This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).






State of Minnesota,





Trevallion Hufnagle,



Filed August 14, 2007


Parker, Judge*


Clay County District Court

File No. K7-05-1845




Lori Swanson, Attorney General, James B. Early, Assistant Attorney General, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1800, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and


Brian J. Melton, Clay County Attorney, Clay County Courthouse, 807 North 11th Street, P.O. Box 280, Moorhead, MN 56561 (for respondent)


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



            Considered and decided by Ross, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Parker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant Hufnagle was charged with theft of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) valued at over $2,500, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.52, subds. 2(1), 3(2) (2004).  After a trial, he was convicted and the court stayed imposition of the sentence.  In this appeal, he argues that his conviction should be vacated for insufficient evidence because (1) the only evidence of his participation in the theft was the uncorroborated testimony of alleged accomplices, and (2) the state failed to establish the value of the stolen property at the time of the theft.  Because the jury could reasonably have believed that Hufnagle’s friends did not participate in the actual theft of the ATV, and because the ATV’s owner testified that he put between $2,500 and $3,000 of accessories and equipment into the vehicle that had been purchased new for $6,390 in 1999, the evidence was sufficient to convict Hufnagle of theft and we affirm.


            1.         Sufficiency of the Evidence

            Hufnagle first alleges that his conviction must be vacated because the only evidence of his participation in the theft was the uncorroborated testimony of his alleged accomplices, ViAnnah Sullivan, Nathan Bohner, and Robert Krauth, and therefore the evidence was insufficient to support the guilty verdict by the jury.  On review of a claim of insufficient evidence, this court must determine whether “given the facts in the record and any legitimate inferences that can be drawn from those facts, a jury could reasonably find that the defendant was guilty of the charged offense.”  State v. Laine, 715 N.W.2d 425, 430 (Minn. 2006) (quotation omitted).  “We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict.”  Id.  We defer to the jury on the weight and credibility of the evidence, and we “will continue to assume [that] the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved the defendant’s witnesses.”  Id. at 431 (quotation omitted).

            Here, Sullivan testified that Hufnagle told her he took the keys from a four-wheeler parked in Mark Rambow’s yard and that he planned to steal it later.   Later, when Hufnagle and Sullivan were socializing with Krauth and Bohner, Hufnagle told the group that he wanted to execute “Mission A,” his code name for the theft.  Sullivan testified that she and Hufnagle went to the victim’s yard and started the four-wheeler.  When they drove the vehicle onto County Road 9, it malfunctioned and stopped running.  Hufnagle and Sullivan called Krauth and Bohner for assistance.  Sullivan also testified that Bohner and Hufnagle pushed the four-wheeler into a ditch and lit it on fire to “get rid of evidence.”   Krauth and Bohner denied taking part in the theft, though they were present when Hufnagle rolled it into the ditch and lit it on fire.  Hufnagle argues that Krauth and Bohner were accomplices because they both aided in the theft.

            An accomplice is one who could be indicted and convicted of the same crime as the defendant.  State v. Lee, 683 N.W.2d 309, 314 (Minn. 2004).  Under Minnesota law, the testimony of an accomplice must be corroborated in order to convict a defendant.  Minn. Stat. § 634.04 (2004) provides that:

A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice, unless it is corroborated by such other evidence as tends to convict the defendant of the commission of the offense, and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the offense or the circumstances thereof.


Minn. Stat. § 634.04 (2004).  This court “view[s] corroborative evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and do[es] not require it to establish a prima facie case of the defendant’s guilt.” State v. Pippitt, 645 N.W.2d 87, 93 (Minn. 2002).  Corroborative evidence is sufficient to support a conviction based on accomplice testimony when it confirms the veracity of the accomplice’s testimony and indicates the defendant’s guilt in a substantial way.  State v. Hooper, 620 N.W.2d 31, 39 (Minn. 2000). 

            Whether Krauth and Bohner were accomplices was a question directly presented to the jury after the close of the arguments:

                        If you find that any person who has testified in this case is a person who could be charged with the same crime as the defendant, you cannot find the defendant guilty of a crime on that testimony unless that testimony is corroborated.


