Ryan West’s sentencing rescheduled for April 30th

The sentencing hearing for a Juneau man convicted of causing the death of a friend out Glacier Highway has been rescheduled for the end of the month.

Ryan West’s sentencing had been scheduled for last Monday. But Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez was unsure about handing down a sentence based on a statute that he felt required more research.

Judge Menendez called for a delay as he researched how an earlier suspended-imposition-of-sentence would affect the presumptive range for the latest charges against West.

He explained his opinion during a short, eight-minute hearing on Friday.

For the purpose of this case and these facts, Mr. West’s convictions in the earlier case 09-170 shall count as one prior felony. That would mean, in fact, that he’d be subject to the presumptive term of 4- to 7-years in terms of incarceration. And also, he’d be subject to an adjustment of that term based on the establishment of aggravators and mitigators.”

Both the prosecution and defense last Monday argued for the single conviction interpretation instead of the two conviction alternative that would’ve mandated a presumptive range of a 6- to 10-year sentence.

In that instance, public defender David Seid had suggested earlier that West would be forced to withdraw his guilty plea because of a potential “manifest injustice.”

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, West entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of criminally negligent homicide. He was initially charged with second degree murder for the death of his friend Gabriel Carte nearly two years ago.

April 30th’s sentencing hearing at 2 p.m. is expected to last 2 1/2 hours.

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