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People v. Henry

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Seventh Division

April 5, 2018

The People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Anthony Wayne Henry, Defendant-Appellant.

          Arapahoe County District Court No. 15CR992 Honorable Michelle A. Amico, Judge

          Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Katharine Gillespie, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Ashley E. Sullivan, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          BERNARD, JUDGE.

         ¶ 1 After a crime victim compensation board makes a payment to a victim, it might ask a court to order the defendant in the victim's case to pay restitution to the board. One of Colorado's restitution statutes, section 18-1.3-603(10)(a), C.R.S. 2017, guides a trial court's decision when addressing a compensation board's request for restitution. As is pertinent to our analysis, it states that (1) if a board has "provided assistance to or on behalf of a victim" "as a result of the defendant's conduct"; then (2) a trial court must "presume[]" that the amount of the assistance that the board paid to the victim was "a direct result of the defendant's criminal conduct, " which the court "must . . . consider[] . . . in determining the amount of restitution ordered." Id.

         ¶ 2 In this case, the trial court, relying on section 18-1.3-603(10)(a)'s presumption, ordered defendant, Anthony Wayne Henry, to pay restitution to a compensation board. He appeals, and he asserts that the evidence was not sufficient to support the compensation board's restitution request. We disagree because we conclude that the trial court properly relied on the statutory presumption and that defendant did not provide any evidence to rebut it. We therefore affirm.

         I. Background

         ¶ 3 A jury convicted defendant of third degree assault. It had heard evidence that he had struck the victim, bruising her face, her chest, and her throat.

         ¶ 4 At the sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a two-year jail term. As is pertinent to our analysis, the court also ordered defendant to pay $900 in restitution. Defendant objected to this amount, and he asked for an evidentiary hearing. The court replied that he could contest the restitution order after he had consulted with the prosecution to see if the $900 figure was accurate.

         ¶ 5 This consultation apparently did not satisfy defendant, because he filed a second objection. The objection asked for additional documentation to support the restitution request and for a hearing. The court granted the request for a hearing. But it denied the request for additional documentation, reasoning that the records that defendant sought were confidential.

         ¶ 6 At the hearing, defendant objected to the documentation that the prosecution had submitted in support of the restitution request. He asserted, as is relevant to our discussion, that the documents did not explain (1) how the victim had suffered any losses; or (2) how defendant's criminal conduct had caused those losses.

         ¶ 7 After a recess, the issue came into clearer focus. According to the director of the compensation board, the $900 restitution figure included the board's request for restitution for $230 that it had paid to the victim for lost wages. Defendant refined his position, stating that there was no evidence that the victim had missed enough time from work to support a request for $230 in lost wages. He therefore asked the court to review the relevant records from the compensation board in camera.

         ¶ 8 The compensation board's director then testified. She said that

. the board generally relies on two sources of information when it decided whether and how much it should pay a victim for lost wages:
o a form filled out by a victim; and
o a form filled out by the victim's ...

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