Court of Appeals of Minnesota.
STATE of Minnesota, Respondent, v. Russell Wayne MELANSON, Appellant.
Decided: January 08, 2018
Considered and determined by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Kirk, Judge.Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Anthony C. Palumbo, Anoka County Attorney, Marcy S. Crain, Kelsey R. Kelley, Assistant County Attorneys, Anoka, Minnesota (for respondent) Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Adam Lozeau, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
In this reinstated attraction, appellant challenges his felony convictions for home assault and theft of a motorcar. Appellant asks this court docket to reverse and remand for a brand new trial, arguing that (1) the district court docket dedicated plain error that affected his substantial rights by permitting relationship proof to be introduced below Minn. Stat. § 634.20 (2014), with out instructing the jury sua sponte on its correct use; (2) the state dedicated prosecutorial misconduct throughout its closing argument; and (three) the district court docket abused its discretion when it allowed the state to current impeachment proof. Appellant argues that the cumulative impact was to disclaim him the proper to a good trial. We affirm.
Appellant Russell Wayne Melanson was charged with felony (1) kidnapping, (2) home assault, (three) theft of a motorcar, and (four) false imprisonment, for occasions that befell on January 29, and 30, 2016. The matter proceeded to a jury trial in May 2016. At trial, M.B. testified that on the morning of January 29, 2016, she awoke in her mattress at her dwelling in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and noticed appellant. M.B. and appellant had beforehand lived collectively and had a sexual relationship. M.B. stated that appellant put a belt round her neck and choked her.
The subsequent factor M.B. remembered was waking up within the rear cargo area of her shifting Ford Explorer. M.B. stated that it was darkish exterior and that appellant was driving her car, which she had not given him permission to do. M.B. was mendacity face down together with her TV, clothes, and different private objects on high of her. Her legs and arms had been certain with string, and he or she had duct tape wrapped round her mouth and head. M.B. stated that she felt dried blood in her ear, her face was heavy, her arm was numb, and he or she couldn’t see out of 1 eye. M.B. stated that she handed out and in of consciousness, however she remembered making two stops—one inside a storage adjoining to the house of an acquaintance, and the opposite on a mud street. During one of many stops, M.B. stated that appellant untied her and allowed her to maneuver as much as the entrance seat, and he or she informed him that she wanted to go to the hospital. M.B. additionally observed throughout one of many stops that her leg was harm. M.B. additional testified that one other male was current within the car sooner or later in the course of the drive, and that he could have additionally pushed.
M.B. stated that, on January 30, she awoke again in her mattress with appellant sitting subsequent to her. M.B. testified that appellant informed her he was sorry and that he would by no means do this once more. M.B. texted a good friend, who known as her telephone. Appellant turned indignant when he heard the good friend’s name, and received on M.B.’s telephone and argued with the good friend earlier than leaving. M.B.’s good friend arrived to examine on M.B., after which left and returned with one other good friend. The different good friend known as the police and took M.B. to the hospital.
A Coon Rapids police officer responded to the hospital and spoke to M.B. The officer testified at trial that M.B. had excessive bruising on each eyes, blood popping out of her ear canal, and swelling on the left a part of her face. The officer took pictures of M.B.’s accidents, which had been admitted into proof. The officer acknowledged that M.B. seemed to be “out of it,” however testified that M.B. informed her that she remembered waking up in her mattress on January 29 with appellant holding a belt over her. M.B. additionally informed the officer that she blacked out after that. At trial, M.B. described her accidents as a damaged bone in her throat, bleeding in her mind, and cysts behind her kneecaps. M.B. stated that the consequences of her accidents are ongoing—she now stutters, can’t absolutely open her mouth, and has reminiscence loss.
