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Plea Agreement

WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Douglas J. Richer

Case No.: 2019AP2024-CR

Officials: Stark, P.J., Hruz and Seidl, JJ.

Focus: Plea Agreement

Douglas Richer appeals a judgment of conviction for possession with intent to deliver greater than fifty grams of methamphetamine as a party to a crime, with various penalty enhancers. Richer had reached a plea agreement with the State and entered a no-contest plea, which the circuit court accepted following a proper colloquy. We agree with Richer that the court placed him twice in jeopardy for the same offense, contrary to Richer’s state and federal double jeopardy rights, when it sua sponte vacated that plea based on comments Richer made during his sentencing allocution.

Richer subsequently reached a second plea agreement with the State, which resulted in the judgment of conviction from which Richer now appeals. However, Richer received a materially less favorable plea bargain in the second prosecution, particularly regarding the State’s sentencing recommendation. We reverse the judgment of conviction and the order denying Richer’s postconviction motion. We remand with directions that the circuit court reinstate Richer’s original plea and enforce the initial plea agreement pursuant to which that plea was entered. As part of those proceedings, Richer is entitled to resentencing with the benefit of the sentencing recommendation the State agreed to make under the initial plea agreement. The court may conduct such other proceedings as are necessary on remand, consistent with this opinion.

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Derek A Hawkins is Associate Corporate Counsel, IP at Amazon.

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