State v. Doser

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IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF IDAHO Docket No. 48034 STATE OF IDAHO, ) ) Filed: July 22, 2021 Plaintiff-Respondent, ) ) Melanie Gagnepain, Clerk v. ) ) DAMION TYWON DOSER, ) ) Defendant-Appellant. ) ) Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Jonathan Medema, District Judge. Judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, affirmed. Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Kimberly A. Coster, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. ________________________________________________ LORELLO, Judge Damion Tywon Doser appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. We affirm. I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND The State charged Doser with possession of a controlled substance (I.C. § 37-2732(c)), misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (I.C. § 37-2732(c)), and possession of drug paraphernalia (I.C. § 37-2734A) after law enforcement discovered drugs and paraphernalia in Doser’s backpack. Prior to trial, the district court received a letter from Doser expressing his dissatisfaction with his appointed counsel and requesting substitute counsel. The court clerk forwarded the letter to counsel for both parties the same day the letter was received; no further 1 action was taken. Despite appearing with his allegedly dissatisfactory counsel at two subsequent pretrial hearings and a jury trial, Doser neither mentioned the letter nor otherwise indicated to the district court that he was dissatisfied with his counsel. Ultimately, a jury found Doser guilty of felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. 1 Doser appeals. II. ANALYSIS Doser argues that the district court erred by failing to hold a hearing in response to his letter to inquire into his dissatisfaction with counsel or Doser’s desire to represent himself. The State responds that Doser failed to preserve this issue and that, even if he did, the absence of a hearing was not error. 2 We hold that Doser has failed to show error. A. Error Preservation As a threshold matter, we address the State’s preservation argument. Once aware that a defendant seeks substitute counsel, a trial court must give the defendant a full and fair opportunity to support his or her motion with facts and argument. State v. Herrera, 164 Idaho 261, 270, 429 P.3d 149, 158 (2018). According to the State, Doser’s argument that the district court erred by failing to hold a hearing in response to his letter is unpreserved because the record does not show that he filed a “motion” requesting substitute counsel or otherwise notified the district court of such a request. Rather, Doser only sent a letter to the district court that, as set forth below, was neither a formal motion for substitute counsel nor a request for a hearing. 1 Pursuant to the State’s motion, the district court dismissed the misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance charge prior to trial. 2 The …

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