Psychopathic Personalities; Right to Counsel
Appellant appealed from a Commitment Appeal Panel’s decision granting respondent Minnesota Commissioner of Human Service’s motion to dismiss his petition for a reduction in custody, denying appellant all requested relief, and ordering appellant’s petition withdrawn. The Court of Appeals concluded that appellant did not have a statutory right to represent himself before the CAP. Affirmed.
Landlord & Tenant
In this eviction appeal, appellant-landlord challenged the District Court’s decision that each party was responsible for their own costs, disbursements, and attorney fees. The Court of Appeals concluded that it was unable to review the District Court’s decisions regarding the denial of additional statutory costs, disbursements, and attorney fees, and the District Court erred by not awarding mandatory statutory costs to appellant. Affirmed.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Defendant argued that the state failed to present sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he engaged in disorderly conduct. Noting testimony that, after hearing a baby cry continuously, defendant jumped up from bed and yanked the baby from the witness and then squeezed the baby, and that defendant then was yelling outside after being told to leave, the Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. Affirmed.
Defendant challenged his convictions for the attempted murder of his parents, arguing that the District Court committed reversible error when it answered questions from the jury outside his presence and abused its discretion when it formulated and clarified its instructions on defendant’s mental-illness defense. Noting that the evidence supporting defendant’s defense was not particularly strong, and the District Court’s response to the jury’s question was not substantial, the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court committed harmless error by answering the jury’s questions outside defendant’s presence. Affirmed.
Certification as Adults
Appellant challenged his certification for prosecution as an adult on a charge of first-degree assault, arguing that the District Court abused its discretion by determining that retaining his case in the juvenile system would not serve public safety. The Court of Appeals concluded that, because five of six factors confirmed the presumption that prosecuting appellant as an adult best served public safety, the District Court did not abuse its discretion by ordering certification. Affirmed.
Defendant threatened his fiancée with a gun, told her he was going to kill her, and prevented her from leaving their home. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and possessing a firearm as an ineligible person, and the District Court convicted him. The District Court stayed execution of his prison sentences and imposed probation, a dispositional departure from the sentencing guidelines. The state appealed, arguing that the departure constituted an abuse of discretion and that the failure to order defendant to register as a predatory offender was error. The Court of Appeals concluded that the record did not support the District Court’s conclusion that defendant was particularly amenable to probation, and a guidelines sentence was warranted. Reversed and remanded.
Defendant challenged his sentence for second-degree burglary, arguing that the District Court abused its discretion by denying his motion for either a downward dispositional departure or a downward durational departure. Noting that caselaw did not require the District Court to grant a downward dispositional departure where a defendant has serious health concerns, the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court was not required to depart from the presumptive sentence based on defendant’s alleged “unamenability” to prison and thus did not abuse its discretion in declining to do so. Affirmed.
In this appeal from her sentence for wrongfully obtaining public assistance, defendant challenged the District Court’s restitution order, arguing that the state failed to carry its burden to prove the amount of restitution by a preponderance of the evidence. Noting that an investigator’s detailed report on the overpayments shows each program’s amount of losses with reasonable specificity, the Court of Appeals concluded that the District Court did not err in determining the state carried its burden and did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution in the amounts set forth by the state. Affirmed.
Single Behavioral Incidents
In this direct appeal, defendant argued that the District Court erred by (1) determining the search warrant was supported by probable cause and (2) imposing multiple sentences for offenses that arose out of a single behavioral incident. The Court of Appeals concluded that, because defendant challenged the search warrant on grounds not raised below, he forfeited those challenges. However, on the sentencing issues, the state failed to show defendant’s marijuana-sale and methamphetamine-possession offenses were separate behavioral incidents. Because defendant’s possession of drug paraphernalia was a petty misdemeanor, the statutory prohibition of multiple sentences for the same behavioral incident did not apply. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
Law of the Case
Defendant argued his conviction for second-degree murder must be reversed and remanded because the District Court abused its discretion by admitting Spreigl evidence of a drive-by shooting committed shortly after the murder as an earlier decision on appeal determined that the evidence of was inadmissible. Noting that the earlier decision considered the improper joinder of charges and potential prejudice of hypothetical evidence, the Court of Appeals concluded that the law-of-the-case doctrine did not prevent the District Court from admitting the Spreigl evidence in the second trial. Affirmed.