This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Samuel John Larsen,
Filed May 30, 2006
Nobles County District Court
File No. K9-03-618
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, James B. Early, Assistant Attorney
Gordon Moore, Nobles County Attorney, 1530 Airport Road, Suite 400, P.O. Box 337, Worthington, MN 56187 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Suzanne M. Senecal-Hill,
Assistant Public Defender,
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Onappeal from a conviction for second degree controlled-substance crime, appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by (1) admitting appellant’s prior federal drug convictions and drug-related probation violations into evidence; (2) failing to conduct a Spreigl analysis; and (3) allowing Spreigl evidence that was too old and dissimilar to the charged offense. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
“Evidentiary rulings rest within the
sound discretion of the [district] court and will not be reversed absent a
clear abuse of discretion. On appeal,
the appellant has the burden of establishing that the [district] court abused
its discretion and that appellant was thereby prejudiced.” State
v. Amos, 658 N.W.2d 201, 203 (
Here, following a controlled buy conducted by an undercover officer, appellant was charged with first-degree controlled-substance crime (possession of methamphetamine), in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subd. 2(1) (2002), and first-degree controlled-substance crime (sale of methamphetamine), in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subd. 1(1) (2002). The district court determined that the state lacked probable cause for the first-degree sale charge, but ruled that the search of appellant’s vehicle was proper. The district court also permitted appellant to pursue an entrapment defense. During trial, appellant testified that he had two federal drug convictions and three federal probation violations that arose from those convictions. The state then recalled the undercover officer to introduce certified copies of the federal convictions and probation violations. Appellant objected to the introduction of the certified copies of the drug convictions on the ground that the evidence was cumulative. Prior to introducing the evidence, the district court gave the following instruction to the jury:
Members of the Jury, the State is about to introduce evidence of some occurrences that occurred on May 16, 1988, in Sioux Falls, April 12th, 1994, in Sioux Falls, August 22nd, 1995, in Sioux Falls, and July 8, 1996, in Sioux Falls. This evidence is being offered for the limited purpose of assisting you in determining whether [appellant] committed those acts with which he is charged in the present proceedings. [Appellant] is not being tried for, and may not be convicted of any offense other than the offense charged here. You are not to convict [appellant] on the basis of any occurrence on [May 16, 1988, April 12, 1994, August 22, 1995, or July 8, 1996] in Sioux Falls. To do so might result in unjust double punishment.
Appellant was found guilty of the second-degree controlled-substance crime.
Appellant argues that the district court should not have allowed the admission of the drug-conviction evidence on the grounds that it was not relevant, it unfairly prejudiced him, and that a Spreigl analysis should have been completed. The only objection raised was that the admission of the certified copies of the drug convictions was cumulative; the objections raised on appeal were not raised in the district court and, therefore, appellant has forfeited his right to have them considered on appeal. In addition, no objections were raised in district court regarding the introduction of the probation violations. When appellant was shown the certified copies of the probation violations, his counsel stated, “I don’t have any objections, Your Honor.” While the objections were not raised in the district court, it should be noted that appellant’s arguments that the drug-conviction evidence was not relevant and that the district court should have conducted a Spriegl analysis both fail because the fact that appellant had federal drug convictions and probation violations was raised by appellant, not the state. Finally, appellant fails to explain how the introduction of certified copies of his convictions and probation violations unfairly prejudiced his case, especially considering it was appellant who first raised the issue and a cautionary instruction was given to the jury before the evidence was introduced. Based on the record, the district court did not abuse its discretion is allowing appellant’s federal drug convictions and probation violations into evidence.