This opinion will be unpublished and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
State of Minnesota,
Ronald E. Hott,
Filed November 6, 2007
Ramsey County District Court
File No. KX-05-3023
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Mark N. Lystig, Assistant County Attorney, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, James R. Peterson, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue SE, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
and decided by Ross, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from a conviction and sentence for theft of a motor vehicle, appellant argues that the district court erred in counting as a criminal-history point a conviction for an offense that occurred after his current conviction. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant Ronald E. Hott argues that the district court erred in failing to correct or modify his sentence imposed in Ramsey County, contending that his criminal-history score was improperly calculated when a criminal-history point was assigned for a Hennepin County offense that occurred after the Ramsey County offense. We review de novo a district court’s interpretation of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. State v. Jones,587 N.W.2d 854, 855 (Minn. App. 1999), review denied (Minn. Mar. 16, 1999).
Appellant was charged in Ramsey County on August 31, 2005, with theft of a motor vehicle. On October 1, 2005, while the Ramsey County matter was pending, appellant stole a motor vehicle in Hennepin County. Appellant pleaded guilty to the Ramsey County case on November 21, 2005, and while the parties agreed that appellant would be sentenced to the low end of the guidelines’ box, he was not sentenced on the day he pleaded guilty. On November 30, 2005, appellant pleaded guilty to the Hennepin County case and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. On January 5, 2006, appellant was sentenced in Ramsey County. The district court followed the agreement and sentenced appellant to 20 months in prison—the low end of the guidelines’ box.
When interpreting a provision of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, “[t]his court may not disregard the plain and unambiguous language of the sentencing guidelines and accompanying commentary.” Id. at 856. An offender’s felony record, used to calculate a criminal-history score, is a critical component in determining an offender’s presumptive sentence under the sentencing guidelines. See Minn. Sent. Guidelines II.B.1. “[F]or every felony conviction for which a felony sentence was stayed or imposed before the current sentencing,” the offender is assigned a designated number of points. Id. (emphasis added).
[I]n order for prior convictions to be used in computing criminal history score, the felony sentence for the prior offense must have been stayed or imposed before sentencing for the current offense. When multiple current offenses are sentenced on the same day before the same judge, sentencing shall occur in the order in which the offenses occurred.
Id. cmt. II.B.101. Thus, an offender’s conviction of an offense committed subsequent to the current offense, but sentenced prior to the current sentencing, is properly included in the offender’s criminal-history score. State v. Best,370 N.W.2d 691, 696 (Minn. App. 1985).
In State v. Mondry, the defendant challenged his sentence, arguing that the district court erred in including two points in his criminal-history score for felony offenses committed after but sentenced prior to the matter at issue. 682 N.W.2d 183, 183 (Minn. App. 2004). The defendant was charged in Clay County in April 2002 with several offenses. Id. Five months later, the defendant was charged with two felony offenses in North Dakota. Id. at 183-84. The defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced for the North Dakota offenses in February 2003. Id. The defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced for the Clay County offenses in August 2003. Id. The defendant’s criminal-history score increased by two points following the North Dakota felony convictions. Id. This court determined that Mondry’s sentence did not contravene a negotiated plea agreement, but, rather, was determined by proper application of the sentencing guidelines. Id. at 185.
Here, appellant argues that his 20-month sentence should be reduced to 18 months. But the district court properly applied the sentencing guidelines by including appellant’s Hennepin County conviction because sentencing for that offense was imposed before sentencing for the offense at issue. Despite the fact that appellant was sentenced for multiple offenses, sentencing did not need to occur in the order in which appellant committed the offenses because he was not sentenced on the same day before the same judge. See Minn. Sent. Guidelines cmt. II.B.101. Additionally, appellant committed the same offense in both counties. If he had been sentenced in Ramsey County first, he still would have received a felony point that would have been added to his criminal-history score for sentencing in Hennepin County. Further, when appellant pleaded guilty in Ramsey County, he agreed to be sentenced to the “low end of the box.” Appellant’s presumptive sentence was 23 months in prison; he received the lower range of 20 months. Thus, the interests of justice do not dictate that appellant’s case be remanded for resentencing because his plea agreement was honored.