This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






State of Minnesota,


Hamdollah Hama Farzan,


Filed January 9, 2001


Crippen, Judge


Dakota County District Court

File No. K9992383



Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Suite 500, 525 Park Street, St. Paul, MN 55103; and


James C. Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, Phillip D. Prokopowicz, Assistant County Attorney, Dakota County Judicial Center, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan K. Maki, Assistant State Public Defender, Suite 600, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Kalitowski, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N



Appellant Hamdollah Farzan challenges his terroristic-threats conviction, contending that the evidence was insufficient to prove he acted with intent to terrorize.  Because the evidence supports his conviction, we affirm.



Appellant called his ex-wife on the morning of September 22, 1999, and left two messages on her answering machine, demanding to see their children.  After profanely addressing his ex-wife and her companion, appellant threatened them by stating he was going to “expose you to nation, * * * if you don’t let me see my kids.”  He issued an ultimatum that if he did not see his kids within one week, he would “f---ing beat your f‑--ing ass.”  During the second call he reiterated that Ms. Smith had one week to let him see the kids: “That’s only one week.  No more than one week, then you be exposed to this kind of, you know, punishment.”  The messages frightened Ms. Smith and she called the police.

The state charged appellant with terroristic threats, violation of an order for protection, and harassment of a judicial officer.  The court severed the harassment count and in December 1999, the jury found appellant guilty of the remaining counts.  Appellant now challenges the conviction, contending that the evidence was not sufficient to prove he acted with intent to terrorize.


Appellant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1 (2000) provides that “[w]hoever threatens, directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with [the] purpose to terrorize another” is guilty of terroristic threats.   

            When reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, an appellate court is limited to determining whether, under the facts in the record and any legitimate inferences to be drawn from them, the jury reasonably could have found defendant guilty.  State v. Ulvinen, 313 N.W.2d 425, 428 (Minn. 1981).  The court will not retry the facts, but instead views the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and assumes the fact finder believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved all evidence to the contrary.  Id.

The statute requires the state to prove appellant threatened his victims “with [the] purpose to terrorize * * * or in a reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1.  Whether a statement constitutes a threat depends on whether the “communication in its context would have a reasonable tendency to create apprehension that its originator will act according to its tenor.”  State v. Schweppe, 306 Minn. 395, 399, 237 N.W.2d 609, 613 (1975) (quotations omitted). 

There is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that appellant recklessly risked the danger that his ex-wife would fear being assaulted if she did not let him see the kids within one week.  Ms. Smith testified that she was “very, very scared” after she received appellant’s calls and Officer Hokanson testified to Ms. Smith’s fearful and nervous demeanor when he arrived at her home. See Sykes v. State, 578 N.W.2d 807, 811 (Minn. App. 1998) (finding that a victim’s reaction is circumstantial evidence of intent), review denied (Minn. July 16, 1998).  Also, in making his threats, appellant violated a domestic-abuse order for protection.  See State v. Fischer, 354 N.W.2d 29, 33 (Minn. App. 1984) (finding that evidence of an appellant’s prior relationship with the victim is relevant to establish appellant’s intent and motive for making the threats), review denied (Minn. Dec. 20, 1984).[1]

In viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, the language appellant used in making his threats, Ms. Smith’s reaction to those threats, and appellant’s violation of a domestic-abuse order for protection in making his threats are sufficient to support a conviction.



[1] Appellant rightly does not emphasize the argument that he acted not with intent to terrorize, but out of transitory anger.  See State v. Jones, 451 N.W.2d 55, 63 (Minn. App. 1990) (stating the terroristic-threats statute does not “authorize grave sanctions against the kind of verbal threat which expresses transitory anger” (quotation omitted)), review denied (Minn. Feb. 21, 1990).  Appellant’s own testimony shows that this anger has been stewing for over ten years.