did not object to the calculation of his
criminal-history score. The Hennepin County District Court
sentenced Williams to 96 months in prison.
January 2013, Williams was sentenced in the Otter Tail County
case. The intervening Hennepin County conviction increased
his criminal-history score. In addition to the Hennepin
County conviction, the presentence investigation report
stated that Williams had five out-of-state felony
convictions, including three Indiana drug-related convictions
and two Illinois drug-related convictions. The Indiana
conviction at issue was assigned one and one-half points and
the Illinois convictions were assigned two and one-half
points. The report stated that Williams had received
"[b]oot[-c]amp" sentences for the Illinois
drug-related convictions. The State did not introduce any
additional evidence about the out-of-state convictions, and
Williams did not contest the calculation of his
criminal-history score. The district court determined that,
based on the updated sentencing worksheet showing that
Williams's criminal-history score was now eight, the
bottom of the presumptive sentencing range was 92 months, and
not the 84 months contemplated in the plea agreement. The
court therefore imposed a 92-month sentence, to be served
concurrently with Williams's sentence in the Hennepin
did not directly appeal his sentence in either case. But, in
August 2014, Williams filed pro se motions under Minn. R.
Crim. P. 27.03, subdivision 9, to correct his sentence in
each case. The district court in each case denied his motion.
Williams later secured counsel and, in 2016, he ...