STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Michelle Marie Stoltman,
Filed October 12, 1999
Polk County District Court
File No. K098416
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Alison E. Colton, Assistant Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Wayne H. Swanson, Polk County Attorney, Crookston Professional Center #101, 223 East Seventh Street, Crookston, MN 56716 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan J. Andrews, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Davies, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.
Appellant Michelle Marie Stoltman challenges the sentences imposed for her convictions, claiming that the district court erred in denying her request for specific performance of her plea agreement with the state. We affirm.
providing complete and truthful information to law enforcement, and/or testimony, if necessary, at any and all trials or hearings regarding her drug dealing activities and her co-defendants, accomplices, and/or co-conspirators.
The district court accepted Stoltman's Alford pleas to the two charges, explained the conditions of the agreement, and scheduled a sentencing hearing.
In September 1998, Stoltman met with Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Sondrol to discuss Stoltman's drug-related activities. After the interview, Stoltman consented to a polygraph examination, which indicated that she was deceptive in providing negative responses to each of the following questions:
Did you lie in your statement about those drug sales?
Did you lie in your statement about those drug sales of meth[amphetamine]?
Did you lie to protect the identity of anyone in your statement?
Special Agent Daniel Ahlquist of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted the examination.
At Stoltman's sentencing hearing, Deputy Sondrol testified that he did not believe Stoltman was completely truthful in providing information regarding her drug-related activities, stating that "she minimized a lot" and was very uncooperative. Deputy Sondrol also testified to inconsistencies between Stoltman's statement and the statements of five others taken in connection with his investigation of Stoltman. In addition, Special Agent Ahlquist testified regarding the results of Stoltman's polygraph examination. Special Agent Ahlquist further testified that, after the examination, Stoltman admitted that she had provided incorrect information about the amount of methamphetamine she had purchased. The state submitted the polygraph report and the statements of Stoltman and the five others to the district court as exhibits.
The district court found that Stoltman was not completely truthful in providing information regarding her drug-related activities and denied her request for specific performance of the plea agreement. The court imposed concurrent sentences of 48 months for Stoltman's conviction of second-degree sale of a controlled substance and 24 months for her conviction of solicitation of a juvenile. The court dismissed the remaining four charges, and this appeal followed.
This court has stated:
Generally, a prosecutor's violation of an essential element or inducement in a plea agreement, and a timely objection to the violation, entitles a defendant to a remedy, such as resentencing with specific performance of the plea agreement or an opportunity to withdraw the plea.
State v. Ferraro, 403 N.W.2d 845, 848 (Minn. App. 1987) (citing Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 262-63, 92 S. Ct. 495, 498-99 (1971)). But a defendant who breaches a plea agreement after being warned that such a breach would result in a longer sentence is not entitled to specific performance. State v. Rud, 372 N.W.2d 434, 435 (Minn. App. 1985), review denied (Minn. Sept. 26, 1985); see generally State v. Garcia, 582 N.W.2d 879, 882 (Minn. 1998) (noting there is no constitutional right to specific performance of a plea agreement). We note that Stoltman does not seek to withdraw her guilty plea.
Stoltman was warned of the consequences of her failure to comply with the terms of the plea agreement. And testimony concerning the inconsistencies between her statement and the statements of several others, her uncooperative demeanor during the interview, and her admission that she provided inaccurate information about the amount of methamphetamine she had purchased demonstrates that Stoltman was not completely truthful in providing information regarding her drug-related activities. Because she breached the plea agreement, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying her request for specific performance. Thus, sentencing is affirmed.
Stoltman also claims that the district court erred in relying on the results of her polygraph examination. Courts in other jurisdictions have allowed the use of polygraph examinations under circumstances similar to those at issue here. E.g., United States v. Beeson, No. 98-3003, 1999 WL 90547, at *3 (9th Cir. Feb. 19, 1999). But "Minnesota courts may not admit polygraph evidence under any circumstances." State v. Litzau, 377 N.W.2d 53, 55 (Minn. App. 1985).
The district court erred to the extent it relied on the results of Stoltman's polygraph examination. But because there was other evidence demonstrating that Stoltman was not completely truthful in providing information regarding her drug-related activities, we conclude that the error is harmless and not ground for resentencing. See Minn. R. Crim. P. 31.01 (providing that harmless error is not ground for reversal); see also United States v. Britt, 917 F.2d 353, 361 (8th Cir. 1990) (concluding that, because there was other evidence to show defendant did not provide complete and truthful information pursuant to terms of plea agreement, any error in admitting polygraph evidence was harmless).
Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Stoltman's request for specific performance of her plea agreement with the state, we affirm the sentences imposed for her convictions of second-degree sale of a controlled substance and solicitation of a juvenile.