may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Edwin Christopher Noble,
Filed March 10, 1998
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 97040902
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda M. Freyer, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for appellant)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Dwayne Adrian Bryan, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and, Foley, Judge.*
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
Appellant the State of Minnesota challenges the district court's decision to sentence respondent Edwin C. Noble without regard to Minn. Stat. § 609.11, subd. 5 (1996), following a guilty plea. Because the prosecution did not object to a plea bargain under which Noble would be sentenced without regard to Minn. Stat. § 609.11, we affirm.
Here, both the petition to enter a guilty plea and defense counsel's questioning of Noble at the plea hearing indicate that the parties entered into a plea agreement requiring Noble to be sentenced without regard to Minn. Stat. § 609.11, the statute for minimum sentence of imprisonment. The petition to enter a guilty plea states that Noble was to plead guilty to controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and follow all court and probation orders. In return, the state agreed that Noble (1) would be sentenced to a prison term of 24 months with the execution of the sentence stayed for five years; (2) would serve six months in the workhouse less 33 days for time served; and (3) would be sentenced without regard to Minn. Stat. § 609.11.
At the plea hearing, defense counsel questioned Noble about his understanding of the plea agreement:
Q: [Defense counsel] As you heard in this courtroom and as I explained to you as well, the fifth degree charge is a straight plea to Judge Wexler?
A: [Defendant] Yes.
Q: And I'm showing you page 3, number 20 [of the Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty] here because I told you we had some in chambers discussions, right?
Q: And the Judge explained that if you entered a plea of guilty to him, a straight plea of guilty, it would be his intention to give you a stay of execution for five years and hang 24 months over your head. You would serve six months in the workhouse, get credit for 33 days and it would be a sentence without regard to 609.11.
The prosecution did not object to the terms of the plea agreement as recited by defense counsel. After defense counsel finished questioning Noble, the district court accepted the guilty plea and the sentence based on the plea agreement. Because the prosecution agreed to a sentence without regard to Minn. Stat. § 609.11, the plea agreement must be honored. See Kochevar v. State, 281 N.W.2d at 687 (an unqualified promise which is part of a plea arrangement must be honored). Because the plea agreement provided that Noble would be sentenced without regard to Minn. Stat.
§ 609.11 and the district court accepted the plea, we conclude that the district court's reason for not imposing the statutory minimum sentence is immaterial. Consequently, we will not address the state's argument that the district court erred in finding that Noble was not in possession of a firearm at the time of the drug offense.