M.B. left the hospital together with her good friend and went dwelling previous to being discharged. M.B. resides within the basement space of a home that she shares with a male good friend and his three kids. Upon returning dwelling, M.B. found that her car was gone, the lock was lower off of the closet in her room, her TV was gone, and different private belongings had been lacking. The subsequent day, M.B. texted appellant utilizing her roommate’s son’s telephone to ask the place her car and belongings had been. Copies of the textual content messages had been admitted into proof. Appellant texted M.B. to say that he didn’t have any of her “shit” and that he left her car in Robbinsdale. Law enforcement later recovered appellant’s car in Robbinsdale.
An Anoka County Sheriff’s investigator spoke to M.B. at her dwelling on January 31 and testified at trial. The investigator noticed and photographed M.B.’s accidents, M.B.’s basement dwelling space, in addition to the damaged lock. The pictures had been admitted into proof. The description that M.B. gave to the investigator about what occurred on January 29 and 30 was usually according to what she testified to at trial and what she informed the police officer on the hospital. The file reveals that, all through her statements, M.B. persistently recognized appellant as the one who choked her with a belt and assaulted her, and as the one who took her car with out her permission. However, the file additionally reveals that there have been some inconsistences in M.B.’s statements, which appellant’s counsel emphasised for the jury at trial. When appellant’s counsel cross-examined M.B. in regards to the inconsistencies at trial, M.B. turned agitated and stated that she couldn’t suppose or bear in mind.
On February 5, detectives recovered and searched appellant’s car. In the trunk, they discovered a device bag that belonged to M.B.’s husband, a bag containing duct tape, a black leather-based belt, and a navy canvas belt. A mix of three or extra people’ DNA was discovered on elements of each belts, and a forensic scientist testified that M.B.’s DNA couldn’t be excluded as a contributor to the mixtures. Appellant’s counsel argued that the belts could have been included in objects that M.B. acquired from Craigslist and gave to appellant, which might clarify why her DNA was current on them.1
Prior to trial, the district court docket issued preliminary evidentiary rulings permitting the state to introduce impeachment and relationship proof at trial, over appellant’s objection. At trial, the state introduced the connection proof by means of M.B.’s testimony with out objection. Appellant didn’t testify, however his girlfriend Okay.C. testified as an alibi witness. Okay.C. testified that appellant was together with her from three p.m. or four p.m. on January 29 till 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. on January 30. When requested why she remembered January 29 particularly, Okay.C. stated that it was the evening she and appellant first kissed. However, she additionally testified that she met appellant in September 2015 and that they’d been in a romantic relationship since then. The state impeached Okay.C.’s credibility with a 2013 misdemeanor theft conviction and a 2014 misdemeanor false title to a police officer conviction; appellant didn’t object.
The jury discovered appellant responsible of home assault and theft of a motorcar and never responsible of the 2 remaining expenses. The district court docket imposed a 45-month profession-offender jail sentence for the home-assault conviction, and a concurrent 26-month jail sentence for the theft of a motorcar conviction. Appellant filed a direct attraction, however was granted a keep of attraction to petition for postconviction aid. In his postconviction petition, appellant argued that he was improperly sentenced as a profession offender for the home assault. The postconviction court docket agreed and resentenced him to 33 months in jail, leaving his 26-month concurrent sentence in place. We reinstated this attraction.
I. Did the district court docket plainly err in permitting the state to current relationship proof below Minn. Stat. § 634.20 with out giving a limiting instruction sua sponte?
II. Did the state commit prosecutorial misconduct throughout its closing argument?
III. Did the district court docket abuse its discretion in ruling that impeachment proof can be admissible in opposition to appellant and appellant’s witness at trial?
I. The district court docket didn’t plainly err in permitting the state to current relationship proof with out giving a limiting instruction sua sponte.
