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People v. Baldes

Court of Appeals of Michigan

March 17, 2015

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CHRISTOPHER ROBERT BALDES, Defendant-Appellee

Macomb Circuit Court. LC No. 2013-003396-FH, 2013-003397-FH, 2013-003398-FH, 2013-003399-FH, 2013-003400-FH.

Before: BOONSTRA, P.J., and SAWYER and O'CONNELL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 339

[309 Mich.App. 652] Peter D. O'Connell, J.

The Macomb County Prosecutor appeals by leave granted the trial court's decision to sentence defendant, Christopher Robert Baldes, to five years' probation and drug treatment court. We vacate Baldes's sentence and remand for resentencing.

I. FACTS

Baldes participated in a series of home invasions in Fraser and Roseville. Baldes pleaded guilty to various charges related to the home invasions. At the plea proceeding, the assistant prosecutor indicated that Baldes was seeking admission to drug treatment court. On November 19, 2013, Baldes appeared for sentencing. The trial court noted that Baldes had been screened and was a good candidate for drug treatment court. The trial court indicated that it had not yet [309 Mich.App. 653] made a decision, but that the drug treatment court team was meeting the following day and it would discuss his case.

On November 22, 2013, Baldes again appeared for sentencing. Baldes's presentence investigation report indicated that the sentencing guidelines recommended a minimum sentence of 57 to 95 months' imprisonment, but the Department of Corrections recommended a sentence of three years' probation, subject to the conditions of drug treatment court. At the second sentencing hearing, the trial court indicated that it intended to admit Baldes into drug treatment court. The assistant prosecutor objected to admitting Baldes to drug treatment court and contended that the trial court did not have sufficient reason

Page 340

to depart downward from the sentencing guidelines.

The trial court determined that it did not need to articulate substantial and compelling reasons to depart downward from the sentencing guidelines in order to admit Baldes to drug treatment court, but it then stated several reasons on the record to do so, including Baldes's age, education, potential for rehabilitation, minimal criminal record, and family support. The trial court sentenced Baldes to serve five years' probation and a two-year drug treatment court program, which included serving 240 days in jail and successfully completing a rehabilitation program, completing a 30- to 45-day inpatient rehabilitation program on release and subsequently living in a " three-quarter house" with restrictions, daily support meetings for 90 days, an alcohol monitoring tether, and intensive outpatient counseling.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

This Court reviews de novo issues of statutory interpretation. People v Williams, 475 Mich. 245, 250; [309 Mich.App. 654] 716 N.W.2d 208 (2006). The purpose of statutory interpretation is to determine the Legislature's intent. Id. To do so, this Court examines the plain and ordinary language of the statute. Id. If the statute's ...


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