This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed April 3, 2007
Ramsey County District Court
File No. K7-04-4071
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-2134; and
John J. Choi,
Mark F. Anderson, Terry P.
Duggins, Special Assistant Public Defenders, State Public Defender’s Office,
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
July 31, 2004, two
About five minutes later, a fully clothed appellant exited using the back door and approached the officers from the front of the residence. She screamed loudly at them, swore at them, and demanded that they leave the property. The officers again tried to explain that they were there to make sure everything was all right because a hang-up 911 call was made from her unit. Officer Lentsch testified that because “[appellant] refused all commands to calm down, to quiet her voice, to come inside the house with us and just show us around to make sure everything was okay,” they arrested her for disorderly conduct.
Officer Lentsch entered appellant’s unit to ascertain that there was no one
still inside, appellant was driven to the
Upon arriving at the detention center, appellant refused to leave the squad car and had to be physically removed. Appellant attempted to kick Officer Lenarz, and bit Officer Lentsch on his forearm. Officer Lentsch testified that he “delivered a right knee strike to her right mid-section area, which was effective in getting her mouth off of [his] forearm.” Officer Lentsch transported appellant inside the detention center using a wrist lock, which involves “basically grabbing on to the back of the hand and pointing it or pushing it towards the forearm area.”
As the officers and appellant entered the intake and booking room, Officer Lentsch testified that appellant “was now laughing at this point, stating that she got—got me to do what she wanted and that was [to] kill her baby.” Officer Lentsch stated at trial that he was certain that he did not learn that appellant was pregnant until after he delivered the knee strike. Appellant testified that when they were driving to the law-enforcement center she told the officers that she was three months pregnant.
As a result of the knee strike,
appellant suffered some cramping and vaginal bleeding. Appellant stated that although she requested
to see a nurse, she was not permitted to see one until 5:00 p.m. The nurse (Patricia McPeak) testified that
there was a clot of blood in the toilet and a sanitary napkin with blood. Nurse McPeak testified that she referred
Appellant claims that she acted in
self-defense and argues that the district court erred by not allowing appellant
to introduce relevant evidence that would have allowed the jurors to draw an
inference of mistreatment. Evidentiary
decisions rest within the discretion of the district court and will not be
reversed absent a clear abuse of discretion.
State v. Amos, 658 N.W.2d 201,
(1) the absence of aggression or provocation on the part of the defendant; (2) the defendant’s actual and honest belief that he or she was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that the action taken was necessary to avert that danger; (3) the existence of reasonable grounds for that belief; and (4) the absence of a reasonable possibility of retreat to avoid the danger.
State v. McKissic, 415 N.W.2d 341, 344 (Minn. App. 1987); Minn. Stat. § 609.06, subd. 1(3) (authorizing the use of force “when used by any person in resisting or aiding another to resist an offense against the person.”). Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by prohibiting introduction of relevant documents that demonstrated appellant’s condition and treatment after she had been placed in a holding cell at the detention center. Appellant contends that her “condition and treatment upon being placed in a holding cell and the hours which she spent there have the tendency to make the existence of [a]ppellant’s claim of self-defense more probable than without the evidence” and that the “evidence goes to show a continued pattern of abuse and allows the jurors to draw an inference of mistreatment.”
Here, the inquiry as to whether appellant was permitted to use such force is not advanced by something that occurred after she employed such force. Appellant had not yet encountered the detention deputies when she bit Officer Lentsch in the sally port. Thus, the district court did not clearly abuse its discretion by determining that the alleged mistreatment by the detention deputies did not serve as a legal justification or excuse for appellant’s prior use of force against Officer Lentsch. The district court did not clearly abuse its discretion by limiting appellant’s defense to the circumstances that occurred before the officers brought appellant into the booking area.
Furthermore, it is not clear exactly what evidence appellant was attempting to introduce. Respondent notes that aside from her opening statement and reference to appellant’s holding cell during direct examination, “[a]ppellant made no other attempt to introduce evidence of the alleged mistreatment by the detention deputies.”
next argues that the prosecution violated her due-process right by failing to
fulfill its discovery obligations. A
reviewing court will not overturn the district court’s decision concerning a
discovery violation unless there was a clear abuse of discretion. State
v. Bailey, 677 N.W.2d 380, 397 (
defendants have a broad right to discovery and to prepare and present their
defense.” State v. Paradee, 403 N.W.2d 640, 642 (
Without order of court . . . the prosecuting attorney on request of defense counsel shall . . . allow access at any reasonable time to all matters within the prosecuting attorney’s possession or control which relate to the case and make the following disclosures:
. . . .
(3) Documents and Tangible Objects. The prosecuting attorney shall disclose and permit defense counsel to inspect and reproduce books, grand jury minutes or transcripts, law enforcement officer reports, reports on prospective jurors, papers, documents, photographs and tangible objects which relate to the case and the prosecuting attorney shall also permit defense counsel to inspect and photograph buildings or places which relate to the case.
Minn. R. Crim. P. 9.01, subd. 1.
demonstrate a due-process violation warranting reversal of a conviction,
appellant must show that (1) the state willfully or inadvertently withheld
evidence, (2) the evidence was favorable to the defendant, and (3) he or she
was prejudiced thereby. Woodruff v. State, 608 N.W.2d 881, 886 (
argues that respondent failed to comply in an adequate and timely manner with
appellant’s efforts to obtain discovery materials, and therefore, appellant was
not afforded a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense. Appellant contends that “the blatant refusal
by the State relative to Appellant’s efforts to obtain relevant material
amounts to prosecutorial misconduct.” This court will reverse a conviction due to
prosecutorial misconduct at trial “only if the misconduct, when considered in
light of the whole trial, impaired the defendant’s right to a fair trial.” State
v. Powers, 654 N.W.2d 667, 678 (
next argues that the district court abused its discretion by permitting an
officer to testify about appellant’s previous disorderly conduct conviction to
show intent, common scheme or plan, absence of mistake, or motive. “Evidentiary rulings rest within the sound
discretion of the trial court and will not be reversed absent a clear abuse of
discretion. On appeal, the appellant has
the burden of establishing that the trial court abused its discretion and that
appellant was thereby prejudiced.” State v. Amos, 658 N.W.2d 201, 203 (
Generally, evidence of prior bad
acts is “not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show
action in conformity therewith.”
The district court may admit Spreigl evidence of other bad acts
when: (1) the state gives notice of its
intent to admit the evidence; (2) the state clearly indicates what the evidence
will be offered 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 probative value of the evidence is
not outweighed by its potential prejudice to the defendant.” State
v. Ness, 707 N.W.2d 676, 686 (
Here, the district court performed a
proper Spreigl analysis. First, the court determined that the state
gave proper and timely notice in accordance with rule 7.02 of the Minnesota
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Second, the
state indicated that the reason it wanted to introduce the Spreigl evidence was to show a lack of mistake or accident, common
scheme or design, intent, and capacity. Similar
to the present incident, the police report of the other disorderly conduct
incident indicated that appellant was very uncooperative, that she was yelling
and screaming in the back of the squad car, and that she was kicking at the
windows of the squad car. “[T]he greater
the similarity of a crime with the crime charged in terms of time, place, or
modus operandi, the greater the chance the crime will be found relevant.” State
v. Shamp, 422 N.W.2d 520, 525 (
Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in its evidentiary rulings and because respondent did not commit prosecutorial misconduct or impinge on appellant’s due-process rights, we affirm.