This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Gordon Lee Hulegaard,
Filed August 27, 1996
Anoka County District Court
File No. K7951372
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent)
Robert M.A. Johnson, Anoka County Attorney, M. Katherine Doty, Assistant County Attorney, Anoka County Government Center, 2100 Third Avenue, 7th Floor, Anoka, MN 55303 (for Respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Bradford S. Delapena, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Amundson, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Gordon Lee Hulegaard appeals his conviction for terroristic threats, arguing the conviction is inconsistent with his acquittal on two other charges and there is insufficient evidence to support his conviction. We affirm.
On February 3, 1995, B. P. went to the Standing Room Only bar in Anoka County where she met a group of people, including Hulegaard. The group stayed at the bar for several hours. Hulegaard was intoxicated and was "cut off" from alcohol by the bartender at approximately 11 p.m.
At about 12:30 a.m., B.P. agreed to give Hulegaard a ride home. After driving around for awhile, they ended up on a secluded road. Hulegaard took the keys out of the ignition and told B.P. to take off her pants. B.P. testified that when she refused, Hulegaard became enraged and threatened to stab her with a knife he took from his jacket. B.P. then unbuttoned her pants but did not remove them.
Later, when Hulegaard discovered the car was stuck in the snow, he became enraged and threatened to kill B.P. B.P. testified that she eventually was able to get out of her car and ran to a truck that was also stuck on the road.
There were five people in the truck. They generally testified that a woman got out of the car and ran toward them screaming that Hulegaard tried to rape her, that he had a knife, and that he threatened to kill her. One passenger testified he saw that B.P.'s pants were undone. Eventually, the police arrived and took Hulegaard into custody.
Hulegaard was charged with one count of attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of terroristic threats. At trial, Hulegaard testified that B.P. wanted to have sex with him, got the car stuck on her own, made up the story about rape and threats, and that the people in the truck attacked him. The jury acquitted Hulegaard of the criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges but found him guilty of terroristic threats. Hulegaard appeals.
D E C I S I O N
Hulegaard argues the jury could not have found him guilty of terroristic threats because it acquitted him of the two other charges and the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. We disagree.
The general rule is that a defendant who is found guilty of one crime is not entitled to a new trial or a dismissal simply because the jury found him not guilty of other crimes, even if the guilty and not guilty verdicts are logically inconsistent. State v. Juelfs, 270 N.W.2d 873, 873-74 (Minn. 1978). It is possible for the jury to believe a witness's testimony to convict on one count and acquit on another. Id. at 874. It is equally possible that the jury was exercising its power of lenity. Id. In such a case, this court only reviews the sufficiency of the evidence. See Nelson v. State, 407 N.W.2d 729, 731 (Minn. App. 1987), review denied (Minn. Aug. 12, 1987).
A jury's verdict may be overturned if the verdicts are legally inconsistent. State v. Moore, 458 N.W.2d 90, 94 (Minn. 1990). A jury's verdicts are legally inconsistent only if a necessary element of each offense is subject to conflicting findings. State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989).
The terroristic threats conviction was not legally inconsistent with the acquittals of the other charges. The elements of terroristic threats are different from the sexual conduct and kidnapping elements. The terroristic threats charge resulted from Hulegaard's threats to kill B.P., not threats of sexual assault or kidnapping.
In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, our review must determine whether, based on the facts in the record and any legitimate inferences that can be drawn from them, a jury could reasonably conclude that the defendant was guilty of the offense charged. State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, and we must assume that the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any contrary evidence. Moore, 438 N.W.2d at 108.
Terroristic threats require a threat to commit a crime of violence made with the intent to terrorize another person or in reckless disregard of causing such terror. Minn. Stat. §subd. 1 (1994).
Here, B.P. testified that Hulegaard threatened to stab and kill her. Because we must assume that the jury believed B.P., we conclude the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction for terroristic threats.