County District Court No. 18CR1011 Honorable Brian J. Flynn,
P. Rubinstein, District Attorney, George Alan Holley II,
Senior Deputy District Attorney, Grand Junction, Colorado,
A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Elyse Maranjian,
Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for
1 This prosecution appeal requires us to decide whether the
General Assembly has legislatively overruled People v.
Andrews, 871 P.2d 1199 (Colo. 1994), concerning the
mandatory minimum sentence for the crime of escape (F3), by
its 1995 amendment to section 18-8-208, C.R.S. 2019. Because
we conclude that Andrews is still binding authority,
we affirm the trial court's sentence, which it imposed
based on Andrews.
2 Under section 16-12-102(1), C.R.S. 2019, the District
Attorney for the 21st Judicial District appeals the four-year
sentence (plus mandatory parole) imposed on defendant, Cody
Jay Scott, following his guilty plea - without a sentencing
concession - to escape, in violation of section 18-8-208(2).
Specifically, the District Attorney contends the trial court
erred as a matter of law in concluding based on
Andrews that the mandatory minimum sentence was four
years, under section 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(V)(A.1), C.R.S. 2019,
rather than eight years under section 18-1.3-401(8)(a)(IV).
Scott concedes preservation.
Standard of Review
3 The parties agree that we review interpretation of a
sentencing statute de novo. See, e.g., People v.
Wylie, 260 P.3d 57, 60 (Colo.App. 2010) ("To the
extent defendant's argument requires us to interpret
statutory provisions, we do so de novo."). That review
is guided by several familiar principles.
• A court's principal task when construing a statute
is to give effect to the General Assembly's intent, as
determined primarily from the plain language of the statute.
Romero v. People, 179 P.3d 984, 986 (Colo. 2007).
• The court construes the statute as a whole in an
effort to give consistent, harmonious, and sensible effect to
all its parts, and reads words and phrases in context and
according to the rules of grammar and common usage.
People v. Banuelos-Landa, 109 P.3d 1039, 1041
• If the statutory language is clear and unambiguous,
the court does not engage in further statutory analysis, much
less consider extrinsic information. Romero, 179
P.3d at 986.
• "The plainness or ambiguity of statutory language
is determined by reference to the language itself, the
specific context in which that language is used, and the
broader context of the statute as a whole." Robinson
v. Shell Oil Co., 519 U.S. 337, 340 (1997); see also
Klinger v. Adams Cty. Sch. Dist No. 50, 130 P.3d 1027,
1031 (Colo. 2006).
• A statutory interpretation leading to an illogical or
absurd result will not be adopted, and courts avoid
constructions that are at odds with the overall legislative
scheme. See People v. Tixier, 207 P.3d 844, 847
4 The sentencing range for a class 3 felony is four to twelve
years. § 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(V)(A.1). But the presence of
one or more "extraordinary aggravating
circumstances" requires an enhanced minimum sentence of
"at least the midpoint in the presumptive range" -
which is eight years for a class 3 felony. §
18-1.3-401(8)(a). Relevant here, one such aggravating factor
is that "[t]he defendant was under confinement . . . or
in any correctional institution as a convicted felon, or an
escapee . . . at the time of the commission of a
felony." § 18-1.3-401(8)(a)(IV). And at least on