This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






In the Matter of the Welfare of D.L.M., Child


Filed September 6, 2005


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Blue Earth County District Court

File No. JV 04 2272


Ann Brom McCaughan, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant D.L.M.)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and


Mark Allen Lindahl, Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney, 410 South 5th Street, P.O. Box 3129, Mankato, MN 56002 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Klaphake, Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D  O P I N I O N

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

D.L.M.. a juvenile, challenges his adjudication as delinquent on the ground that the only direct evidence of guilt, the uncorroborated testimony of his alleged accomplice, was insufficient to convict him.  Because the evidence was sufficient for the district court to have determined reasonably that D.L.M. was guilty of each element of the petition for adjudication of his delinquency, we affirm.


            On March 29, 2004, the police received three complaints from drivers who said that rocks had been thrown at their cars.  An officer who went to investigate found two juveniles, D.L.M. and M.J.S., near the scene.  At first, both boys told the officer that they had been looking for stolen bicycles, but, after they had been separated, both retracted that statement.  M.J.S. said they had both been throwing rocks at cars; D.L.M. said only M.J.S. had been throwing them.

            D.L.M. was charged with three counts of violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.595, subd. 1 (1) and (3) (2002), on the ground that he had thrown rocks at and hit three cars.  The district court concluded that the evidence supporting the charges of violating subsection 3 was insufficient and acquitted D.L.M. of those charges but that the allegations of the petition had been proven as to subsection 1, “damage to property with a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm,” and adjudicated him delinquent.

            On appeal from a determination that each element of a delinquency petition has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, “an appellate court is limited to ascertaining whether, given the facts and legitimate inferences, a factfinder could reasonably make that determination.”  In re Welfare of S.M.J., 556 N.W. 2d 4, 6 (Minn. App. 1996) (citing State v. Merrill, 274 N.W. 2d 99, 111 (Minn. 1978)).

            D.L.M. was convicted primarily on the testimony of his accomplice, M.J.S.  Minn. Stat. § 634.04 (2002) provides that, to serve as the basis for a defendant’s conviction, accomplice testimony must be corroborated by other evidence that tends to convict the defendant of the charged offense.  The corroborating testimony must link the defendant to the crime alleged and not merely show that someone committed the crime.  In re Welfare of D.M.K., 343 N.W.2d 863, 869 (Minn. App. 1984).  “Corroborating evidence may be secured from the defendant’s association with those involved in the crime in such a way as to suggest joint participation, as well as from the defendant’s opportunity and motive to commit the crime and his proximity to the place where the crime was committed.”  State v. Nelson, 632 N.W.2d 193, 202 (Minn. 2001). 

            Here, corroborating evidence showed that D.L.M. was a friend of M.J.S. and was with him at the crime scene when the crime was committed.  One of the victims testified that he saw two people in the area from which the rocks came.  Another victim testified that two rocks struck her car almost simultaneously.    M.J.S. answered “no” when asked if he ever threw two rocks at once and “yes” when asked if he and D.L.M. had thrown rocks at about the same time.  

            Corroborating evidence must affirm the truth of the accomplice's testimony and point to the guilt of the defendant, but it need not establish a prima facie case. D.M.K., 343 N.W.2d at 869.  The corroborating evidence here affirms the truth of M.J.S.’s testimony and points to the guilt of D.L.M.  The district court could reasonably have determined that the elements of D.L.M.’s delinquency petition were proved.