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Whylie v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

August 28, 2014

JOY WHYLIE, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE

Argued June 12, 2014

As Corrected September 8, 2014.

Page 157

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF2-367-11). (Hon. Robert I. Richter, Trial Judge).

Andrew R. Szekely for appellant.

Nicholas P. Coleman, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, John P. Mannarino, and Thomas S. Rees, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.

Before BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY and THOMPSON, Associate Judges, and KING, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 158

Thompson, Associate Judge

Following a jury trial, appellant Joy Whylie was found guilty of second-degree identity theft, four counts of felony stalking, one count of misdemeanor stalking, ten counts of felony contempt, and three counts of misdemeanor contempt.[1] After she was sentenced, she filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, arguing that her harassing phone calls, which occurred over an eight-month period, constituted a single course of conduct punishable by only a single sentence for one count of stalking. Appellant now appeals the denial of that motion. Resolving the appeal requires us to decide whether the stalking counts of which appellant was convicted were separate units of prosecution. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that most of the counts were separately punishable and that the trial court did not err in declining to " correct" appellant's separate and consecutive sentences for counts 1, 14, and 24. However, we conclude that the court did err in letting appellant's separate

Page 159

and consecutive sentences for counts 5 and 7 stand and that these sentences must merge.

We therefore affirm the court's ruling declining to vacate the sentences as to counts 1, 14, and 24. We remand for the court to vacate the sentence ...


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