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State v. Rabold

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

October 7, 2019

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Guy Robert Franklin Rabold, Appellant.

          St. Louis County District Court File No. 69DU-CR-15-1884

          Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Mark S. Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney, Kristen E. Swanson, Assistant County Attorney, Duluth, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Sara J. Euteneuer, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Hooten, Judge; and Klaphake, Judge. [*]

         SYLLABUS

         An upward sentencing departure based on a victim's particular vulnerability may be imposed when the victim is forced at gunpoint to disrobe during the commission of a crime.

          OPINION

          HOOTEN, JUDGE

         Appellant pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting aggravated robbery after he and his accomplice broke into the victims' home, forced the victims to undress, and robbed them at gunpoint. The district court granted the state's motion for an upward departure and sentenced appellant to the statutory maximum of 240 months for aggravated robbery- more than double the presumptive sentence. Appellant challenges the district court's order denying his request for resentencing. Because appellant's victims were forced at gunpoint to undress during the commission of the crime, they were particularly vulnerable, and we affirm in part. But we reverse in part and remand for resentencing because severe and aggravating circumstances do not exist to warrant a greater-than-double upward sentencing departure.

         FACTS

         This is appellant Guy Rabold's second sentencing appeal before this court. The facts are set out in Rabold I and are only briefly restated here. See State v. Rabold, No. A16-1046, 2017 WL 957715 (Minn.App. Mar. 13, 2017), review denied (Minn. May 16, 2017). In the middle of a June 2015 night, Rabold and his accomplice broke into the victims' home, waking them. When Rabold and his accomplice reached the victims' bedroom door, they yelled at the victims to open the door or they would shoot. After entering the bedroom, with a gun in hand, Rabold's accomplice ordered the victims to take off their clothes.

         Once the victims were naked, Rabold placed a gun to the victims' heads and ordered them to go downstairs where a safe was located. Rabold instructed the naked male victim to unlock the safe and then to lie down next to the naked female victim while Rabold and his accomplice removed the contents of the safe. Rabold told the victims not to move and threatened to come back and kill them if they did. Rabold fled with the contents of the safe. Police arrested him shortly thereafter.

         Rabold admitted to police that he took part in the robbery. He told police that he knew the victims, as he had previously dated the female victim's daughter and had been to her home before the night of the offense. He knew about the safe and planned to steal its contents to pay off his debts.

         The state charged Rabold with aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery, among other crimes. He pleaded guilty to all counts and waived his right under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004), to a jury trial to determine whether aggravating factors existed for an upward sentencing departure.

         After a bench trial to determine whether a sentencing departure was appropriate, the district court determined that Rabold was a danger to public safety and was a "dangerous offender" under Minn. Stat. § 609.1095, subd. 2 (2014). The district court also determined that an upward departure was justified based on the particular vulnerability of the victims because they were ordered to undress. The district court found that the victims' nudity made them particularly vulnerable and that this vulnerability was a substantial factor in completing the robbery.

         At the sentencing hearing, the state requested the statutory maximum sentence of 240 months for aggravated robbery, which was more than double the presumptive sentence of 111 months.[1] The state asked the district court to impose the sentence solely based on the finding that Rabold was a "dangerous offender" and without regard to particular vulnerability. The district court imposed the statutory maximum sentence of 240 months on the aggravated-robbery conviction and sentenced Rabold to concurrent prison terms on the other counts.

         Rabold appealed the upward departure based on his status as a dangerous offender and challenged one of the concurrent sentences because it arose from the same behavioral incident. In Rabold I, we affirmed Rabold's sentence, but reversed and remanded to vacate the concurrent sentence as ...


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