This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Tyler Joseph Bentler,
Filed January 14, 2003
Anoka County District Court
File No. K8017594
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, Marcy S. Crain, Assistant County Attorney, Anoka County Government Center, 2100 Third Avenue, 7th Floor, Anoka, MN 55303 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Marie Wolf, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Willis, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges his conviction of and sentence for kidnapping. Appellant argues that the district court erred by (1) accepting his guilty plea to a charge of kidnapping without an adequate factual basis and (2) imposing a sentence consecutive to that for first-degree burglary, thereby unfairly exaggerating the criminality of his conduct. Because we conclude that the district court did not err, we affirm.
Appellant Tyler Joseph Bentler pleaded guilty to burglary in the first degree, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 1(b) (2000), and kidnapping, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.25, subds. 1, 2(2) (2000). At his plea hearing, Bentler testified that (1) he broke into a house by removing a screen from a basement window; (2) he entered the house intending to steal money; (3) he found several firearms and took them from the house, exiting through the front door; (4) with a set of car keys that he found on his way out of the house, he unlocked a car parked in the driveway and put the firearms inside the car; and (5) he did not have the consent of the owners to enter the house and did not have consent to take any property from the house.
Bentler further testified that (1) he reentered the house and wandered around until he entered a bedroom where a child was sleeping; (2) the child was obviously under the age of 16; (3) the child awoke “with a gasp,” and Bentler picked her up and walked outside; (4) after putting the child into the car, he drove about a mile from the house and then drove back; and (5) he returned the child to her bed, left the house again, and drove away in the car.
Bentler was sentenced to consecutive terms of 78 months for the first-degree burglary conviction and 48 months for the kidnapping conviction. This appeal follows.
Minnesota law defines kidnapping as:
Whoever, for any of the following purposes, confines or removes from one place to another, any person without the person’s consent or, if the person is under the age of 16 years, without the consent of the person’s parents or other legal custodian, is guilty of kidnapping and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:
(1) To hold for ransom or reward for release, or as shield or hostage; or
(2) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter; or
(3) To commit great bodily harm or to terrorize the victim or another; or
(4) To hold in involuntary servitude.
Minn. Stat. § 609.25, subd. 1 (2000). Nothing in the record suggests that section 609.25, subdivision 1(1), (3), or (4) is applicable here, and Bentler argues that there was insufficient evidence to establish a factual basis that the kidnapping occurred for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a felony or flight thereafter.
In the context of kidnapping, “purpose” is akin to “intent.” See Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.25 advisory comm. cmt. (West 1987) (noting that kidnapping consists of elements of confinement and intent and that intent is what “makes the imprisonment the serious crime known as kidnapping”). And intent can be logically inferred from the totality of the circumstances. See State v. Raymond, 440 N.W.2d 425, 426 (Minn. 1989) (noting that intent is an inference drawn from the totality of the circumstances).
Bentler’s testimony makes clear that he committed a felony when he entered the house without the owners’ permission and stole firearms. Indeed, Bentler pleaded guilty to burglary and does not challenge that plea on appeal. He described the surprise the girl expressed upon seeing him. By taking the girl with him, he prevented her from alerting anyone that he had entered the house and removed the firearms. While Bentler did not testify explicitly that he took the girl from her house to aid his flight, such a conclusion follows from the circumstances. There was, therefore, an adequate factual basis to establish that his purpose was to facilitate a felony or flight thereafter.
Bentler next argues that the district court abused its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences, claiming that consecutive sentences unfairly exaggerate the criminality of his conduct.
If a person’s conduct in a single behavioral incident constitutes more than one offense, the person may be punished only for one of those offenses. Minn. Stat. § 609.035, subd. 1 (2002). Consecutive sentences are permissive, however, for multiple current felony convictions of crimes against persons. Minn. Sent. Guidelines II.F.2. A district court’s decision regarding permissive, consecutive sentences will not be disturbed unless the resulting sentence unfairly exaggerates the criminality of the defendant’s conduct. State v. Hough, 585 N.W.2d 393, 397 (Minn. 1998).
Bentler concedes that the burglary was a crime against a person. See State v. Munger, 597 N.W.2d 570, 574 (Minn. App. 1999) (holding that burglary involving entry into a dwelling while another person was present constituted a crime against a person), review denied (Minn. Aug. 25, 1999). Bentler argues, however, that his conduct was “barely within the scope” of the charge of kidnapping, thus providing a basis for downward departure from the sentencing guidelines. But Bentler’s testimony established all of the elements of the crime of kidnapping. Bentler’s argument that his actions constituted a “not-exactly-kidnapping” are without merit. See State v. Budreau, 641 N.W.2d 919, 929 (Minn. 2002) (holding that there is no requirement that the kidnapping victim be detained for a substantial period of time or transported a substantial distance).
Further, Minnesota law provides that “conviction of the crime of kidnapping is not a bar to * * * punishment for any other crime committed during the time of the kidnapping.” Minn. Stat. § 609.251 (2002). And the supreme court has held that section 609.251 “expressly permit[s] consecutive sentences to be imposed for multiple offenses * * * where one of the offenses is kidnapping.” State v. Swanson, 498 N.W.2d 435, 440 (Minn. 1993).
The imposition of consecutive sentences did not, therefore, unfairly exaggerate the criminality of Bentler’s conduct. Consequently, the district court’s decision is affirmed.