At trial, M.B. testified that she first met appellant in 2009 or 2010 once they had been neighbors. Between 2009 and 2012, they lived collectively periodically and had a sexual relationship. In 2012 or 2013, appellant moved out of the residence that he shared with M.B. for the final time. Later in 2013, appellant requested if he may transfer again in, they usually had a falling out when M.B. informed him no. M.B. testified, with out objection, that after she informed appellant that he couldn’t transfer again in, he repeatedly climbed by means of her window. M.B. additional testified, with out objection, that in one incident appellant held a knife to her neck. A no-contact order was issued in opposition to appellant for M.B. and her kids, and appellant was convicted of terroristic threats for the incident with the knife in 2014. M.B. stated that appellant reentered her life in late 2015, and that beginning round January 2016, he began exhibiting up at her dwelling, and they might speak as pals. M.B. stated that they knew the identical individuals, and that she needed to maintain issues “on an okay level.”
Prior to trial, the state filed a movement to introduce appellant’s 2014 terroristic-threats conviction as impeachment proof below Minn. R. Evid. 609. Appellant objected, and the district court docket discovered that admitting the conviction as impeachment proof can be extraordinarily prejudicial and denied the request. Alternatively, the state argued that the underlying information of the terroristic-threats conviction must be admitted as relationship proof below Minn. Stat. § 634.20, which supplies that:
Evidence of home conduct by the accused in opposition to the sufferer of home conduct ․ is admissible until the probative worth is considerably outweighed by the hazard of unfair prejudice, confusion of the difficulty, or deceptive the jury, or by issues of undue delay, waste of time, or unnecessary presentation of cumulative proof.
The court docket issued a preliminary ruling permitting the state to introduce proof of the underlying information of the 2014 terroristic-threats conviction as relationship proof at trial. But the state was not allowed to tell the jury that appellant was convicted of a felony consequently. The court docket pressured that the underlying incident concerned a previous assault of the identical sufferer, for which appellant was convicted, and that it was related relationship proof that the jury wanted to listen to. The court docket discovered that the excessive probative worth of the proof considerably outweighed any danger of unfair prejudice. See State v. McCoy, 682 N.W.2nd 153, 156, 161 (Minn. 2004) (discovering that the district court docket didn’t abuse its discretion in admitting relationship proof the place the probative worth of the proof was not considerably outweighed by the hazard of its unfair prejudice).
When M.B. testified about appellant’s conduct main as much as and in the course of the incident with the knife, appellant didn’t object. Appellant didn’t request a limiting instruction when M.B. testified, or as a part of the district court docket’s remaining jury directions. As such, the district court docket gave no limiting instruction, and the jury heard the connection proof with out an instruction about its correct use. Because the district court docket’s preliminary ruling on the connection proof was not definitive and appellant didn’t request a limiting instruction or object to the shortage of a limiting instruction at trial, our evaluation is below the plain-error customary. Minn. R. Crim. P. 31.02; see State v. Griller, 583 N.W.2nd 736, 740 (Minn. 1998) (making use of Minn. R. Crim. P. 31.02); see additionally State v. Word, 755 N.W.2nd 776, 782 (Minn. App. 2008) (making use of the plain-error customary of evaluation the place the appellant raised a pretrial objection to relationship proof, the district court docket made a preliminary ruling, and the appellant did not object or request a limiting instruction when the proof was later launched at trial); State v. Meldrum, 724 N.W.2nd 15, 19-20 (Minn. App. 2006) (identical), evaluation denied (Minn. Jan. 24, 2007).
“[B]efore an appellate court reviews an unobjected-to error, there must be (1) error; (2) that is plain; and (3) the error must affect substantial rights.” Griller, 583 N.W.2nd at 740. “If those three prongs are met, we may correct the error only if [ (4) ] it seriously affects the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings.” State v. Strommen, 648 N.W.2nd 681, 686 (Minn. 2002) (quoting State v. Crowsbreast, 629 N.W.2nd 433, 437 (Minn. 2001) (citation omitted)). “Plain error exists when the district court commits an obvious error that affects the defendant’s substantial rights.” State v. Barnslater, 786 N.W.2nd 646, 653 (Minn. App. 2010) (citing State v. Ihle, 640 N.W.2nd 910, 917 (Minn. 2002)), evaluation denied (Minn. Oct. 27, 2010). “An error affects a defendant’s substantial rights if it was ‘prejudicial and affected the outcome of the case.’ ” Id. (quoting Ihle, 640 N.W.2nd at 917).
