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Chaney v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

December 13, 2017

Joseph Chaney, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Nos. 06-14973A & 07-18812, Miguel M. De La O, Judge.

          Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Natasha Baker-Bradley, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jill D. Kramer, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before SUAREZ, LAGOA and SCALES, JJ.

          SCALES, J.

         Joseph Chaney appeals his sentences in case numbers F06-14973A and F07-18812, which were imposed after he pled guilty to violating probation in both cases. Because Chaney reserved the right to challenge, on appeal, the trial court's ruling that he violated probation in case number F07-18812, for the following reasons, we vacate Chaney's guilty plea to violating probation in case number F07-18812 and remand for resentencing on case number F06-14973A.

         I. Relevant Factual and Procedural Background

         In case number F06-14973A, the State charged Chaney with one count of second degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, both offenses occurring on December 29, 2005. While Chaney was incarcerated awaiting trial in case number F06-14973A, the State charged Chaney in case number F07-18812 with one count of aggravated battery by a prisoner, for breaking the jaw of another inmate on June 1, 2007.

         On March 31, 2009, Chaney pled guilty in both cases. The sentencing order in case number F06-14973A reflects that the trial court sentenced Chaney to seven years in prison followed by five years of probation on both the second degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charges, to run concurrent with each other. The trial court also entered an Order of Supervision spelling out the conditions of Chaney's probation in case number F06-14793A.

         The March 31, 2009 sentencing order in case number F07-18812 reflects that the trial court sentenced Chaney to six years in prison followed by five years of probation, to run concurrent with Chaney's sentence in case number F06-14973A. While the sentencing order in case number F07-18812 references that the terms and conditions of Chaney's probation in case number F07-18812 are "set forth in a separate order entered herein, " (emphasis added), the record reflects no such separate order spelling out Chaney's probation conditions in case number F07-18812.

         Chaney was released from prison in July 2012; whereupon, he was placed on probation. On January 16, 2015, the State filed Violation of Probation Affidavits against Chaney in case numbers F06-14973A and F07-18812, alleging that Chaney had violated the conditions of his probation by testing positive for marijuana in a urine sample, and by failing to pay ten dollars per month towards the cost of his supervision.[1]

         Chaney's probation violation hearing was delayed after it became apparent that important pieces of the record were missing. There is no March 31, 2009 sentencing transcript in the record. Also, even though both the lower court docket sheet and the sentencing order in case number F07-18812 state that Chaney was put on probation in that case, there is no Order of Supervision for case number F07-18812. There is only an Order of Supervision in the record for case number F06-14973A, which does not cross-reference case number F07-18812.

         After attempts to locate and reconstruct the missing portions of the record proved futile, the trial court, on April 20, 2015, held a probation violation hearing. At this hearing, the trial court found insufficient evidence to prove that Chaney had violated probation for failure to pay money, but did find Chaney in violation for testing positive for marijuana as to case number F06-14973A. The court also found that Chaney was a danger to society for purposes of the VFOSC ...


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