This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited
except as provided by
Minn. Stat. §
480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF
Earl Russell St.
State of Minnesota,
Filed May 2, 2006
modified and remanded
Clay County District
File No. K2-00-566
Daniel S. Adkins, The Adkins Law Group, 175 Lexington Parkway North, Suite 204, St. Paul, MN 55104 (for appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower,
445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101;
Lisa N. Borgen, Clay County Attorney, Jenny M. Samarzja, Assistant
County Attorney, 807 North Eleventh Street, P.O. Box 280, Moorhead, MN
56561-0280 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Shumaker,
Presiding Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Halbrooks, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
In this appeal from summary denial of a third postconviction petition,
Earl St. Claire argues that his sentence was not authorized by law and also raises
fifteen additional claims in a pro se supplemental brief. We affirm the district court’s denial of St.
Claire’s claim of improper calculation of his criminal-history score and the
summary denial of the fifteen additional claims because St. Claire did not
include some of the claims in his postconviction petition and the remaining
claims are barred by State v. Knaffla,
309 Minn. 246, 243 N.W.2d 737 (1976). St. Claire did not, however, receive jail
credit as authorized by law, and we therefore affirm as modified and remand for sentence
A C T S
A jury found Earl St. Claire guilty of a first-degree
controlled-substance crime in September 2000.
Following the conviction, the district court sentenced St. Claire to the
presumptive guidelines sentence of 146 months in prison and applied a 179-day
jail credit for part of the time St. Claire was in custody between the February
1999 methamphetamine sale and the September 2000 conviction.
direct appeal St. Claire challenged the district court’s admission of audiotapes
into evidence. In a pro se supplemental
brief, St. Claire raised issues relating to witness and jury bias,
prosecutorial misconduct, and his right to a speedy trial. We affirmed the conviction. State
v. St. Claire, No. C3-01-41, 2001 WL 1182725, at *3-*4 (Minn. App. Oct. 9, 2001), review denied (Minn.
Dec. 19, 2001).
June 2004 St. Claire filed a petition for postconviction relief, arguing, among
other claims, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that the
sentencing court miscalculated his criminal-history score. One of St. Claire’s allegations of
ineffective assistance was his attorney’s failure to obtain jail credit for the
entire period that St. Claire was in custody pending trial. The postconviction court denied the petition
on the grounds that St. Claire failed to establish ineffective assistance of
counsel and that the remaining claims were barred by State v. Knaffla, 309 Minn. 246, 243 N.W.2d 737 (1976). St. Claire’s appeal of the denial of postconviction
relief was untimely and, consequently, dismissed.
January 2005 St. Claire filed a second postconviction petition, which
essentially raised the same issues. The
district court summarily denied St. Claire’s second postconviction
petition. In May 2005 St. Claire filed a third petition for
postconviction relief, which restated the allegations of the two previous
petitions and added a specific request to modify his sentence by increasing the
number of days allowed for jail credit. The court summarily denied this petition,
and St. Claire appeals.
In his main brief St. Claire argues that the sentencing court
miscalculated his jail credit and his criminal-history score. In his pro se supplemental brief, St. Claire
re-argues the evidentiary and procedural issues related to his September 2000
trial, raises constitutional issues related to the trial, contests the
sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction, and challenges the
denial of a stay pending his initial direct appeal.
E C I S I O N
postconviction court may summarily deny a second or successive petition for relief
by the same petitioner or on an issue that has previously been decided. Minn. Stat. § 590.04, subd. 3 (2004). Similarly, when a petitioner has appealed
directly, postconviction relief is generally not available for any issue raised
in that appeal or for any claims that were knowable at the time of the appeal
but not raised. State v. Knaffla, 309 Minn.
246, 252, 243 N.W.2d 737, 741 (Minn.
district court, however, has jurisdiction “at any time [to] correct a sentence
not authorized by law.” Minn. R. Crim.
P. 27.03, subd. 9. Under rule 27.03, a
district court has the power to correct a sentence despite earlier denials of
postconviction relief. State v.
Stutelberg, 435 N.W.2d 632, 633-34 (Minn.
App. 1989); see also State v. Henderson, 706 N.W.2d 758, 759-60 (Minn. 2005) (recognizing
that failure to raise sentencing issue did not waive consideration on later
review); State v. Maurstad, 706 N.W.2d
App. 2005) (holding that failure to object during sentencing did not waive
right to challenge criminal-history score on appeal), review granted (Minn. Feb. 22, 2006). Because St. Claire has not waived his right
to review of his sentence, we address his claims that the sentencing court
miscalculated his criminal-history score and his jail credit.
The decision to grant jail credit is not
discretionary. State v. Fritzke, 521 N.W.2d 859, 861 (Minn. App. 1994). Adefendant is entitled to credit for
“all time spent in custody in connection with the offense or behavioral
incident for which sentence is imposed.”
Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 4(B).
The relevant date for calculating jail credit is the date on which
probable cause attaches, when police reasonably could believe the crime was
committed by the person to be arrested. State v. Morales, 532 N.W.2d 268, 270 (Minn. App. 1995). A defendant is entitled to receive credit for
all time spent in custody after probable cause attaches, regardless of whether the
defendant is in custody for a different offense. Fritzke,
521 N.W.2d at 862. When the defendant is
in custody in another state, however, the district court is required to give
credit only for time served “solely in connection” with a Minnesota offense. State
v. Akbar, 419 N.W.2d 648, 650 (Minn.
Probable cause attached on St. Claire’s first-degree controlled-substance
crime on February 18, 1999. Before that
date, on February 1, 1999, an informant told a Clay County
detective that St. Claire could obtain methamphetamine. On February 2 the informant spoke to St.
Claire and on February 3 he gave St. Claire $900 in cash for the purpose of
traveling to North Dakota
to obtain the drugs. On February
3, after receiving the money, St. Claire was stopped and arrested for a traffic
violation in North Dakota. The arresting officer found $1,286 in
cash in St. Claire’s vehicle, $900 of which was separated from the rest. St. Claire told the officer that he was
traveling to visit his mother. During
a police interview on February 18, however, St. Claire stated that he acquired
the $900 in Minnesota
for the purpose of obtaining methamphetamine for future sale. Based on these events, the police could reasonably
believe St. Claire committed the crime.
St. Claire met with investigators again in May 1999, but these
conversations related to St. Claire’s potential to serve as an informant to
obtain information about other crimes, not to an investigation into St.
Claire’s pending charge. See Morales, 532 N.W.2d at 270
(resolving ambiguities between probable cause and investigation in favor of
defendant for purposes of calculating jail credit).
October 1999 St. Claire pleaded guilty to five unrelated offenses in North Dakota and was
sentenced to five years in prison. St. Claire v. State, 638 N.W.2d 39, 41
(N.D. 2002). The record indicates that
St. Claire was in custody for these charges beginning in late June 1999. When the district court sentenced St. Claire
for the Minnesota offense in October 2000, it
credited him with 179 days spent in custody in Minnesota,
dating to the end of April 2000 when St. Claire was transferred to Minnesota. The appellate record does not provide the exact
dates that St. Claire spent in custody, but it is clear that he did not receive
jail credit, after probable cause attached, for time when he was in custody during
parts of 1999. We therefore remand to
the district court for a redetermination of jail credit.
record does not, however, support St. Claire’s claim that the sentencing court
erred in calculating his criminal-history score. The sentencing court used a criminal-history
score of 5 in sentencing St. Claire on the first-degree controlled-substance
conviction. St. Claire contends that the
five prior convictions did not arise from separate behavioral incidents and
therefore his criminal-history score should be less than 5. The
Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines provide that “[w]hen multiple sentences for a
single course of conduct were imposed . . . only the
offense at the highest severity level is considered.” Minn.
Sent. Guidelines II.B.1.b. Of the five
prior convictions, two arose from the same behavioral incident. The district court correctly took this
overlap into account when calculating St. Claire’s criminal-history score. As separate incidents, the five convictions
would result in 5.5 criminal-history points.
The court, however, calculated a total criminal-history score of 5,
using only the more severe conviction for the two sentences resulting from the
same behavioral incident. Under the 1999
Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, the presumptive sentence for someone with a
criminal-history score of 5 and a current offense with a severity level ofeight
was 146 months’ imprisonment, which is the sentence the court imposed. Minn.
Sent. Guidelines IV-V.
The claims argued in St. Claire’s pro se
supplemental brief do not raise issues of illegal sentencing. Most of the fifteen separate claims relate to
trial procedure and were either addressed and rejected as without merit on
direct appeal or were knowable at the time of the appeal and are waived. See State v. St. Claire, No. C3-01-41, 2001
WL 1182725, at *3-*4 (Minn. App. Oct. 9, 2001) (holding that St. Claire’s pro
se arguments lacked merit), review denied
(Minn. Dec. 19, 2001).
Although exceptions to the Knaffla
principle exist, they do not apply to these claims, and the court did not
abuse its discretion by summarily denying relief. See
Quick v. State, 692 N.W.2d 438, 439 (Minn. 2005) (stating that postconviction
court may consider claimsotherwise
barred by Knaffla if claim presents
novel legal issue or interests of fairness require review and petitioner has
not “deliberately and inexcusably fail[ed] to raise the issue on direct appeal”). The other claims either do not state a
basis for relief or were not raised in the postconviction petition and, thus,
may not be considered on appeal from denial of that petition. See
Roby v. State, 547 N.W.2d 354, 357 (Minn.
1996) (holding that appellate court will not consider matters not argued and
considered in district court).
Affirmed as modified and remanded.