Appeal from Superior Court, Orleans Unit, Civil Division
Timothy B. Tomasi, J. (summary judgment); Howard E. Van
Benthuysen, J. (final judgment)
Matthew F. Valerio, Defender General, and Emily Tredeau,
Prisoners' Rights Office, Montpelier, for
Jennifer Barrett, Orleans County State's Attorney,
Newport, and Christopher C. Moll, Essex, for
PRESENT: Reiber, C.J., Dooley, Skoglund, Robinson and Eaton,
1. Petitioner Alexis Gabree appeals the superior court's
decision to dismiss her petition for post-conviction relief
(PCR). She argues that, during the plea colloquy, she never
personally admitted that a factual basis for the charges
existed, in violation of Vermont Rule of Criminal Procedure
11(f). We agree and so reverse and remand.
2. In 2013, the State charged petitioner with two counts of
grossly negligent operation of a vehicle, death resulting, in
violation of 23 V.S.A. § 1091(b). Under the terms of the
plea agreement, petitioner agreed to plead guilty to both
counts in exchange for a sentence of six to fifteen years, to
3. On February 27, 2014, at the change-of-plea hearing, the
court first examined the terms of the plea with the State and
defense counsel, then proceeded to the following plea
COURT. Let's talk about the charges then.
Count I in Docket No. 74-2-13 alleges that you, . . . at
North Troy on or about August 5th of 2012 operated a motor
vehicle on a public highway in a grossly negligent manner,
resulting in the death of Margaret Moran, a person other than
the operator. This is a violation of Title 23 Section 1091b.
It carries a maximum penalty of up to fifteen years in jail
and a fine of up to 15, 000 dollars or both.
Do you understand the nature of this charge?
PETITIONER. Yes, I do.
COURT. Do you understand the maximum penalty you could
receive should you be convicted?
PETITIONER. Yes, I do.
COURT. In Count II the State alleges that you, . . . at North
Troy on or about August 5, 2012 operated a motor vehicle on a
public highway in a grossly negligent manner resulting in the
death of Edmund Moran, a person other than the operator. This
is a violation of Title 23 Section 1091b. It's the same
charge we discussed in Count I. It carries the same penalty,
up to fifteen years in jail and up to 15, 000 dollars in
fines or both.
Do you understand the nature of that ...