This opinion will be unpublished and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,
Tiwon Trisell Gooden,
Filed June 17, 2003
Stearns County District Court
File No. K8021491
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Jerilyn Aune Hanold, Assistant Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 900, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Janelle Kendall, Stearns County Attorney, Stearns County Courthouse, Room 448, St. Cloud, MN 56302 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lawrence W. Pry, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Hudson, Judge.
Appellant Tiwon Trisell Gooden challenges his conviction for controlled substance crime in the second degree. Minn. Stat. §§ 152.022, subds. 1(6)(i), 3(b), 609.05, subd. 1 (2000). Appellant claims there is insufficient evidence to support his conviction for aiding and abetting the sale of a controlled substance. Because there is sufficient evidence that appellant was present at the scene of the crime and played a knowing role in the crime, we affirm.
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, viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, is sufficient to allow the jurors to reach the verdict that they did. State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). The reviewing court must assume the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the contrary. State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989). The reviewing court will not disturb the verdict if the jury, 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).
Under Minn. Stat. § 609.05, subd. 1 (2000),
[a] person is criminally liable for a crime committed by another if the person intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the crime.
A defendant is criminally liable for aiding and abetting if he or she played a knowing role in the crime and took no steps to “thwart its completion.” State v. Ostrem, 535 N.W.2d 916, 924 (Minn. 1995) (quotation omitted). But 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. Active participation in the overt act is not required; the person’s criminal intent may be inferred by his presence, companionship, and conduct before and after the offense. Id. The state need not show that appellant committed the underlying crime of selling the controlled substance, but only that someone committed the underlying crimes and appellant intentionally assisted the person committing the crime. Dukes v. State, 621 N.W.2d 246, 253 (Minn. 2001). In Ostrem, the supreme court looked at whether the evidence was sufficient to support two elements: (1) presence at the crime scene; and (2) the individual’s “knowing role” in the crime. Ostrem, 535 N.W.2d at 924-25.
Here, informant Robert Jarmon asked appellant whether he could help him buy some drugs; appellant said he could. Appellant brought Jarmon to his boarding house and introduced him to Wayne McMath, who contacted the seller, Thurman Warren. Appellant waited with McMath and Jarmon for Warren to arrive. Appellant let Warren into the house and brought him to the common area where the sale took place. Jarmon testified that after he paid for the drugs, Warren gave appellant $10 and McMath “got something else.” Appellant and Jarmon left the house and returned to downtown St. Cloud together. Appellant told Jarmon that he could get drugs in the future through him, but to contact McMath if he could not reach appellant. Jarmon had never met Warren before the sale and had no other way of contacting him. The evidence indicates that appellant facilitated the sale, did nothing to stop the sale, and received compensation for the sale. On this record, a jury could reasonably conclude that appellant was present at the time of the sale and played a “knowing role” in the sale. This is sufficient evidence to support appellant’s conviction.
Appellant raises numerous points in his pro se brief that either challenge the sufficiency of the evidence or the credibility of witneses, or are conclusory statements or appellant’s opinion about various points at trial. Because there is no merit to his arguments, we decline to address them.