The Appellate Group

State v. Lesky

State v. Lesky, 2021 UT App 67 (Hagen, J.)

Criminal Law

Following a breakup, Defendant pulled a gun on his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend. After he represented himself (with standby counsel), a jury convicted him of aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. On appeal, he raised various arguments, including that his convictions should have merged and that his right to self-representation was violated. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The court held that his offenses of pulling a gun and walking ex-girlfriend and boyfriend into the house where he then threatened them were “in no way necessary to each other” to warrant merger as being the same act, and that under the facts of this case aggravated assault was not a lesser included offense of aggravated kidnapping.
  • The court found no error in Defendant not being present for some sidebar conferences and in-chamber meetings, as he had agreed to hybrid representation with standby counsel, standby counsel was present for all meetings, and he never expressed any objection to his lack of presence in these meetings.

Read the full court opinion