This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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







State of Minnesota,





Terrell James Lavar Pleasant,




Filed October 17, 2006

Klaphake, Judge


Scott County District Court

File No. KX-04-19156



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


Patrick J. Ciliberto, Scott County Attorney, Todd P. Zettler, Special Assistant County Attorney, Government Center JC340, 200 4th Avenue West, Shakopee, MN  55379 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Rochelle R. Winn, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant Terrell James Lavar Pleasant challenges his conviction for second-degree attempted murder, claiming that the evidence of intent is insufficient and shows only that he sought to scare the victim.  Because the record supports the jury’s conclusion that appellant intended to cause the victim’s death, we affirm. 


            Appellant argues that the evidence at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain his guilty verdict for second-degree attempted murder.  In considering such claims, we limit our review to whether the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the jury’s verdict, was sufficient to support the verdict.  State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989); State v. Davis, 656 N.W.2d 900, 905 (Minn. App. 2003), review denied (Minn. May 20, 2003).  “We must assume the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the contrary” and that the jury, while giving “due regard” to the requirements of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence, could reasonably have reached a guilty verdict.  State v. Taylor, 650 N.W.2d 190, 205 (Minn. 2002). 

            “The intent element of a crime, because it involves a state of mind, is generally proved circumstantially,” and circumstantial evidence is given the same weight as direct evidence.  Davis, 656 N.W.2d at 905.  Generally, intent is proved from the words and acts of the defendant contemporaneously with the crime because it is assumed that a person intends the natural consequences of his or her actions.  State v. Johnson, 616 N.W.2d 720, 726 (Minn. 2000); CRIMJIG 11.26 (“intent . . . is not always susceptible to proof by direct evidence, but may be inferred from all the circumstances surrounding the event”).

            Here, the record includes evidence that appellant traveled from Chicago to St. Paul in an attempt to reunite with his ex-girlfriend, whom he had threatened and assaulted on several prior occasions.  When she rebuffed him, he telephoned her, told her that he was in Minneapolis, and instructed her to quickly gather his things from her apartment in Savage so that he could take them along on his return bus trip to Chicago.  Appellant then took a knife from a person who lived nearby, hid in the victim’s apartment building, and sprang out from his hiding place to attack the victim as she arrived at her apartment.  The victim sustained eight stab wounds during the assault, including several defensive stab wounds to her arms and potentially lethal wounds to her neck, liver, and lungs.  The knife blade broke off during the attack.  Appellant immediately ran from the scene following the assault.  Given these facts, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to show that appellant intended to commit the crime of second-degree murder.  See State v. Netland, 535 N.W.2d 328, 330 (Minn. 1995); State v. Steinbuch, 514 N.W.2d 793, 800 (Minn. 1994) (using location and number of stab wounds to demonstrate intent); State v. Chambers, 507 N.W.2d 237, 238 (Minn. 1993) (using number of stab wounds to victim to demonstrate intent); State v. Silverhus, 355 N.W.2d 398, 401 (Minn. 1984) (same); State v. Poppy, 385 N.W.2d 60, 64 (Minn. App. 1986) (using prior threats to victim to demonstrate intent), review denied (Minn. June 13, 1986).