This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed April 18, 2000
St. Louis County District Court
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, D. Adrian Bryan, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant child)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Alan Mitchell, St. Louis County Attorney, Leslie E. Beiers, Assistant County Attorney, 403 Government Services Center, 320 West Second Street, Duluth, MN 56802 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
Juvenile challenges the district court's adjudication of delinquency on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty of aiding and abetting simple robbery in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.24 (1998). We affirm.
L.H.B. challenges his delinquency adjudication for aiding and abetting simple robbery. At trial, Vickie Toboleski testified that she was at the apartment she shares with her two children, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's brother and sister, when she heard people running up the stairs to her apartment. Toboleski went to the door and yelled at the group of four teenagers to stop running. The group was composed of four youths that were there to see J.B., her boyfriend's brother. After Toboleski told J.B. the teenagers were there to see him, she returned to the kitchen.
Toboleski then entered the dining room, where she observed J.B. handing marijuana to one of the teenagers she recognized as I.G. She also observed a second boy she recognized, D.C., bumping up against J.B., saying in a deep voice, "you got any money? You got any weed?" J.B. gave D.C. the marijuana and money he had. D.C. then grabbed Toboleski's purse and threw it to the other two teenagers, who tossed it back and forth between them, while Toboleski tried to get the purse back. Eventually, one of the teenagers rifled through her purse and took money from her wallet. When Toboleski threatened to call the police, the same boys that had taken the purse, took the phone cord out of the telephone and attempted to rip the phone cord out of its wall jack.
J.B. testified that of the four teenagers that entered the apartment, he knew two, I.G. and D.C. J.B. testified that D.C. flashed a gun and asked for "weed" and money, and that D.C. told the other two teenagers to grab Toboleski's purse. J.B. was also able to identify one of the two unidentified teenagers who were tossing the purse around, as R.F.B. When asked if he could describe the second unidentified teenager, he replied, "yeah." When J.B. was asked whom the second teenager was, he stated,
Well, absolutely, positively 100 percent sure I am not sure, but as far as I know it was [L.H.B.], but that's still one photo that I told the cops that I wasn't 100 percent positive
J.B. also testified that either R.F.B. or L.H.B. grabbed the telephone cord and yanked it out, while the other tried unsuccessfully to pull the cord out of the wall. While J.B. could not remember which boy tried to yank the cord out of the wall, and which took the cord out of the phone, he was clear that both R.F.B. and L.H.B. were involved and that they both played keep away with the purse.
While J.B. could not pick L.H.B. out of the photo line-up, he did identify the other three teenagers and described L.H.B.'s participation to the officer. But initially L.H.B. claimed as an alibi that he was at Neighborhood Youth Services during the incident. His mother confirmed his statement. But approximately five days after the incident, L.H.B. came into the police station with his mother and brother and asked to give a statement. In his statement, he admitted that he was in the apartment at the time of the robbery.
D E C I S I O N
In reviewing the sufficiency of evidence of a conviction, an appellate court does not retry the facts. Rather, this court is limited to "a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction, was sufficient to permit the [trier-of-fact] to reach the verdict [it] did." State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). This court must assume the trier-of-fact believed the state's witnesses while disbelieving any evidence to the contrary. State v. Spaeth, 552 N.W.2d 187, 192 (Minn. 1996).
Evidence is sufficient to support a conviction if, given the facts in the record and any legitimate inferences that can be drawn from those facts, a jury could reasonably find the defendant committed the crimes of which he or she was convicted. State v. Wilson, 535 N.W.2d 597, 605 (Minn. 1995). Further, where the facts and legitimate inferences drawn from the facts could reasonably lead the factfinder to conclude that a defendant is guilty, the conviction should not be disturbed.
L.H.B. argues that there is insufficient evidence to convict him of aiding and abetting the robbery. Yet, two witnesses identified three of the four participants in the robbery, and L.H.B. admitted to his presence at the apartment at the time of the robbery. The facts and legitimate inferences drawn from the facts are sufficient to reasonably lead the district court to find L.H.B. aided and abetted the robbery.
L.H.B. argues that there was an insufficient identification of L.H.B. to place him at the crime scene. He admitted he was present. With that admission, all that remains to be found is whether there is sufficient evidence of intent to adjudicate L.H.B. for aiding and abetting the crime. While something more than mere inaction or acquiescence is needed for a conviction of aiding and abetting, "when the defendant plays some knowing role in the commission of the crime and takes no steps to thwart its completion," criminal intent may be inferred. State v. Pierson, 530 N.W.2d 784, 788 (Minn. 1995). The presence, companionship, and conduct both before and after the offense are circumstances that the court may consider and from which a person's participation in the criminal intent may be inferred. State v. Ulvinen, 313 N.W.2d 425, 428 (Minn. 1981).
Given L.H.B.'s own admission of presence and recantation of his earlier denial, we conclude the evidence was more than sufficient.