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People v. Beard

Court of Appeals of Michigan

April 25, 2019

PEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Thomas Ray BEARD, Defendant-Appellee.

         Submitted March 13, 2019, at Detroit.

         Oakland Circuit Court, LC No. 2017-264893-FH, Phyllis C. McMillen, J.

         Dana Nessel, Attorney General, Fadwa A. Hammoud, Solicitor General, Jessica R. Cooper, Prosecuting Attorney, Thomas R. Grden, Appellate Division Chief, and Joshua J. Miller, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the people.

          State Appellate Defender (by Michael L. Mittlestat) for Thomas R. Beard.

         Before: Shapiro, P.J., and Beckering and M. J. Kelly, JJ.

         OPINION

         Shapiro, P.J.

Page 119

          [327 Mich.App. 704] The prosecution appeals by leave granted[1] an amended judgment of sentence entered [327 Mich.App. 705] by the trial court. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we vacate the amended judgment of sentence.

          I

         While on parole for an unarmed-robbery conviction, defendant was arrested for domestic violence. He pleaded no contest to domestic violence, third offense, MCL 750.81(5), which is a felony.[2] On February 15, 2018, the trial court sentenced defendant to a year in jail. At sentencing, the court stated that the sentence was "consecutive to a parole violation." The judgment of sentence also stated, "Sentence consecutive to parole violation." (Capitalization omitted.) But the judgment of sentence provided that defendant¬ís sentence would begin on February 15, 2018.

          As a result of his parole violation, defendant returned to prison to serve the remaining few months of his prior sentence for unarmed robbery. He was discharged on August 17, 2018, and transferred to the Oakland County jail.

          On October 17, 2018, defendant moved to amend the judgment of sentence or for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Defendant explained that the Oakland County jail was interpreting the judgment of sentence to mean that his domestic-violence sentence began when he arrived at the jail on August 17, not on February 15 as provided by the judgment of sentence. Defendant requested that the trial court remove the "consecutive to parole violation" language from the judgment of sentence.

          After hearing oral argument, the trial court agreed with defendant that his sentence for domestic violence [327 Mich.App. 706] should have begun to run on the date of sentencing. Accordingly, it granted defendant¬ís motion and amended the judgment of sentence to provide, "Sentence consecutive to parole violation. Defenant [sic] shall begin to ...


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