This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Jason Marque Sole,
Filed June 19, 2007
Washington County District Court
File No. K7-05-7305
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Charles A. Ramsay, Sharon R. Osborn, Ramsay & Devore, P.A., 450 Rosedale Towers, 1700 West Highway 36, Roseville, MN 55113 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Parker, Judge.
D E C I S I O N
This court reviews
a sentencing departure to determine whether the district court has stated
proper grounds for the departure, or whether such grounds appear in the record.
State v. Carter, 424 N.W.2d 821, 823 (
Sentencing Guidelines provide a list of nonexclusive factors that support granting
a downward departure.
Here, respondent Jason Sole, a college student, was supported at sentencing by a number of his fellow students and professors. Prior to his arrest, Sole was involved with student and community groups, and had been elected “Student of the Year” at his university. Letters were submitted on Sole’s behalf to the court from his mother, his former employer, and from the university president. A vice president of the school and a professor testified on his behalf at sentencing, and spoke of Sole’s community involvement and his potential, and their commitment to helping Sole. The professor testified:
[Sole’s promise] is a promise I trust. This is a promise I sincerely trust. In this particular case, a dispositional departure makes one hundred percent sense to me, and anything I can do over the rest of my life to support this young man’s well-being and integrity, I will support his responsibility, and I will support surrounding him with a network of supports and opportunities so that he does in fact stay on the right track.
The district court sentenced Sole to the presumptive sentence, but made a downward dispositional departure by staying the sentence and imposing one year in a work-release program, a 400-hour community-service requirement, and 20 years of probation, with conditions. In departing, the district court stated that Sole is amenable to probation and that it would adopt the arguments in Sole’s motion for departure as the reasons for the downward departure. The district court stated on the record that “the amount of support, the amount of good you’re capable of doing does offset what the prison sentence would do. I can see that, you know, the potential for good is here, and I’m willing to give you a chance, but chance it is.”
Given the evidence of strong support for Sole, we conclude that the district court did not abuse discretion by finding Sole amenable to probation. Sole’s remorse, cooperation, and attitude also support his amenability to probation. Cf. Trog, 323 N.W.2d at 31. And amenability to probation is a permissible reason to dispositionally depart from a presumptive sentence. Gebeck, 635 N.W.2d at 389. The district court has focused on Sole as an individual, and concluded that departing from the presumptive sentence is “best for him and society.” Heywood, 338 N.W.2d at 244. The district court’s decision to depart is supported by the record.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.