On attraction, appellant argues that the district court docket dedicated plain error that affected his substantial rights in permitting the state to current the connection-proof testimony with out offering a limiting instruction to the jury sua sponte, and that reversal is required. The state maintains that even when the district court docket plainly erred, the error didn’t have an effect on appellant’s substantial rights, and that the probative worth of the connection proof outweighed any danger of unfair prejudice. As a preliminary matter, we be aware that each events agree that the district court docket’s failure to present a limiting instruction sua sponte concerning the connection proof was plain error, and on attraction, they don’t dispute that prongs one and two of the plain-error evaluation are met. However, we disagree with their concession primarily based on our studying of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s determination in State v. Taylor, 869 N.W.2nd 1 (Minn. 2015), as utilized to relationship-proof instances.
In Meldrum, a relationship-proof opinion by this court docket, we acknowledged that “[u]pon admittance of relationship evidence, even in the absence of a request from counsel, the district court should provide a cautionary instruction when the evidence is admitted, and again during its final charge to the jury.” 724 N.W.2nd at 21. We reached this conclusion, partially, by analogizing relationship proof to Spreigl proof. Id. at 17. Although we famous that relationship proof isn’t Spreigl proof, we stated that it’s used for the same goal, and that courts “typically apply a Spreigl-type analysis to relationship evidence.” Id. at 20. We concluded that as a result of the chance introduced by each sorts of proof to a good trial is critical, a precautionary limiting instruction must be given in relationship-proof instances, as it’s in Spreigl-evidence instances. Id. at 17. We went on to say, nonetheless, lack of a limiting instruction concerning relationship proof, the place none is requested, doesn’t “automatically constitute plain error,” notably if different proof at trial helps the conviction, the connection proof isn’t used for an improper goal, and the opposite sturdy proof at trial negates the chance of prejudicial affect from the connection proof. Id. at 22.
In subsequent relationship-proof instances, we reiterated the sturdy choice limiting instruction be given on the time relationship proof is admitted and once more throughout remaining jury directions, even when none has been requested. Barnslater, 786 N.W.2nd at 653-54; Word, 755 N.W.2nd at 785. Given the information introduced in Barnslater and Word, we held that, in these instances, the district court docket’s failure to supply a limiting instruction sua sponte was plain error, however that the error was not prejudicial and didn’t have an effect on the defendants’ substantial rights in order to represent reversible error below the plain-error take a look at. Barnslater, 786 N.W.2nd at 654; Word, 755 N.W.2nd at 785-86.
In Taylor, the Minnesota Supreme Court analogized prior-conviction impeachment proof to Spreigl proof, because the supreme court docket beforehand did in State v. Bissell, and as we did with relationship proof in Meldrum. Taylor, 869 N.W.2nd at 18 (discussing State v. Bissell, 368 N.W.2nd 281, 283 (Minn. 1985)). The Taylor court docket relied on a number of Spreigl instances the place the supreme court docket acknowledged the choice cautionary instruction be given when Spreigl proof is admitted and once more throughout remaining jury directions, however the place the court docket finally held that absent a request to take action, a district court docket’s failure to supply such an instruction sua sponte was not reversible error below the plain-error take a look at. Id. (discussing State v. Forsman, 260 N.W.2nd 160, 169 (Minn. 1977) (different citations omitted)).
The Taylor court docket held that, “[b]ecause Bissell and analogous Spreigl cases do not require a limiting instruction to be given sua sponte, the district court did not err, much less plainly err,” in failing to supply a limiting instruction for prior-conviction impeachment proof. Taylor, 869 N.W.2nd at 18. In doing so, the supreme court docket used its evaluation of reversible error below the plain-error take a look at in Spreigl-evidence instances to conclude lack of sua sponte instruction was not plain error for prior-conviction impeachment proof in Taylor. We imagine that Taylor’s analogy to Spreigl proof is much more apt within the context of relationship proof, as we beforehand acknowledged in Meldrum.
