PEOPLE OF MI V JOHN DANIEL JAGERAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
July 14, 1998
Muskegon Circuit Court
LC No. 96-139920 FC
JOHN DANIEL JAGER,
Before: Murphy, P.J., and Young, Jr. and M. R. Smith*, JJ.
Defendant appeals as of right his guilty plea based conviction for assault with intent to rob while
armed, MCL 750.89; MSA 28.284, and habitual offender, third offense, MCL 769.11; MSA
28.1083. We affirm.
The charges against defendant arose out of the vicious beating of a truckdriver at a rest area in
the commission of a robbery. Defendant struck the victim repeatedly with a screwdriver, while his
codefendant struck him with a wrench. Blood was spattered throughout the truck, and the victim
sustained multiple stab wounds and fractures.
The sentencing guidelines range was 120 to 300 months or life. The trial court noted that the
codefendant had the benefit of a sentencing agreement, while defendant did not. The court observed
that it would treat defendant similarly, due to the fact that he had not committed any new crime in the 4-½
years since the assault, and the victim had not suffered permanent injury. The court found that
defendant had the same culpability as the codefendant, and sentenced him as a habitual offender to 20
to 50 years’ imprisonment, with credit for 121 days for time served.
On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing the same
sentence on defendant that it imposed on the more culpable codefendant. We disagree.
* Circuit judge, sitting on the Court of Appeals by assignment.
This Court will review a sentence on a habitual offender conviction for abuse of discretion.
People v Hansford (After Remand), 454 Mich 320, 324; 562 NW2d 460 (1997). A sentence
must be individualized to the particular circumstances of the case and to the offender. People v
McFarlin, 389 Mich 557, 574; 208 NW2d 504 (1973). The fact that the court imposed the same
sentences on two defendants does not establish that defendant’s sentence was not sufficiently
individualized. Where the court sentenced defendant within the codefendant’s plea negotiated sentence
cap, even though defendant did not have the benefit of a sentence agreement, defendant received a
tangible benefit by the court’s comparison with the codefendant. The court specifically compared the
circumstances of the two offenders, and imposed the same sentences based on a finding that they were
equally culpable for the crime. There is no showing that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing
sentence on defendant.
/s/ William B. Murphy
/s/ Robert P. Young, Jr.
/s/ Michael R. Smith