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Vandergriff v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska
125 P.3d 360 (2005)


Over a three-month period, Norman Vandergriff (defendant) burglarized two cabins in Petersburg, Alaska. Vandergriff stole two boats, three firearms, and an outboard motor. Vandergriff also forged a check that was payable to himself and contained the purported signature of one of the homeowners. Vandergriff was indicted by a grand jury on nine felony counts. The state and Vandergriff entered an agreement under which Vandergriff agreed to plead to: (1) second-degree forgery, (2) second-degree burglary, and (3) second-degree theft. Because the agreement did not establish a sentence to be imposed, the trial judge determined the appropriate sentence. The presumptive term for each of the three offenses was three years, because Vandergriff had multiple prior felony convictions for other property offenses. The maximum term permitted for each individual offense was five years. The trial judge sentenced Vandergriff to three consecutive three-year terms, with three years suspended. Vandergriff was to serve a total of six years. Vandergriff appealed on the ground that the trial judge erred in assigning consecutive sentences that totaled more than the presumptive term for Vandergriff’s most serious offense.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

Concurrence (Mannheimer, J.)

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