State v. West
State v. West, 2023 UT App 61 (Christiansen Forster, J.)
Petitioner obtained a civil stalking injunction against West that prohibited West from being within twenty feet of Petitioner. West later entered a library when Petitioner was inside and was convicted of violating the injunction. At sentencing, the court accepted West’s request to represent herself without engaging in any colloquy. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding:
- The district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence. The district court erred in sentencing West without counsel. West’s sentence was unconstitutional because West was not made aware of the risks of proceeding without counsel.
- Practice Tip: The timing of other-acts evidence is not a precluding factor to the admission of those acts under rule 404(b) of the Utah Rules of Evidence.
- Judicial Tip: When significant time or events have passed between a defendant’s waiver of counsel and sentencing, courts should revisit the defendant’s intent to proceed without counsel before sentencing the defendant.