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Beasley v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

December 23, 2015

RONNIE J. BEASLEY II, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee

 

Appeal from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Palmer, Gregory Heath, Judge. Trial Court No. 3PA-11-3312 CR.

Megan Webb, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Melissa J. Wininger-Howard, Assistant District Attorney, Palmer, and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 1131

SUDDOCK, Judge.

Pursuant to a plea agreement for open sentencing on a single count of possession of child pornography, Ronnie J. Beasley II received a sentence of 6 years with 3 years suspended. He now contends that as a youthful offender with no prior record, a history of post-arrest cooperation, and an endorsement of good rehabilitative prospects in his presentence report, he merited a statutory minimum sentence of 4 years with 2 years suspended. We conclude that Beasley's sentence was within the broad discretion of the trial court. But in light of the State's concession that five probation conditions are not justified by the record as it currently stands, we remand for further proceedings as to all the conditions of probation imposed by the judge.

Background facts

In May of 2011 a state trooper initiated an investigation into internet distribution of child pornography. The investigation ultimately led to Beasley. When interviewed by a state trooper, Beasley initially denied using file sharing software, but he later admitted using it to download child pornography.

Troopers then executed a search warrant on Beasley's residence. The troopers seized two computers. A forensic examination of Beasley's computer revealed forty-two video files and twenty-one still images depicting child pornography. One video portrayed penis-to-anus penetration of an infant. Beasley was subsequently charged with one count of possessing child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography.

Beasley pleaded guilty to the possession charge pursuant to an agreement for dismissal of the distributing charge with open sentencing by the court. The State did not allege aggravating factors, nor did Beasley allege mitigators.

The presentence report revealed that Beasley, age twenty-four, had no juvenile history of offenses, no prior adult criminal record, and no traffic violations. And while incarcerated he had no disciplinary infractions and worked as a janitor. During a presentence interview Beasley disclosed that he began viewing adult pornography at age fifteen, and he then progressed to child pornography via comics and drawings. He denied sexual attraction to children in daily life but admitted that he fantasizes about children. He expressed confusion and dismay about his pornography addiction, and he stated that he welcomed counseling and treatment. The presentence report recommended a statutory minimum sentence of 4 years with 2 years suspended.

Although possession of child pornography is a class C felony, its punishment differs from a typical class C felony offense. The maximum possible term of imprisonment for possession of child pornography is 99 years, and the presumptive range for a first-felony offender is 2 to 12 years.[1] The court is also required to impose at ...


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