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02/17/89 STATE NEBRASKA v. GARET J. PETERS

February 17, 1989

STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
GARET J. PETERS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the District Court for York County: Bryce Bartu, Judge.

Hastings, C.j., Boslaugh, White, Caporale, Shanahan, Grant, and Fahrnbruch, JJ. White, J., Dissenting. Grant, J., Dissenting.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Sentences: Words and Phrases. The word "concurrent" means operating simultaneously. Concurrent sentences operate simultaneously; that is to say, they run together during the periods they overlap.

2. Sentences: Appeal and Error. Sentences imposed within the limits prescribed by the statutes in question will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam

This is an appeal from convictions in the district court for York County, Nebraska, entered after pleas of guilty to three Class I misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief. On February 23, 1988, the appellant was sentenced to probation for 2 years on the first misdemeanor count, with a condition of probation that he serve 90 days in the York County jail commencing May 25, 1988, and pay restitution. On count II, the appellant was sentenced to a 2-year term of probation, with a condition that he serve 90 days in the York County jail commencing May 25, 1989. These two terms of probation were ordered to be served concurrently. On count III, the appellant was placed on probation for 2 years and ordered to serve 90 days in the York County jail commencing May 25, 1990, this term of probation to be consecutive to the other two probation orders. The appellant contends that the trial court erred both in imposing two consecutive jail terms of 90 days as a condition of probation for concurrent probationary periods of 2 years, in contravention of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-2262(1) (Cum. Supp. 1988), and in imposing excessive sentences.

From March 7 to August 4, 1987, a number of incidents of random property damage occurred in York County. As a result of a grand jury investigation, the appellant was indicted on October 26 and December 2 for perjury and criminal mischief. Pursuant to plea negotiations, the defendant pled guilty to three counts of attempted criminal mischief in which the pecuniary loss was in excess of $300.

In his first assignment of error, the appellant contends that because the sentences on counts I and II were ordered to be served concurrently, the sentences should be interpreted to run concurrently in all respects: by serving the first 90-day term beginning in May of 1988, the appellant will also satisfy the 90-day term imposed to commence in May 1989. We believe that this contention is in error.

In State v. Jones, 218 Neb. 713, 715, 358 N.W.2d 765, 767 (1984), this court stated: "The word 'concurrent' means operating simultaneously. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged 472 (1968). Concurrent sentences operate simultaneously; that is to say, they run together during the periods they overlap."

In the present case, the appellant was ordered to serve a 2-year term of probation on count I, with a condition of that probation to serve 90 days in the county jail beginning in May of 1988. On count II, the appellant was ordered to a 2-year term of probation, with a condition to serve 90 days to commence in May 1989. These two terms overlap only in the 2-year terms of probation. Therefore, an order that the terms be served concurrently means only that they are concurrent for the 2-year term of probation, as they obviously do not overlap for the separate jail terms in 1988 and 1989.

This sentence may, at first, appear unusual. However, it is not particularly unusual for two terms of incarceration to be ordered to be served concurrently even though they are not for identical terms. A sentence to a term of years on one count may be shorter than the sentence to a term of years on a second count. Nonetheless, the trial court may order the second count to be served concurrently with the first. During the period of overlap, the sentences are served at the same time. However, the longer portion of the second sentence must be served after the concurrent portion has been served. ...


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