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People v. Walker

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

February 3, 2014

The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Petitioner/Cross-Respondent,
v.
Marshall Adam WALKER, Respondent/Cross-Petitioner.

Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals Case Number 07CA1572

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 481

Attorneys for Petitioner: John W. Suthers, Attorney General, Joseph G. Michaels, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado.

Attorneys for Respondent: Douglas K. Wilson, Public Defender, Elizabeth Griffin, Deputy Public Defender, Denver, Colorado.

OPINION

RICE, CHIEF JUSTICE.

¶ 1 This case asks us to determine whether Respondent Marshall Adam Walker effectively waived his right to a jury trial. We hold that a defendant may not litigate the validity of such a waiver on direct appeal but must do so in a post-conviction proceeding. We further hold that, when evaluating a defendant's waiver of the right to a jury trial, the post-conviction court must determine whether the defendant personally waived that right knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. We also hold that an inadequate advisement that fails to comply with Crim. P. 23(a)(5)(II) does not automatically entitle a defendant to an evidentiary hearing. Rather, in order to obtain such a hearing, the defendant must allege specific facts suggesting that his waiver was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. Finally, we affirm Walker's indeterminate sentences.

¶ 2 Because the court of appeals should not have reviewed Walker's challenge regarding the validity of his waiver of the right to a jury trial, we vacate its ruling in regard to Walker's challenge to the validity of his jury trial waiver. We otherwise uphold the court of appeals' judgment of conviction. If Walker wishes to challenge the validity of his waiver (and its effect on his sentences), he must do so in a post-conviction proceeding.

I. Facts and Procedural History

¶ 3 Walker taught middle school science in Jefferson County for nearly a decade. During his teaching career, Walker paid for

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hunting trips with three of his male students. Walker used the hunting trips to engage in unlawful sexual behavior with the three boys. Eventually, one of Walker's victims told his father about Walker's sexual abuse. The People ultimately charged Walker with thirty counts of sexual exploitation, three counts of enticement, and four counts of unlawful sexual contact arising from Walker's conduct.

¶ 4 One week before trial, Walker waived his right to a jury with the following colloquy:

Walker's Counsel : Your Honor, the defendant desires to waive his right to a jury in this case, and we would ask that the matter be heard by this Court.
Trial Court : And what's the position of the People?
Prosecutor : We have no objection to the Court hearing this matter.
Trial Court : And, Mr. Walker, you understand you have the right to a jury trial?
Walker : That's correct.
Trial Court : And here your attorney is representing that you wish to waive a jury ...

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