Prosecutors Desk 6-5-16

Before someone can plead guilty, the court must carefully inform him or her that by entering a plea, the person gives up certain rights. That among the rights is the right to a trial and at that trial to question and confront witnesses against them. Another right he or she is informed that they are giving up is the right to appeal. That seems simple and straightforward, but it is not. There are some things that can result in an appeal after the defendant has pleaded guilty. This is what happened in one case.

On June 29, 2013, Michael Dee Neisler was driving south on State Route 25 when he crossed the centerline and hit another car head-on. Neisler was drunk. He had an alcohol blood level of .19. Two persons in the other vehicle were injured, one seriously hurt and permanently blinded and the other person badly hurt as well. Mr. Neisler was not seriously injured.

16 months later, on October 21, 2015, Michael Neisler pleaded guilty as charged to two counts of Vehicular Assault with an aggravating factor that the injuries substantially exceeding the level necessary to satisfy the offense. The agreement was that Neisler would plead guilty as charged and in exchange, the state would “defer to the court with regard to sentencing.” In other words, the state would not recommend a particular length of sentence. After the sentencing hearing, Neisler was sentenced to 72 months in prison.

On November 13, 2014, Mr. Neisler gave Notice of Appeal, claiming that the state broke the agreement during sentencing when the state provided the court the facts and circumstances of the crash and the resulting serious and permanent injury to the victims.

One year later, on November 10, 2015, The Court of Appeals ruled against Neisler and confirmed the 72-month sentence. Not getting the answer he wanted from the Court of Appeals, Neisler appealed that decision and on December 17, 2015, filed a request for the Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision.

On June 1, 2015, the deputy handling this case, Deputy Lech Radzimski, received notice that the Supreme Court refused to review the Court of Appeals decision and so the decision of the Court of Appeals will stand. It takes a few more weeks for the decision to be final and for the issuance of a Mandate, which officially is the end of the appellate process. Yes, Neisler pleaded guilty, but that was not the end of the work. Finally, 3 years after the crash, the case is over.

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