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State v. Watson

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

March 18, 2019

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Justin Kenyatta Watson, Appellant.

          Scott County District Court File No. 70-CR-13-8328

          Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Ronald Hocevar, Scott County Attorney, Todd P. Zettler, Assistant County Attorney, Shakopee, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Charles F. Clippert, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Smith, Tracy M., Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         A sentence for an out-of-state conviction that results in the out-of-state sentencing court imposing a probationary term but reserving the right to vacate the stay and impose a sentence is the equivalent of a stay of imposition for purposes of calculating the defendant's criminal-history score under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.

          OPINION

          HALBROOKS, JUDGE

         Appellant challenges the denial of his motion to correct his sentence under Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, arguing that his sentence is based on an incorrect criminal-history score. Because the district court properly exercised its discretion by including an out-of-state conviction when calculating appellant's criminal-history score, we affirm.

         FACTS

         On April 18, 2013, appellant Justin Kenyatta Watson, Stephen Moore, and Michael Jarmon traveled to an apartment in Shakopee to rob an individual of marijuana. Jarmon brought a handgun. When they entered the apartment, Jarmon pointed the handgun at the individuals inside, and Moore ordered them to lie down. Moore then located the marijuana, and Watson took a wallet from M.P., one of the occupants of the apartment. As they fled the apartment, Jarmon fired several gunshots. One of the shots struck and killed M.P.

         Respondent State of Minnesota charged Watson with second-degree murder, first-degree aggravated robbery, and two counts of second-degree assault. On July 12, 2013, Watson pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder. The district court sentenced Watson to 216 months in prison. On February 20, 2018, Watson moved to correct his sentence, arguing that his sentence is based on an incorrect criminal-history score. The district court denied the motion. This appeal follows.

         ISSUE

         Did the district court abuse its discretion in calculating ...


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