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Alexie v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

April 30, 2010

Derrick M. ALEXIE, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Alaska, Appellee.

Page 218

David D. Reineke, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Douglas H. Kossler, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Daniel S. Sullivan, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: COATS, Chief Judge, and MANNHEIMER and BOLGER, Judges.

OPINION

MANNHEIMER, Judge.

Derrick M. Alexie pleaded no contest to first-degree assault under subsection (a)(1) of AS 11.41.200-the provision of the statute that forbids " recklessly caus[ing] serious physical injury to another by means of a dangerous instrument" .

First-degree assault is a class A felony,[1] and sentencing for this offense is governed by AS 12.55.125(c). Because Alexie was a first felony offender, his sentencing was governed by the following two subsections of this statute:

(1) if the offense ... does not involve circumstances described in [paragraph] (2) ..., [the presumptive sentencing range is] five to eight years;
(2) if ... the defendant possessed a firearm, used a dangerous instrument, or caused serious physical injury or death during the commission of the offense, ... [the presumptive sentencing range is] seven to 11 years[.]

By entering a no contest plea to first-degree assault under subsection (a)(1) of AS 11.41.200, Alexie necessarily conceded (at least for sentencing purposes) that he caused serious physical injury to another person. Thus, Alexie's sentencing was apparently governed by paragraph (2) quoted above, and the applicable presumptive sentencing range was 7 to 11 years' imprisonment.

But in his pre-sentencing memorandum, Alexie took the position that his sentencing was governed by the lower presumptive sentencing range specified in paragraph (1)-the range of 5 to 8 years. The superior court rejected this argument and ruled that Alexie was subject to the higher sentencing range. Alexie now appeals that decision.

In support of the proposition that the lower presumptive sentencing range applies to his case, Alexie relies on this Court's decision in Pruett v. State, 742 P.2d 257 (Alaska App.1987).

In Pruett, this Court construed the pre-March 2005 version of the two paragraphs quoted above, AS 12.55.125(c)(1) and (2). At that time, these ...


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