This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).






State of Minnesota,





Timothy James Magnuson,



Filed December 17, 2002


Harten, Judge


Mille Lacs County District Court

File No. K1-00-612


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Sara L. Martin, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


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


Janelle Prokopec Kendall, Mille Lacs County Attorney, County Attorney’s Office, 635 Second Street Southeast, Milaca, MN 56353 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Harten, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




            Appellant challenges his conviction of Failure to Notify of Change of Address – Predatory Sex Offender, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he failed to notify the law enforcement authority of his new living address.  Because we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction, we affirm.


            Appellant was adjudicated delinquent in May 1994 for criminal sexual conduct.  In October 1995, appellant signed a Predatory (Sex) Offender Registration Form, acknowledging his duty to comply with the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 243.166 (1994).  Under that statute, appellant had a duty to (1) provide written notice of all address changes to the “law enforcement authority” with which he was registered and (2) respond to annual address verification letters processed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

In October 1997, 1998, and 1999, the BCA mailed address-verification letters to appellant at the address appellant had provided in Princeton, Minnesota.  The BCA received no response to the 1997 letter, and the postal service returned the 1998 and 1999 letters marked “Return To Sender.”  The BCA sent a letter to the Princeton chief of police in June 2000, notifying him that appellant was in violation of his statutory duty.  A Princeton police officer investigated the report and learned that appellant had moved from his Princeton address more than a year before.

            Appellant was charged with Failure to Notify of Change of Address – Predatory Sex Offender in violation of Minn. Stat. § 243.166, subds. 3(b), 4(c) (1996 & Supp. 1997).  The matter was submitted to the district court on stipulated facts pursuant to State v. Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (Minn. 1980), and the court convicted appellant of violating both subdivision 3(b) and subdivision 4(c).  Appellant challenges only the conviction of violating subdivision 3(b), arguing that the stipulated evidence was insufficient to prove that he failed to notify the Princeton chief of police of his new living address.


            In considering a claim of insufficient evidence, this court’s review is limited to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, supports the verdict.  State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989).  The reviewing court will not disturb the verdict if the factfinder, acting with due regard for the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, could reasonably conclude the defendant was guilty of the charged offense.  State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988).  “While it warrants stricter scrutiny, circumstantial evidence is entitled to the same weight as direct evidence.”  State v. Bauer, 598 N.W.2d 352, 370 (Minn. 1999) (citation omitted).

            As a convicted sex offender, appellant was required to register as a predatory offender pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 243.166 (1996 & Supp. 1997).  Under the statute,

            [a]t least five days before the person starts living at a new address, including living in another state, the person shall give written notice of the new living address to the assigned corrections agent or to the law enforcement authority with which the person currently is registered.


Id., subd. 3(b) (Supp. 1997).[1]

[A] law enforcement authority means, with respect to a home rule charter or statutory city, the chief of police, and with respect to an unincorporated area, the sheriff of the county.


Id., subd. 8 (1996).

            Appellant did not have a “corrections agent.”  Therefore, he had a duty to report his new living address to the “law enforcement authority with which [he was] registered” before his change of address.  His last known registered address was in Princeton, a statutory city, and the “law enforcement authority” with which he was registered was the Princeton chief of police.  See id.

Appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction because the stipulated facts failed to prove that he did not notify the Princeton police chief of his new living address.  We disagree that there was not sufficient evidence to support the conviction.  The BCA sent the chief of police a letter indicating that appellant had not responded to its annual verification letters.  In response to that letter, a police officer investigated appellant’s whereabouts.  The officer reported that he investigated appellant’s “last known address” and was told that appellant had not lived there “for over a year.”  From the evidence, the district court could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant never reported a new living address to the chief of police.

Appellant also asserts that this court should interpret the term “chief of police” to include only the actual police chief and not the department the police chief commands.  Whether a statute has been properly construed is a question of law subject to de novo review.  State v. Murphy, 545 N.W.2d 909, 914 (Minn. 1996).  Although penal statutes must be strictly construed, strict construction does not require a court to interpret a statute as narrowly as possible.  State v. Zacher, 504 N.W.2d 468, 473 (Minn. 1993).  In ascertaining legislative intent, courts presume that the legislature does not intend results that are “absurd, impossible of execution, or unreasonable[.]”  Minn. Stat. § 645.17(1) (2000).  Appellant’s narrow construction of Minn. Stat. § 243.166 would lead to an absurd and unreasonable result: small cities may not employ a police chief as such and large cities may contain so many predatory offenders moving about that a police chief could not personally review all notices.

We conclude that there was sufficient evidence for the district court to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant failed to notify the statutorily responsible law-enforcement authority of his new address.


[1] The exact date that appellant violated subdivision 3(b) cannot be determined because the date that he moved is unknown.  Appellant first violated subdivision 4(c), however, when he failed to return the October 1997 address verification letter from the BCA.