Like Taylor, appellant was represented by counsel, no limiting instruction was requested on the time the connection proof was admitted, and no objection was made to the shortage of a limiting instruction within the remaining jury directions. At the pretrial listening to, the district court docket carried out a preliminary evaluation of the probative worth versus prejudicial impact of admitting the proof as relationship proof, and located that its excessive probative worth outweighed the chance of unfair prejudice. The district court docket’s preliminary evaluation was sound and supported by the file. Based on this file, and our utility of the holding in Taylor, we conclude that the district court docket didn’t plainly err in failing to supply a limiting instruction sua sponte to the jury concerning the admission of relationship proof.
We acknowledge that cheap authorized minds could differ, however we imagine that our evaluation of the Taylor holding is dispositive right here. There are three ways in which different-crimes proof is admitted the place a cautionary instruction must be thought of, each on the time of its admission and once more within the remaining directions—these embody Spreigl proof, prior-conviction impeachment proof, and relationship proof. To learn Taylor differently would, in impact, impose a unique plain-error customary on district courts for admitting different-crimes proof, relying on the evidentiary foundation for its admission. Further, even when we had been to agree that the district court docket plainly erred on this case, we might nonetheless conclude, primarily based on this file, that the error didn’t have an effect on appellant’s substantial rights or prejudicially affect the end result of appellant’s case. See Taylor, 869 N.W.2nd at 18-19 (holding lack of sua sponte limiting instruction was not plain error, however that, regardless, it additionally was not prejudicial and didn’t have an effect on appellant’s substantial rights below the plain-error take a look at).
Here, the connection testimony by M.B. was temporary, its scope was restricted, neither get together positioned undue emphasis on it, and the file contained different sturdy proof of appellant’s guilt. While it’s considerably regarding that the district court docket didn’t present any limiting directions to the jury in regards to the correct use of prior unhealthy acts, relationship, or impeachment proof, the supreme court docket has beforehand acknowledged that district courts are justifiably hesitant in giving cautionary directions sua sponte as a result of “an instruction may draw additional attention to potentially prejudicial issues” and since “a defendant may choose not to request an instruction for strategic reasons.” State v. Vance, 714 N.W.2nd 428, 442-43 (Minn. 2006) (holding that it’s not ordinarily plain error for the district court docket to fail to present a cautionary instruction sua sponte).
We once more reiterate the sturdy choice district court docket give a limiting instruction for relationship proof on the time it’s admitted and once more throughout remaining jury directions. However, primarily based on our studying of Taylor, we conclude that the district court docket’s failure to take action right here was not plain error and that the shortage of instruction didn’t prejudicially affect the jury’s verdicts or deny appellant a good trial in order to warrant reversal.
II. The file doesn’t assist appellant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct.
Appellant subsequent argues that the state dedicated prosecutorial misconduct throughout its closing argument. Appellant didn’t object to the alleged prosecutorial misconduct at trial, and as such, we apply a modified plain-error customary of evaluation. State v. Ramey, 721 N.W.2nd 294, 299-300 (Minn. 2006). If an appellant establishes that the misconduct is apparent error, the burden is on the state to point out that it didn’t have an effect on an appellant’s substantial rights. Id. at 302.
Appellant alleges that the state dedicated prosecutorial misconduct throughout its closing argument as a result of it: (1) misled the jury in regards to the proof by suggesting that it was “absolutely” potential that one of many belts present in appellant’s automobile may have been used round M.B.’s neck, and that the opposite belt may have been used to tie her arms; (2) disparaged the protection’s trial ways and motives by calling protection counsel’s cross-examination of M.B. an “attack” and by stating that, if M.B. had “been able to tell [the jury] every little detail in its entirety, then [the defense would] be claiming that she’s making it up because she knows it too well”; and (three) mischaracterized appellant’s motive for going to trial by suggesting that there was further inadmissible proof, and by stating, “If this were a slam-dunk case and everything were presented, we would not be here.”
