This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Michael Peter Henderson,
State of Minnesota,
Mille Lacs County District Court
File No. K2-02-588
Henderson, MCF –
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Minge, Judge.
Appellant challenges the summary denial of his petition for postconviction relief. Because the date of appellant’s offense is not a material factor of the crime, and because appellant’s allegedly newly discovered evidence would not produce a different or more favorable result, we affirm.
is an appeal from a denial of postconviction relief. Appellant Michael Henderson was convicted of
first-degree manufacture of methamphetamine (meth), a violation of Minn. Stat. §
152.021, subd. 2a (2000), and use of a police radio during the commission of a
crime, a violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.856, subd. 1 (2000). Appellant filed a direct appeal challenging,
among other things, whether the district court abused its discretion in
imposing an upward sentence departure. State v. Henderson, No. A03-867, 2004 WL
1833936, at *1 (
The facts relating to appellant’s conviction are summarized in the opinion addressing his direct appeal. See id., at *1. Only the facts relevant to appellant’s request for postconviction relief are recited here. Subsequent to his arrest on May 21, 2002, appellant admitted that he “cooked” meth for two years, had done so within the week prior to his arrest, and used meth the evening before his arrest. The complaint listed three counts against appellant: (1) controlled-substance crime in the first degree for manufacture of meth on or about May 2, 2002; (2) unlawful containment, tampering, theft or transport of anhydrous ammonia on or about May 21, 2002; and (3) use of police radios during the commission of a crime on or about May 21, 2002.
While discussing jury instructions, appellant raised the issue of whether the state had proved the first charge in the complaint, which alleged manufacture on or around May 2, not May 21, when appellant was arrested. The state noted the date error on the complaint and asked the judge to instruct the jury that, because appellant admitted that he had manufactured meth a week or less prior to his arrest, it was not essential for the state to prove that meth manufacture occurred on a specific date. Appellant complained, arguing that the state was seeking to amend the complaint and that appellant would be prejudiced by such action.
The district court submitted the following instruction to the jury:
First, the defendant manufactured any amount of methamphetamine. “To manufacture” methamphetamine means and includes the production, quality control, and standardization of drugs by mechanical, physical, or chemical means, and their packing, repacking, or other processing.
the defendant’s act took place on or about May 21, 2002 in
If you find that each of these elements has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is guilty. If you find that any element has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is not guilty.
(Emphasis added.) Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in denying postconviction relief on the basis that this instruction impermissibly prejudiced his defense and in failing to grant an evidentiary hearing to consider new evidence.
A postconviction court’s
decision is reviewed “only to determine whether sufficient evidence supports
the court’s findings.” Greer v. State, 673 N.W.2d 151, 154 (
A. Date of Offense
Appellant first argues
that the district court improperly instructed the jury, which prejudiced his
opportunity to present a meaningful defense.
“It is well established that a criminal defendant has a constitutional
due process right to present a meaningful defense.” State
v. Reese, 692 N.W.2d 736, 740 (
Due process requires
that the complaint provide the defendant with notice of the claims against
McCollum v. State, 640 N.W.2d 610, 618 (
Here, appellant was
charged with first-degree manufacture of meth.
The statute provides that “a person is guilty of controlled substance
crime in the first degree if the person manufactures any amount of
failed to raise this issue on his direct appeal, although it was certainly
known to him at that time. “[O]nce a
direct appeal has been taken ‘all matters raised therein, and all claims known
but not raised, will not be considered upon a subsequent petition for
postconviction relief.’” McDonough v. State, 675 N.W.2d 53, 55 (
B. Newly Discovered Evidence
Appellant also argues
that the district court abused its discretion by denying an evidentiary hearing
to determine whether he should have a new trial in light of newly discovered
evidence. A postconviction court must
grant an evidentiary hearing on a motion for postconviction relief “[u]nless
the petition and the files and records of the proceeding conclusively show that
the petitioner is entitled to no relief.” Minn. Stat. § 590.04, subd. 1 (2004); see also Townsend v. State, 582 N.W.2d
225, 229 (
In order to obtain a new
trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence, the defendant must establish
that: (1) the evidence was not known to him or defense counsel at trial; (2)
his failure to learn of the evidence before trial was not due to lack of
diligence; (3) the evidence is material; and (4) the evidence will probably
produce an acquittal at a retrial or a result more favorable to the
petitioner. Race v. State, 417 N.W.2d 264, 266 (
Here, appellant’s newly discovered evidence is alibi testimony. Appellant contends this is sufficient to warrant an evidentiary hearing. However, appellant’s evidence fails to meet the four-prong test articulated in Race, principally because appellant admitted that he manufactured meth. Because appellant’s conviction did not rest on the fact that he manufactured meth on a particular day, having an alibi for a precise date is irrelevant. Appellant’s production of alibi witnesses appears to be related to his first claim that he was unprepared to defend an allegation that he manufactured meth on a particular day, which presumably these witnesses might refute. Yet, because appellant admitted that he manufactured meth for two years and had done so within a week of his arrest, an alibi for a particular day is not the type of evidence likely to produce a different result in this case. Thus, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying an evidentiary hearing.