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State v. Webb

Supreme Court of South Dakota

November 5, 2014

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
FRANKIE LEE WEBB, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs October 6, 2014

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE JOSEPH NEILES, Judge.

MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, JOHN M. STROHMAN, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

MOLLY C. QUINN, Office of the Minnehaha County, Public Defender, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

WILBUR, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and KONENKAMP, ZINTER and SEVERSON, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 172

WILBUR, Justice

[¶1] Frankie Webb pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug or substance. The circuit court sentenced Webb to five years in prison with two years suspended. One of the conditions of the suspended sentence was that Webb pay a $10,000 fine. Webb appeals and argues that the $10,000 fine was grossly disproportionate to the offense in violation of the Eighth Amendment. We affirm.

Background

[¶2] On September 30, 2013, law enforcement received notification that an individual by the name of Frankie Webb was selling illegal drugs near The Banquet[1] in Sioux Falls. Law enforcement located Webb at The Banquet. Webb consented to a search of his person, his car, and his cell phone. The police found a pill bottle with Webb's name on it that contained three bags of marijuana, seven hydrocodone pills, and ten alprazolam pills. A search of Webb's cell phone revealed that he was engaged in buying and selling drugs. Law enforcement subsequently arrested Webb.

[¶3] Webb was on parole at the time of his arrest. He indicated that he was currently living at the Union Gospel Mission--a homeless shelter--and had recently been approved for Social Security disability benefits. Webb further indicated that he owned a recently-purchased vehicle. The record, however, is silent as to the value of the vehicle and whether he owned any other assets.

[¶4] The State filed an indictment charging Webb with two counts of possession of a controlled drug or substance, possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, and possession of or use of drug paraphernalia. SDCL 22-42-5; SDCL 22-42-6; SDCL 22-42A-3. Webb had three prior felony convictions at the time of his arrest--possession of a controlled substance in 2006, aggravated burglary in 2002, and distribution of crack cocaine in 1999. Because of these prior convictions, the State filed a Part II habitual offender information.

[¶5] Webb entered into a plea agreement whereby he agreed to plead guilty to possession of a controlled drug or substance--to wit Hydrocodone--which is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. A violation of this offense is a Class 5 felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. SDCL 22-42-5; SDCL 22-6-1. The State agreed to cap the sentence at three years of imprisonment. The State further agreed to dismiss the other three charges and the Part II information.

[¶6] The circuit court conducted a plea and sentencing hearing. The court noted that although the plea agreement contemplated three years imprisonment, the court had discretion to sentence Webb to five years imprisonment and then suspend two years; in addition, the court could impose the maximum fine of $10,000. The court considered Webb's criminal history and commented that, as an ...


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