United States District Court, D. Colorado
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RICHARD P. MATSCH SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
jury verdict finding William Frank Sandoval guilty of
enticement of a child he was sentenced to an indeterminate
term of four years to life in the Colorado Department of
Corrections (CDOC) pursuant to Colorado's Sex Offender
Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998, C.R.S. § 18-1.3-1001,
et seq. (SOLSA). The term of his confinement is
determined by the parole board. It may not release a sex
offender to parole unless, after a hearing, it determines
that the sex offender has successfully progressed in
treatment and would not pose an undue threat to the community
under appropriate treatment and monitoring requirements and
that there is a strong and reasonable probability that he
will not violate the law.
Offender Management Board requires that the offender must
admit guilt of the convicted offense as a condition to
receiving treatment and the CDOC has the same requirement for
participation in its Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring
maintains his innocence and has refused to admit to the
conduct for which he was convicted. As a result he has been
denied admission to the treatment program and denied release
to the four year term of parole in his sentence.
conviction was affirmed on direct appeal in 2007. The
Colorado Court of Appeals has twice rejected his efforts to
obtain relief under Colorado Crim. P. 35(c).
Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, Sandoval has claimed ineffective assistance of
his trial counsel in violation of the protection afforded by
the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Colorado law, impeachment of a defendant's testimony by
proof of a prior felony conviction is limited to the
“name, nature and date” of the conviction. During
the trial the court held a hearing to advise Sandoval of his
right to decide for himself whether he wanted to testify and
the possible risks involved in that decision. When the court
asked about prior felony convictions, the prosecuting
attorney said there was a felony conviction for vehicular
assault and said, “my understanding is the only
information that would be elicited would be the nature of the
charge, what he pled to, and the ultimate sentence.”
The court responded, “[a]ll right, whatever the
sentence is.” The defendant's lawyer made no
objection to or seek clarification of what the prosecutor
intended or what the court would allow as impeachment.
direct examination of Sandoval the following colloquy
Q. Mr. Sandoval, before we go any further, I want to ask you
a few questions, actually, about your past history.
Q. Mr. Sandoval, you have a - you have a prior felony
conviction; is that true?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. And can you tell the jury what that felony conviction is
A. It was started out as a vehicular homicide and I plea
bargained down to ...