This opinion will be unpublished and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
State of Minnesota,
Rodney Lee Hunt,
Filed June 13, 2006
Olmsted County District Court
File No. K4-04-2725
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Raymond F. Schmitz, Olmsted County Attorney, David F. McLeod, Assistant County Attorney, Government Center, 151 Fourth Street Southeast, Rochester, MN 55904 (for respondent)
Melissa Sheridan, 1380 Corporate Center Curve, Suite 320, Eagan, MN 55121 (for appellant)
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
Appellant Rodney Lee Hunt challenges his convictions of first-degree burglary and gross misdemeanor theft, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by (1) excluding extrinsic evidence offered to show a witness’s bias against appellant; and (2) admitting evidence of prior bad acts. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
rulings are within the district court’s discretion and will not be reversed
absent a clear abuse of discretion. State v. Amos, 658 N.W.2d 201, 203 (
both parties agree that Ryan Fulton (
now argues that the district court abused its discretion by precluding
we conclude that the testimony was not admissible under rules 403 and 616
because the record supports the district court’s determination that the
testimony’s prejudicial effects substantially outweighed its probative
of other crimes or bad acts is characterized as “Spreigl evidence.” State v. Kennedy, 585 N.W.2d 385, 389 (
admitting Spreigl evidence, the
district court must first determine that (1) the state gave notice of its
intent to admit the evidence; (2) the state clearly indicated what it would
offer the evidence to prove; (3) the state offered clear and convincing
evidence that the defendant participated in the prior act; (4) the evidence is
relevant and material to the state’s case; and (5) the evidence’s potential to
prejudice the defendant did not outweigh the probative value of the
evidence. Angus v. State, 695 N.W.2d 109, 119 (
balancing the probative value of the evidence against the potential for unfair
prejudice, the district court must consider how necessary the Spreigl evidence is to the state’s
case. Kennedy, 585 N.W.2d at 391.
“Only if the other evidence is weak or inadequate, and the Spreigl evidence is needed as support
for the state’s burden of proof, should the [district] court admit the Spreigl evidence.”
Here, the district court admitted evidence of appellant’s 1995 attempted burglary conviction and his 2004 theft conviction for purposes of showing appellant’s motive and intent. Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of the prior convictions because the evidence’s prejudicial effects outweighed its probative value. We disagree.
At trial, both parties acknowledged that appellant was present at Loomis’s apartment, that appellant ran from Loomis, and that the police later found appellant hiding in bushes. But the parties disputed whether appellant entered Loomis’s apartment with the intent to commit a crime and whether appellant stole Loomis’s property.
When the police found appellant, he was carrying money and jewelry. Loomis testified that the items were his, but appellant testified that he brought the items to Loomis’s residence. Appellant explained that he won the money while playing poker and that he was carrying the jewelry because his fiancée had asked him to pawn it that day and to use the proceeds to pay for her medical bills. Appellant’s neighbor also testified that appellant planned to take jewelry to a pawn shop.
Based on the witnesses’ conflicting testimony, the evidence did not conclusively prove that appellant entered Loomis’s apartment with the intent to steal Loomis’s property. Therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the Spreigl evidence was necessary to establish appellant’s intent. Furthermore, the court read a cautionary instruction immediately before the state introduced evidence of the prior acts and again at the conclusion of trial, thereby reducing the probability that the jury would give the evidence undue weight. See id. at 392 (stating that a cautionary instruction reduces the probability of prejudicing the defendant). Thus, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of appellant’s prior convictions because the Spreigl evidence’s potential to prejudice appellant did not substantially outweigh the evidence’s probative value.