This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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

 

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C3-01-279

 

In the Matter of the Welfare of:

A.D.S., Child.

 

Filed August 28, 2001

Affirmed

Lansing, Judge

 

Hennepin County District Court

File No. J9-00-74612

Ramsey County District Court

File No. J6-00-556202

 

 

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Charlann Winking, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)

 

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

 

Amy J. Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, C2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN  55487; and

 

Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Darrell C. Hill, Assistant County Attorney, Ramsey County Government Center West, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN  55102  (for respondent)

 

            Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Willis, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

LANSING, Judge     

            On appeal from a delinquency adjudication for aiding and abetting aggravated robbery, A.D.S. argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the court’s finding that he knowingly participated in the robbery.  Because the evidence supports the finding that A.D.S. played a knowing role in the commission of the robbery, we affirm. 

F A C T S

At the adjudication hearing, Hau Than testified that he was robbed as he was walking on a St. Paul street on November 25, 2000.  Than stated that two men held him while a third man hit him in the face and ripped his pants pocket to get his wallet.  After taking the wallet, the men ran away.  Than ran to a nearby gas station, calling for help. 

A police officer who was working off-duty at the gas station testified that he was standing outside the station and saw three men run by, followed by Than yelling for help and pointing to the fleeing men.  The police officer pursued the men, stopped them, and with the help of other police officers, took them into custody.  After Than identified one of the men as the person who had taken his wallet, police arrested all three.  A.D.S. was one of the three men arrested, but was not identified as the one who had taken the wallet.  Police recovered the wallet later the same day. 

A.D.S. denied any involvement in the robbery.  He testified that he was not aware of his companions’ plan to rob Than, did not help them rob Than, and ran following the robbery because he was shocked.  The district court adjudicated A.D.S. delinquent and placed him on probation.  A.D.S. appeals. 

D E C I S I O N

The allegations of a juvenile-delinquency petition must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  Minn. R. Juv. P. 13.06.  When reviewing a sufficiency-of-the-evidence claim, we carefully review whether the record and any legitimate inferences drawn from it reasonably support the factfinder’s conclusion that the defendant committed the offense charged.  State v. Ulvinen, 313 N.W.2d 425, 428 (Minn. 1981); see also In re Welfare of S.A.M.,570 N.W.2d 162, 167 (Minn. App. 1997) (applying same standard to juvenile cases). We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state and assume the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved contrary evidence.  Ulvinen, 313 N.W.2d at 428.  The credibility of witness testimony and the weight given to the evidence are issues for the trier of fact.  State v. Bias, 419 N.W.2d 480, 484 (Minn. 1988).

The district court adjudicated A.D.S. delinquent for aiding and abetting aggravated robbery in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.245, subd. 1, 609.05, subd. 1 (2000).  A person who, while committing a robbery, inflicts bodily harm on another, is guilty of aggravated robbery.  Id. § 609.245, subd. 1.  A person may be held liable for another’s crime “if the person intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with * * * the other to commit the crime.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.05, subd. 1. 

To impose liability for aiding and abetting, the state must show that the person played a knowing role in the crime’s commission and did nothing to thwart the crime’s completion.  State v. Ostrem, 535 N.W.2d 916, 924-25 (Minn. 1995).  Mere presence at the crime scene “does not alone prove that a person aided or abetted, because inaction, knowledge, or passive acquiescence does not rise to the level of criminal culpability.”  Id. (citation omitted).  While active participation in the offense’s overt act is not required, a person’s presence, companionship, and conduct before and after an offense are circumstances from which a person’s criminal intent may be inferred.  State v. Gates, 615 N.W.2d 331, 337 (Minn. 2000).

A.D.S. argues that he did not know of his companions’ plan to rob Than, did not participate in the robbery, and ran following the robbery only because he was shocked. But the affirmative evidence establishes that A.D.S. and two friends were present at the time and place of the robbery; that Than was punched in the face by one of the three, held by the other two, and robbed; that Than’s account of the events was consistently stated in his testimony, in his statement to police, and in the police officer’s incident report; that Than’s pants were torn from the waist down to the back of the knee; that the three men ran after taking Than’s wallet; and that one of A.D.S.’s accomplices testified at an earlier hearing that A.D.S. had held Than’s arm during the robbery and that A.D.S. knew of his companions’ intent to rob Than.  Although at A.D.S.’s adjudication hearing this witness recanted his earlier testimony that A.D.S. had held Than’s arm, it is for the trier of fact to determine whether the original statement or the recantation is more credible.  In Re Welfare of R.B., 369 N.W.2d 353, 358 (Minn. App. 1985).

Independent of the affirmative evidence, A.D.S. admitted that he was present during the robbery, did not stop the robbery, and ran following the robbery.  See, e.g., State v. Parker, 282 Minn. 343, 356-57, 164 N.W.2d 633, 641-42 (1969) (defendant’s close association with other perpetrators, failure to disapprove or oppose crime, and fleeing with other defendants justified conclusion that defendant joined in the crime).  A.D.S. also presented character evidence establishing that a forceful robbery was inconsistent with his generally responsible conduct.  But that evidence does not diminish the effect of his admissions or overcome the affirmative evidence that establishes A.D.S.’s knowing participation in the acts constituting the offense.  Viewed in the light most favorable to the adjudication, the evidence is sufficient to sustain the district court’s finding that A.D.S. aided or abetted the aggravated robbery. 

Affirmed.