This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).






Sherre Ann Rothnem Otto, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,



Filed October 17, 2000


Kalitowski, Judge


File No. KX99157

Le Sueur County District Court


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan K. Maki, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and


Michael T. Keogh, Waterville City Attorney, 65 South Park Avenue, Le Center, MN 56057 (for respondent)



            Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant Sherre Ann Rothnem Otto contends the district court abused its discretion by sending her back to jail for violating a furlough condition.  We affirm.


            “A trial court has broad discretion in sentencing, and will not be reversed absent a clear abuse of discretion.”  State v. Lundberg, 575 N.W.2d 589, 591 (Minn. App. 1998) (citation omitted), review denied (Minn. May 20, 1998).  When reviewing a sentence, this court may not substitute its judgment for that of the district court.  State v. Murphy, 545 N.W.2d 909, 916 (Minn. 1996).

            In May 1999, Otto pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to one year in jail.  The district court modified this sentence by granting Otto a furlough from jail for alcohol treatment.  The terms of the furlough required Otto to successfully complete both an inpatient alcohol treatment program and a halfway house program, or she would be returned to jail.

            In September 1999, Otto violated her furlough by failing to successfully complete aftercare at the halfway house.  After conducting a hearing to determine whether Otto had successfully completed both treatment programs, the district court concluded she had not and returned her to jail. 

            Otto contends the district court’s decision to revoke her furlough was unfair and arbitrary because it did not consider alternative aftercare options.  We disagree.  The record supports the district court’s decision to revoke Otto’s furlough because Otto did not successfully complete the halfway house program as required.  The director of the halfway house testified about the conditions Otto had to satisfy:

Technically [Otto’s] graduation took place, yes, with the condition that [she] * * * return for the next 15 weeks for one on one counseling or dinner on a Wednesday night * * * .


It is undisputed that Otto intentionally refused to return to the halfway house and thus violated a condition of her furlough.  Moreover, the district court, which was not required to even grant Otto a furlough, was not obliged to consider alternative aftercare programs that Otto might prefer.  At sentencing the district court emphasized the strictness of the furlough conditions:

You must successfully complete those programs.  You get booted out of those programs at all, either one of them, you are coming back here and you will have to finish out the year.  I don’t care if it’s the second to last day.  If you screw up and lose the program, you are back in.


Since Otto did not successfully complete the halfway house aftercare program, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion in returning her to jail.

            In addition, the record supports a finding that Otto was not amenable to structured treatment and that rehabilitation had failed.  Otto admitted to having alcohol at the halfway house and committing a rule violation by returning late from a program pass.  Based on the seriousness of Otto’s original offense and her subsequent conduct, we conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in returning Otto to jail.