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Gartman v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

July 25, 2018

Anthony M. Gartman, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Waddell A. Wallace, Judge.

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, and David Alan Henson, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Daniel Krumbholz, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Per Curiam.

         In an earlier appeal, we reversed Anthony Gartman's sentences and remanded for resentencing. Gartman now appeals his new sentences, alleging a double jeopardy violation. We affirm.

         Gartman was convicted of armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See Gartman v. State, 197 So.3d 1181 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). The trial court originally imposed a twelve-year sentence with a ten-year mandatory minimum on Count I (armed robbery) and a six-year sentence with a three-year mandatory minimum on Count II (felon in possession). The court- relying on the then-controlling decision in Walton v. State, 106 So.3d 522 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), rev'd, 208 So.3d 60 (Fla. 2016)- concluded it had to impose the sentences consecutively and "stack" the mandatory-minimum terms. Accordingly, the court imposed a cumulative sentence of 18 years with a 13-year mandatory minimum.

         While Gartman's first appeal was pending, the Florida Supreme Court decided Williams v. State, 186 So.3d 989 (Fla. 2016), which precluded Gartman's consecutive sentences. We therefore reversed Gartman's sentences and remanded for resentencing in light of Williams. Gartman, 197 So.3d at 1182. We did not disturb the convictions. Id.

         On remand, the trial court-attempting to achieve a "fair outcome" and effectuate its original sentencing intent-sentenced Gartman to 18 years' prison with a ten-year mandatory-minimum for Count I. The court reimposed the original Count II sentence (six years with a three-year mandatory-minimum) and ordered the Count I and Count II sentences to run concurrently. The practical effect of this decision was that Gartman's cumulative sentence remained essentially unchanged, the only difference being a marginally shorter mandatory-minimum term. Gartman objected, arguing that because he had only challenged the legality of his Count II sentence-not his Count I sentence-the court's authority on remand was limited to the ministerial task of adjusting the previously imposed sentences to run concurrently. Gartman essentially argued that, pursuant to this court's mandate, he was to receive a sentence of twelve years' prison with a ten-year mandatory-minimum and the court had no discretion to impose any other sentence.

         In a subsequent rule 3.800(b)(2) motion, Gartman renewed his claim that the court had exceeded its authority under the appellate mandate, and he argued the sentencing order violated the Florida and Federal constitutions' prohibitions against double jeopardy by increasing his Count I sentence, which he contended was not at issue in his first appeal. The court denied the motion, and Gartman appealed.

         Florida law has long recognized that when a defendant successfully challenges his sentence on one count, a resentencing trial court cannot change sentences relating to other counts, if the appellate court's mandate did not affect those other counts. See, e.g., Fasenmyer v. State, 457 So.2d 1361, 1362 (Fla. 1984). But in this case, our earlier decision reversed Gartman's sentences on both counts-not just on Count II. Therefore, "the requirement for concurrent sentences [did] not preclude the trial court on remand from structuring [Gartman]'s sentences in a manner that achieves the original sentencing goal." Simmons v. State, 215 So.3d 162, 163 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017); see also James v. State, 845 So.2d 238, 240 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003) ("[A] trial court is not barred from accomplishing its original sentencing goals where a defendant successfully seeks to have a sentence overturned.") (footnote omitted)).

         Gartman argues that he intended to challenge only his Count II sentence in the first appeal. But his arguments in that appeal do not control; what matters is what our decision said. And our decision said that we "vacate the sentences [plural] and remand for resentencing." Gartman, 197 So.3d at 1182. Because the sentences (plural) were vacated, the trial court was left to impose new sentences. Had Gartman viewed our earlier opinion's direction as erroneous, he could have challenged that direction through a motion for rehearing.[1] But it was not up to the trial court to suppose we meant something other than what we said.

         Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not err in resentencing Gartman in a manner consistent with ...


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