Argued: May 16, 2018
Lawrence C. Winger, Esq. (orally), Portland, for appellant
Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, and Jonathan T.
Sahrbeck, Asst. Dist. Atty. (orally), Cumberland County
District Attorney's Office, Portland, for appellee State
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM,
This appeal presents the question of whether a person who has
conditions of release set by a judicial officer can be
convicted of violation of a condition of release, 15 M.R.S.
§ 1092 (1)(B) (2017), for acts committed while in jail
after not securing release on bail. The Bail Code specifies
that "[a] condition of release takes effect and is fully
enforceable as of the time the judicial officer sets the
condition" 15 M.R.S. § 1026(7) (2017). The Bail
Code also requires that the judicial officer shall provide
the defendant with a written statement of the conditions of
release, 15 M.R.S. § 1026(5)(A) (2017), and advise the
defendant of "[t]he penalties for and consequences of
violating a condition of release," 15 M.R.S. §
Ezra LeBlanc-Simpson appeals from a judgment of conviction
for twelve counts of violating a condition of release (Class
C), 15 M.R.S. § 1092 (1)(B), entered in the Unified
Criminal Docket (Cumberland County, Mills, J.)
following a bench trial. LeBlanc-Simpson challenges the
application of conditions of release to him while he remained
incarcerated. He also contends that he was not provided with
adequate notice of the conditions of release or of the
penalties for violating conditions of release while he
remained incarcerated, as required by 15 M.R.S. §
Because the State presented insufficient evidence that
LeBlanc-Simpson was provided with notice of the conditions of
release applicable to him while he was in jail, we must
vacate the judgment.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State, the trial court could have found the following facts
beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Beckwith, 2015
ME 72, ¶ 10, 117 A.3d 1049.
On October 20, 2016, LeBlanc-Simpson was arrested and charged
with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon (Class C), 17-A
M.R.S. §§211(1), 1252(4) (2017), criminal
threatening with a dangerous weapon (Class C), 17-A M.R.S.
§§ 209(1), 1252(4) (2017), and two counts of
violating a condition of release (Class E), 15 M.R.S. §
1092(1)(A) (2017). On October 21, 2016, the State filed a
notice joining LeBlanc-Simpson's case with a case against
another person, making that person a co-defendant with
LeBlanc-Simpson. See M.R.U. Crim. P. 8(b).
LeBlanc-Simpson made his initial appearance in court on
October 21, 2016. Cash bail was set by the court at $10, 000
with conditions of release. The conditions of release
provided that LeBlanc-Simpson shall (1) not use any alcoholic
beverages or illegal drugs, (2) not possess any alcoholic
beverages or illegal drugs, (3) not possess any dangerous
weapons, including, but not limited to, firearms, (4) submit
to searches of his person, vehicle and residence, and, if
applicable, to chemical tests at any time without articulable
suspicion or probable cause, and (5) have no direct or
indirect contact with the co-defendant.
The conditions of release form was signed by the judge but
was not signed by LeBlanc-Simpson. The record from the trial
does not include a transcript of the initial appearance
hearing or any other evidence addressing whether or not, at
that hearing, the judge specifically advised LeBlanc-Simpson
of the conditions of release or, as required by 15 M.R.S.
§ 1026(5)(B)(2), of "[t]he penalties for and
consequences of violating a condition of release"
LeBlanc-Simpson did not post the required $10, 000 bail and
remained in the Cumberland County Jail. Between November 7,
2016, and December 12, 2016, while he remained in jail,