This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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






State of Minnesota,


John Haider,


Filed October 21, 2003


Harten, Judge


Ramsey County District Court

File No. K0-02-813


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lawrence W. Pry, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101; and


Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Mark N. Lystig, Assistant County Attorney, Ramsey County Government Center, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN  55102-1657 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Hudson, Judge.



U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




Appellant challenges his conviction for attempted second-degree murder, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to enable the jury to find that he was the person who shot the victim.  Appellant also argues that the state’s witnesses were unreliable.  We affirm.



On 1 March 2002, appellant John Haider, his brother, and several friends were present at Skinner’s bar.  Sometime that night, Haider and his friends were involved in a confrontation.  According to Bryan Mueller (one of Haider’s friends), Haider continued to argue with one of the men from another group.  Haider became increasingly agitated after the argument, and repeatedly said that he was going to get the other man.  Haider mentioned that he would “kill him,” referring to the man he had argued with. 

            Haider called his friend, Marvin Horwedel, and asked him to bring a gun to the bar.  Horwedel came to the bar carrying a gun in a bag tied around his waist.  When Haider saw Horwedel, he jumped up and said, “There’s my bro, there’s my brother, there’s my man.”  Both went to the back of the bar where the restrooms were located.  In the restroom, Haider took the gun from Horwedel.  Horwedel noticed that Haider was wearing a dark, closely fit stocking cap and black leather gloves. 

            Haider followed Horwedel out of the restroom.  As Horwedel glanced over his shoulder, he noticed Haider attempting to pull the gun from his coat pocket.  Horwedel stepped in front of Haider and said, “Don’t be a f-cking idiot.  You don’t do sh-t like this, man.  You go outside and if they come out after you, then at least you got half a chance of justification.”  But Haider walked up to the victim, shot him between the eyes, stepped over his body, and headed toward the back door.   He then left through the back door and drove off. 

            Kristy Taylor and Gerald Morriseau, Horwedel’s roommates, heard a knock at their front door at approximately 1:00 a.m.; the visitor identified himself as “John.”  Morriseau opened the door and saw it was John Haider.  Taylor and Morriseau both noticed that John had a gun in his hand.  Haider came in the house and said, “Do you know who I am . . . I just—I just killed a mother f-cker.”  Morriseau hid upstairs.  As Taylor spoke with Haider, he said that he was in a confrontation and had shot someone. 

             A jury found Haider guilty of attempted murder in the second degree in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.17 and 609.19, subd. 1(1) (2000).  Haider now appeals alleging insufficient evidence to support the conviction. 



In considering a claim of insufficient evidence, our 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, is sufficient to enable the jurors to reach their verdict.  State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989).  We 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).  And we 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 that the defendant was guilty of the charged offense.  State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988).

Haider argues that there was insufficient evidence to enable the jury to find that he was the person who shot the victim.[1]  In order to support a conviction, an “identification can be sufficient if a witness testifies that in the witness’ belief, opinion, and judgment, the defendant is the person whom the witness saw commit the crime.”  State v. Johnson, 568 N.W.2d 426, 435 (Minn. 1997).  It is well established that a conviction can rest upon the testimony of a single credible witness.  State v. Bliss, 457 N.W.2d 385, 390 (Minn. 1990). 

At trial, Todd Block testified as the only eyewitness to the shooting.  Block was finishing a telephone conversation when Haider “walked up to [the victim] . . . , pulled out a pistol, placed it up between [the victim’s] eyes, pulled the trigger and walked out the back door.”  Block was approximately 10 to 12 feet away when Haider shot the victim.  Block was not drinking the night of the shooting.  He recalled that Haider wore “a dark[] colored bandana” and a “three-quarter length trench coat.”  Block also remembered passing Haider numerous times earlier that evening when he went to the bar.  Block identified Haider as the shooter at trial and from a photo lineup shown to him a day after the shooting.  Viewed in a light favorable to the conviction, Block’s testimony supports the jury’s determination that Haider shot the victim.

Haider argues that Block’s testimony is patently unreliable because he was not wearing a bandana or a trench coat the night of the shooting.  But Block testified that Haider wore a “trench coat,” which he described as a “three-quarter-length coat.”  When the state introduced Haider’s jacket, Block identified it as the jacket Haider wore the night of the shooting.  Horwedel also described Haider’s jacket as a mid-size black leather jacket that hung “about six or eight inches below his waist.”  While Horwedel, not Haider, wore a silver parka jacket and dark colored bandana that night, there was testimony that Haider wore a “close fitting” stocking cap shortly before the shooting.  Block also observed that both men wore the “same type of clothing,” but he specifically distinguished Horwedel as “a little bit taller.”  There was testimony that Horwedel had a light beard and mustache the night of the shooting; Ann Miller, a Skinner’s bartender, testified that Haider was clean-shaven.  We conclude that Block’s testimony, if believed by the factfinder, is sufficiently reliable because Block, the only eyewitness to the shooting, positively identified Haider at trial and in a photographic lineup. 

            Haider argues that other state’s witnesses were also unreliable.  Kristy Taylor and Gerald Morrison both testified that Haider had a gun when he came to Horwedel’s home the night of the shooting, and that Haider confessed to the shooting.  Haider contends that their testimony was contrived only after the police implicated Horwedel in the shooting. 

Credibility of a witness and the weight to be given to a witnesses’ testimony are issues for the jury to determine.  Bliss, 457 N.W.2d at 390 (citing State v. Rainer, 411 N.W.2d 490, 495 (Minn. 1987)).  We conclude that, based on the witnesses’ version of the facts presented at trial, the jury could reasonably find that appellant was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of attempted second-degree murder.  See State v. McCullum, 289 N.W.2d 89, 91 (Minn. 1979).


[1] Haider was convicted of attempted second-degree murder.  Minn. Stat. § 609.17, subd. 1 (2000) provides: “Whoever, with intent to commit a crime, does an act which is a substantial step toward, and more than a preparation for, the commission of the crime is guilty of an attempt to commit that crime . . . .”  Minn. Stat. § 609.19, subd. 1(1) (2000) defines second degree murder as whoever “causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation.”  On appeal, Haider argues only that the evidence was insufficient to enable a rational factfinder to find that he was the person who shot the victim.