The prosecutor “may present all legitimate arguments on the evidence and all proper inferences that can be drawn from that evidence” throughout closing argument. State v. Pearson, 775 N.W.2nd 155, 163 (Minn. 2009). It is prosecutorial misconduct to mischaracterize a defendant’s motive for going to trial or to counsel an ulterior motive by a defendant for doing so. State v. Peltier, 874 N.W.2nd 792, 804 (Minn. 2016). In reviewing whether or not reversible error has occurred, “[appellate] courts must look at the closing argument as a whole, rather than just selective phrases or remarks that may be taken out of context or given undue prominence.” State v. McDaniel, 777 N.W.2nd 739, 751 (Minn. 2010) (citation omitted).
Our evaluation of the file reveals that appellant’s argument has taken the state’s statements out of context. The state made cheap inferences throughout its closing argument primarily based on inconsistent proof within the file. When the state’s closing argument is learn as a complete, it’s clear that the statements appellant challenges weren’t susceptible to deceptive the jury, disparaging the protection’s trial technique, or mischaracterizing appellant’s motives for going to trial. Instead, they had been an try to deal with the inconsistencies and weaknesses within the state’s case, and to alleviate potential juror bias in opposition to M.B. primarily based on what the state perceived as her lack of likeability. Appellant’s prosecutorial-misconduct problem fails.
III. The district court docket didn’t abuse its discretion in holding that impeachment proof can be admissible in opposition to appellant and appellant’s witness at trial.
Whether the probative worth of prior convictions outweighs their prejudicial impact is a matter inside the discretion of the district court docket. State v. Graham, 371 N.W.2nd 204, 208 (Minn. 1985). A district court docket’s ruling on the impeachment of a witness by prior conviction is reviewed, as are different evidentiary rulings, for a transparent abuse of discretion. State v. Hill, 801 N.W.2nd 646, 651 (Minn. 2011). Under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a), proof of a witness’s prior conviction is admissible to assault the witness’s credibility if the crime (1) is a felony and the district court docket finds that its probative worth outweighs its prejudicial impact, or (2) entails dishonesty or a false assertion.
Here, earlier than trial, the state sought to question appellant with 5 prior felony convictions if he testified at trial. Appellant objected. The district court docket stated 2009 assault conviction and a 2013 fleeing conviction can be admissible for impeachment functions as “unspecified felony convictions” below 609(a)(1), and 2006 felony motorcar theft conviction can be admissible as a criminal offense of dishonesty below 609(a)(2). The court docket additionally held 2006 housebreaking conviction and the 2014 terroristic-threats conviction wouldn’t be admissible in opposition to appellant for impeachment functions.
In deciding that appellant’s motorcar theft conviction can be admissible for impeachment, the district court docket alluded to the balancing take a look at required below 609(a)(1) and mentioned a number of the Jones components concerning whether or not the proof was extra probative than prejudicial, however failed to finish a Jones-factors evaluation in order to confess the conviction below 609(a)(1).2 Instead, the court docket admitted the theft as a criminal offense of dishonesty below 609(a)(2). In doing so, the court docket failed to investigate the underlying particulars of the theft conviction, which is problematic as a result of a theft conviction isn’t robotically a criminal offense of dishonesty. See State v. Sims, 526 N.W.2nd 201, 202 (Minn. 1994) (explaining that whether or not a theft is a criminal offense of dishonesty depends upon what sort of theft it was, for instance shoplifting doesn’t immediately contain dishonesty, however theft by swindle does).
Appellant argues that the district court docket plainly erred in holding that the state may impeach him together with his theft conviction if he testified at trial, that the ruling prejudicially impacted his proper to testify, and that it denied him the chance to current his model of the case—specifically that another perpetrator dedicated the crimes alleged. Appellant additionally contends that if the district court docket had absolutely addressed the Jones components below 609(a)(1), the court docket would have excluded his theft conviction as unduly prejudicial. Appellant asserts that his convictions have to be reversed until the error was innocent.