Though Hufnagle points to discrepancies in these witnesses’ testimony and argues that Krauth and Bohner lacked credibility, the jury was specifically given the task of determining whether or not they would credit the testimony.  Furthermore, “[i]nconsistencies in the state’s case are not grounds for reversing the jury verdict.” State v. Robinson, 604 N.W.2d 355, 366 (Minn. 2000).  By returning a guilty verdict, the jury determined that Krauth and Bohner were not accomplices for the purpose of crediting their testimony.

            The evidence was sufficient to allow a jury to reasonably find that Krauth and Bohner were not accomplices.  Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows that Sullivan, Krauth, and Bohner all testified that Krauth and Bohner did not participate in the actual theft of the four-wheeler, were not present when the theft took place, and that any aid they did give was after the fact and did not rise to the level of accomplice liability for the theft itself.  Krauth testified that he did not know anything about Mission A; that he heard Hufnagle talking about the theft; and that he did not participate in the burning of the vehicle, but was present when he and Bohner picked up Hufnagle and Sullivan.  Sullivan, who was deemed an accomplice and therefore had less of a reason to fabricate a story in accordance with Krauth’s and Bohner’s version of the events, confirmed that they were not part of the actual theft.

            Bohner’s and Krauth’s testimony was more than sufficient to corroborate Sullivan’s testimony and to support a guilty verdict.  Krauth and Bohner both testified that they heard Hufnagle talking about stealing the four-wheeler.  They testified that they responded to Hufnagle’s call for aid and that they saw him with the four-wheeler later identified as Rambow’s stolen ATV.  Rambow testified that it is unlikely that he left the keys in the four-wheeler on the night of the theft, substantiating Sullivan’s testimony that Hufnagle had previously stolen the keys.

            The case before the jury came down to the credibility of witnesses, the majority of whom were involved either with the theft itself or with the destruction of the evidence.  “[W]eighing the credibility of witnesses is a function exclusively for the jury.” Pippitt, 645 N.W.2d at 94.  Even if witnesses’ credibility is questionable, the jury is entitled to believe them.  Id.  Three witnesses testified that Hufnagle planned the theft and along with Sullivan executed the theft, before enlisting Krauth and Bohner to help destroy the evidence and give him a ride home.  It is clear that the one person the jury did not believe was Hufnagle, who denied any participation in any part of the theft.  Therefore, it was reasonable that the jury made the credibility assessments that it did, and the evidence was sufficient to convict Hufnagle of theft.

            2.         Value of ATV

            Hufnagle argues that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the four-wheeler’s value exceeded $2,500, as required for conviction under the theft statute.  Minn. Stat. § 609.52, subds. 2(1), 3(2) (2004).  He alleges that the state never established the value of the four-wheeler at the time of the theft, or its replacement value, relying instead on Rambow’s testimony that he had paid $6,390 for the vehicle new in 1999, that additional accessories cost between $2,000 and $3,000, and that he had just replaced the tires and rims at a cost of $500.

            Hufnagle was convicted of theft in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.52, subds. 2(1), 1(3), which requires proof that the value of the stolen property exceeded $2,500 “at the time of the theft, or if the retail market value cannot be ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the theft.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.52, subd. 1(3).  While Hufnagle is correct that the state failed to ascertain the actual value of the four-wheeler at the exact time of the theft, the prosecutor did establish that the value of the accessories was between $2,000 and $3,000, which, along with the new tires and rims, would put the amount over $2,500 without taking into consideration the depreciated cost of the four-wheeler as a whole.

            This court has upheld convictions where the current market value of stolen goods was indeterminable, but in which the “[s]tate presented evidence of the original purchase price and the age of each of the stolen items. . . .”  Herme v. State, 384 N.W.2d 205, 208 (Minn. App. 1986), review denied (Minn. May 22, 1986).  Moreover, “[a] jury can properly accept an owner’s testimony as to the value of his or her own property.”  State v. Clipper, 429 N.W.2d 698, 700 (Minn. App. 1988).

Viewing the testimony in the light most favorable to the jury verdict, the jury could well have drawn a reasonable and legitimate inference that the current market value of the vehicle was more than $2,500 because the accessories alone cost at least this much.  Robinson, 604 N.W.2d at 365-66.   Therefore, even though the state failed to establish the current market value of the ATV, the jury reasonably believed that the value of Rambow’s four-wheeler exceeded the requisite $2,500, and we affirm that determination.



*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.