FEBRUARY 14, 2017
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA, THE HONORABLE ROBIN J.
J. JACKLEY Attorney General KELLY MARNETTE Assistant Attorney
General Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and
KADI of Minnehaha County Office of the Public Advocate Sioux
Falls, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.
GILBERTSON, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Lee Ann Stenstrom appeals her termination from the drug-court
program and subsequent revocation of suspension of execution
of a four-year sentence. Stenstrom argues the drug
court violated her statutory and constitutional
rights to due process and counsel by denying her request to
permit her attorney to attend drug-court-team meetings. She
also argues her termination from the drug-court program was
error. We affirm.
and Procedural History
Stenstrom was initially arrested on July 1, 2014, in
connection with a law-enforcement investigation into possible
drug dealing at the Power Keeno Casino in Sioux Falls.
Stenstrom was in possession of a hypodermic needle and a
plastic "snort tube" containing methamphetamine. A
grand jury indicted her on a variety of charges, but she was
released from jail on a personal-recognizance
Stenstrom subsequently failed to appear for a pretrial
conference hearing on November 6, and the court issued a
bench warrant for her arrest. She was again arrested and
released on personal recognizance. She failed to appear for
another pretrial conference hearing on January 21, 2015.
Another bench warrant was issued, and Stenstrom was arrested
for a third time on February 14. Following this arrest, she
was charged with failing to appear as well as additional,
felony drug charges.
On April 27, Judge Patricia Riepel arraigned Stenstrom.
Pursuant to an agreement with the State, Stenstrom pleaded
guilty to one count of possessing a controlled substance (a
Class 5 felony). In exchange, the State agreed to drop the
other offenses charged in the indictment, Stenstrom's
failure to appear, and the additional drug charges arising
out of the February 14 arrest. The agreement also required
Stenstrom to successfully complete the drug-court program.
The circuit court imposed a four-year sentence on Stenstrom
but suspended its execution on the condition that Stenstrom
complete the drug-court program and undergo three years of
Stenstrom was released on May 1, 2015, and was directed to
reside at a sober-living house used by drug-court
participants. Four days later, Stenstrom left the house and
failed to return. She then failed to attend both a drug-court
hearing and a meeting with her court-services officer on May
7. Another warrant was issued for her arrest. On July 14,
Stenstrom was arrested on the warrant and for possessing a
controlled substance. The next day, she told her
court-services officer that she had used methamphetamine and
marijuana during her absence from the sober-living house. A
subsequent urinalysis confirmed her confession.
On July 23, 2015, the drug-court team met to consider whether
Stenstrom should be terminated from the drug-court program.
The next day, Stenstrom's court-services officer filed a
drug-court termination report alleging Stenstrom violated the
requirements of the drug-court program by leaving the
sober-living house, failing to appear in drug court, failing
to meet with her court-services officer, using
methamphetamine and marijuana, and by committing an
additional drug offense. Even so, Stenstrom was permitted to
remain in the program, and she was released from custody on
Stenstrom continued to struggle with meeting the
program's requirements. On August 29, Stenstrom met with
her court-services officer, who noticed alcohol in
Stenstrom's residence. Stenstrom admitted to consuming
alcohol, and she blew a 0.029 on a preliminary breath test
(PBT). On September 8, 2015, Stenstrom was placed in the 24/7
Sobriety Program. She was required to refrain from using
alcohol or drugs. She failed another PBT on September 20,
registering a 0.040. On September 28, a drug test indicated
she had used methamphetamine at some point in the previous
On October 2, 2015, Stenstrom was placed at the Changes and
Choices halfway house. On October 16, she informed her
court-services officer that she was frustrated by the rules
at the halfway house. She was also upset because her roommate
had been romantically involved with an individual who killed
Stenstrom's nephew in 2003. The officer told Stenstrom
that he would address her concerns with the ...