This opinion will be unpublished and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,
Harvey Lee Eason,
Filed January 9, 2007
Dakota County District Court
File No. K2-04-3438
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
James Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, Scott A. Hersey, Assistant County Attorney, Dakota County Judicial Center, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033 (for respondent)
Bradford Colbert, Legal Assistant to Minnesota Prisoners, 875 Summit Avenue, Room 254, St. Paul, MN 55105 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant Harvey Lee Eason challenges the sufficiency of evidence and the admission of Spreigl evidence during a nine-day bench trial that resulted in his conviction of attempted murder in the first degree, aiding and abetting; conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree; and assault in the first degree, aiding and abetting. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant alleges that the state presented evidence that was not sufficient to sustain his convictions. We disagree.
We review a claim of insufficiency
of evidence through “a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether
the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction,” was
sufficient to allow the fact-finder to reach the verdict that it reached. State
v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (
A person aids and abets attempted murder in the first degree if he intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures another to cause the death of a human being with premeditation and with intent to effect the death of the person or of another. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.05, subd. 1, 609.185(a)(1) (2004).
A person is guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree if he “conspires with another to commit a crime and in furtherance of the conspiracy one or more of the parties does some overt act,” Minn. Stat. § 609.175, subd. 2(2) (2004), where the crime is to “cause the death of a human being with premeditation and with intent to effect the death of the person or of another,” Minn. Stat. § 609.185(a)(1).
A person is guilty of assault in the first degree, aiding and abetting, if he “intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the crime,” Minn. Stat. § 609.05, subd. 1, where the crime is to “assault another and inflict great bodily harm,” Minn. Stat. § 609.221, subd. 1 (2004).
Assuming the district court believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved appellant’s witnesses, we conclude that the state presented sufficient evidence to convict appellant on all counts.
Appellant, suspecting victim Lee
Murray of stealing appellant’s property, arranged through a series of pages and
phone calls for
Evidence in the record, including
the testimony of a participant, indicates that appellant, Lindorff, and a third
man left Lindorff’s St. Paul home and drove to Eagan, where Murray saw
appellant’s car cruise slowly past on an adjacent street. Within a few minutes, Lindorff appeared on
foot and shot
At around 2:20 a.m., a Woodbury
police officer noticed appellant’s car at a gas station near the highway. After determining that the person he was
searching for was not in the vehicle, the policeman let the vehicle go. He described appellant and his two passengers
as the car’s occupants. Appellant never
appeared to pick
We conclude that this evidence is sufficient to sustain appellant’s convictions on all three counts.
Appellant asserts that admission of Spreigl evidence was improper. “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 (
Evidence of other crimes or bad acts
is not admissible to prove that a criminal defendant acted in conformity with
his character, but it may be admissible to prove motive, opportunity, intent,
preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
Before 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) there is 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 must
not outweigh the probative value of the evidence. Angus
v. State, 695 N.W.2d 109, 119 (
Here, appellant challenges only
whether the Spreigl evidence of a
prior assault was clear and convincing, arguing that the testimony came from
only one witness, who was convicted as an accomplice in the assault. “The clear and convincing standard is met
when the truth of the facts sought to be admitted is ‘highly probable.’”
Uncorroborated testimony of a single witness can meet the standard of proof of clear and convincing evidence. Id. (“We see no reason why a victim’s Spreigl testimony must be corroborated in order to meet the clear and convincing standard.”).
We must assume that the district
court found the sole witness credible and must only disturb this judgment for a
clear abuse of discretion.
of a single witness can constitute clear and convincing evidence under
In his pro se
brief, appellant argues that his trial counsel was ineffective because she
failed to: (1) subpoena a witness; (2)
make proper objections; (3) gather certain documents. To succeed on an ineffective assistance of
counsel claim, appellant must generally show that counsel’s representation fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness and that there is a reasonable
probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different but for
counsel’s unprofessional errors. State v. Cram, 718 N.W.2d 898, 906 (
the actions of his trial counsel that appellant complains of are tactical
decisions best left to the discretion of trial counsel and not reviewed with
the benefit of hindsight. State v. Miller, 666 N.W.2d 703, 717 (
Finally, we have reviewed other arguments made by appellant in his pro se brief and conclude that they are without merit.