“A defendant has a constitutional right to present his version of events to a jury.” State v. Zornes, 831 N.W.2nd 609, 628 (Minn. 2013). However, a defendant’s determination to not testify is “not critical” if the defendant’s idea of the case is introduced to the jury by different means. State v. Lund, 474 N.W.2nd 169, 173 (Minn. App. 1991). We have beforehand held district court docket errs by failing to put its evaluation of the Jones components on the file. State v. Vanhouse, 634 N.W.2nd 715, 719 (Minn. App. 2001), evaluation denied (Minn. Dec. 11, 2001). And in figuring out whether or not a court docket’s failure to deal with the Jones components below rule 609(a)(1) was innocent, we’ve carried out an unbiased evaluation of the components. See Vanhouse, 634 N.W.2nd at 719 (discovering that the error was innocent the place the appellate court docket concluded that the conviction was alternatively admissible below the Jones components).
Here, we want not carry out an unbiased evaluation of the Jones components below 609(a)(1) as a result of, even when the district court docket erred in holding that appellant’s motorcar theft conviction might be launched at trial for impeachment functions, we’re unpersuaded that appellant’s determination to not testify saved him from presenting his idea of the case. At the pretrial listening to, the district court docket ordered that appellant may current his different-perpetrator protection at trial, and nothing within the file reveals that he was prevented from doing so. Appellant’s counsel cross-examined M.B. and the state’s different witnesses about inconsistencies of their statements in an effort to current appellant’s idea of the case. Additionally, the jury heard Okay.C.’s testimony that appellant was together with her on January 29 and 30. On this file, we can’t conclude that the district court docket prejudicially erred in failing to conduct the Jones-factors evaluation, or in failing to think about the underlying information of appellant’s theft of motorcar conviction.
Appellant additionally challenges the district court docket’s admission of Okay.C.’s prior misdemeanor conviction for theft as impeachment proof below Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(2). Again, earlier than permitting the state to question Okay.C. together with her theft conviction as a criminal offense of dishonesty, the court docket didn’t contemplate the underlying information of the theft. When Okay.C. testified at trial, she was impeached with the misdemeanor theft conviction, in addition to a misdemeanor false title to a police officer conviction. Appellant didn’t object, however it’s undisputed that Okay.C.’s false title to a police officer conviction was correctly admissible below 609(a)(2).
Although the court docket ought to have thought of the underlying information of Okay.C.’s theft conviction earlier than admitting it, we see no prejudicial error from failing to take action. Given the sturdy proof of appellant’s guilt within the file, any affect of impeaching Okay.C. with two misdemeanor convictions versus one was slight. Further, as a result of Okay.C.’s prior theft conviction was not a felony, the Jones-factors evaluation below 609(a)(1) is inapplicable. We conclude that district court docket didn’t abuse its discretion in issuing its impeachment-proof rulings, and that even when the rulings had been misguided, any error was innocent. Appellant failed to ascertain prejudicial error, and he isn’t entitled to reversal.
Appellant isn’t entitled to a brand new trial as a result of: (1) the district court docket didn’t plainly err by not instructing the jury sua sponte on the correct use of the connection proof; (2) the prosecutor didn’t commit prosecutorial misconduct; and (three) the district court docket’s impeachment-proof rulings didn’t prejudice the end result of the trial and had been innocent.
1. M.B. testified that she usually acquires objects from Craigslist, which she then sells for a revenue or offers to pals, together with appellant.
2. In deciding whether or not to confess impeachment proof, the district court docket balances 5 Jones components, which embody: “(1) the impeachment value of the prior crime, (2) the date of the conviction and the defendant’s subsequent history, (3) the similarity of the past crime with the charged crime (the greater the similarity, the greater the reason for not permitting use of the prior crime to impeach), (4) the importance of defendant’s testimony, and (5) the centrality of the credibility issue.” State v. Jones, 271 N.W.2nd 534, 538 (Minn. 1978).