This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).







State of Minnesota,





John Everette Pierce,




Filed September 18, 2001

Klaphake, Judge


Isanti County District Court

File No. K8004



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


Jeffrey R. Edblad, Isanti County Attorney, 555 18th Avenue Southwest, Cambridge, MN  55008 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie J. Rosenberg, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414-3230 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Halbrooks, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            John Everett Pierce appeals from the district court’s revocation of his probation and execution of his 36-month prison sentence for felony possession of stolen property and attempted felony escape from custody.  Minn. Stat. §§ 609.52, subd. 3(a), 609.485, subds. 2, 4(a) (1998).  The district court concluded that appellant violated probation when he was discharged from a halfway house program for breaking house rules.  On appeal, he argues that his probation should not be revoked because he successfully completed an inpatient treatment program, was making progress at the halfway house, and committed purely technical violations.  Because the evidence establishes that appellant is not amenable to probation due to his inability to comply with halfway house rules, we affirm the revocation of his probation.


            A district court has broad discretion to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to revoke probation.  State v. Moot, 398 N.W.2d 21, 23 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn.  Feb. 13, 1987).  When revoking probation, the court must (1) designate the specific conditions of probation that were violated; (2) find that the violations were inexcusable or intentional; and (3) find that the need for confinement outweighs the policies favoring probation.  State v. Austin, 295 N.W.2d 246, 250 (Minn. 1980).

            Appellant argues that the state has failed to prove that the need to have him confined outweighs policies favoring probation because he did not reoffend and he does not pose a danger to the public.  He insists that his violations of the halfway house rules had nothing to do with the focus of his treatment and were no more than the usual “misguided impulses of a person who was struggling to take control of his mental illness and drug problems, while working on his rehabilitation.”  He further insists that revocation of his probation constitutes an improper, “knee jerk” reaction to his extensive past criminal history.  In his pro se supplemental brief, he makes similar arguments and claims that his probation should not be revoked because he never re-offended and was “working * * * hard to complete the treatment program.”

            The evidence, however, establishes that appellant was placed on probation to afford him one last opportunity to succeed in treatment.  Appellant knew that completion of the halfway house program was one of his conditions of probation.  He also knew the halfway house rules and was given several warnings before the group decided to discharge him.  At the time of his discharge, halfway house staff considered his prognosis “poor” because he continued to choose “which rules he would follow, bend or manipulate” and was “unwilling to follow the house rules when they didn’t suit his needs or wants.”

            At the revocation hearing, the district court cited appellant’s extensive past criminal history as evidence of his willful disregard of the law and inability to comply with rules imposed upon him by others.  The court further noted that in placing appellant on probation, the sentencing court had given him one last opportunity to succeed in treatment and avoid prison.

            On this record, we conclude that clear and convincing evidence supports the district court’s decision to revoke appellant’s probation.  See, e.g., State v. Theel, 532 N.W.2d 265, 267 (Minn. App. 1995) (affirming probation revocation where defendant’s failure to pay restitution, despite repeated warnings, was indication that probation not succeeding), review denied (Minn. July 20, 1995); State v. Thompson, 486 N.W.2d 163, 165 (Minn. App. 1992) (affirming probation revocation where treatment facilities contemplated in sentencing alternative no longer available); Moot, 398 N.W.2d at 24 (affirming probation revocation where defendant’s refusal to comply with treatment program and participate in recovery constituted violation of probation).  The reasons for appellant’s discharge from the halfway house, which included his inability or refusal to comply and follow house rules, were essentially the same reasons cited by the district court to support its decision that appellant was not amenable to probation, that is, his willful disregard of the law and inability to follow rules imposed upon him.

            We therefore affirm the district court’s revocation of appellant’s probation.